360-fly-review.jpgHD Action cameras have really taken off in the past few years, and they’ve become so accessible that everyone is using them. I mean everyone. I’ve seen them everywhere from a local ski hill to the California ocean, and people are capturing everything from under water video, extreme adventures, to a family vacation.

 

But have you ever wished you could put your eye to your camera and capture the world exactly the way you see it? That tech was out of reach before the 360Fly hit the scene. A panoramic 360-degree HD video camera, the 360Fly captures the view everywhere you look in crystal-clear HD. The best part? As my husband found out when he took it skiing a few times, you can use it in rain, shine, snow, and ice and it doesn’t miss a beat.

Because he works in the action sports industry, he gets a lot of time on the snow in the winter. When he asked if he could test it out while heli-skiing in Naksup, who was I to say no? As you can tell from the video below, it was a pretty great day to be Jason.

Although we’ve owned a few action cameras, the 360Fly was an entirely new experience, and out of everything we’ve ever tested, this is one camera I’d wrap up and put under the tree in a heart beat.

Here’s how the 360Fly measured up after hitting the hill with it:

Appearance360fly.jpg

 

Most action cameras have the same look. They’re usually small digital cameras covered in armour, and you know they are built like that to stand up to anything. The 360Fly has a completely different look, like a tennis ball, but it’s still wind, water, snow, and weather proof just like other action cameras.

The base of the 360Fly is a small disc you can use to charge it or transfer videos. The entire package is very portable and so tiny you could just pop it into your jacket pocket and take it with you everywhere.

Features

The most important feature on the 360Fly HD video camera is the CMOS Sensor. It can capture 360 degree, 1504×1504 resolution footage all around you thanks to its infinite focus feature, and once you’ve captured the video you can interact with it via the app or program you download to your computer.

The 360Fly also has:

  • Built-in image stabilization, so when you hit the big jumps or little bumps, your camera won’t show the shake
  • 3-axis sensor and accelerometer for further image stabilization
  • All weather and water resistant, so you can take it in the ocean, on a ski hill, or out in the pounding rain
  • Connects via Bluetooth and built-in Wi-Fi
  • 32GB of internal storage, so no need for an external SD card
  • Up to 2 hours of battery before re-charging
  • Built-in microphone

 

Testing the 360Fly360fly-heli-skiing.jpg

Before you head out on your adventure, you have to set up the 360Fly first. Out of all the cameras we’re set up at home, this one was the easiest. All you have to do is download the app, find the camera, connect to the internal Wi-Fi, and you’re off to the races. The only time we had a hard time connecting was when the battery was only ¼ charged. It has to be fully charged to connect to the Wi-Fi.

Once it’s charged you can take it out on any adventure. For my husband, that meant taking it with him on a work trip with it to the mountains near Naksusp. With his job he gets to go on these types of adventures all the time.

Because of its compact size, the 360Fly can be mounted on virtually anything. From surf boards to snowboards, all you have to do is mount it and you’re ready to roll. You can also carry it or wear it if you’d like.

For the helicopter ride up to the top of the mountain, Jason opted to hold it. When he was skiing, he mounted it on his pole and captured footage that way. As you can see from the video, it was a deep powder day.

 

 

Because it has 32GB of internal storage, you can capture a lot of video. The only issue he had while up on the slopes was battery power. The 360Fly has a battery life of approximately 2 hours, and that’s pretty accurate, but Jason found it only shot about 20 minutes of video during that time. He did turn it off and on several times, so the connecting and re-connecting may affect battery performance.

Watching the footage that comes out of the 360Fly is nothing short of amazing. It’s such a unique perspective in HD video, and it’s really mind-blowing when you start playing with your footage in the app and check out the entire view. The video is sharp, clear, and even when you know there are bumps and jumps in the snow, it’s still fluid and easy to watch. I love how you can see all around the person, just by swiping back and forth on the screen.

It captures great images too, although you can’t capture them until you edit your video. You can take away two things from the shot above with the snow: there’s very little blur even when you’re grabbing snapshots in fast-paced situations, and that was a seriously deep powder day.

 

Editing the video360-fly-app copy.jpg

There is no viewfinder on the 360Fly, so while it will capture your videos for you, you can’t tell what they look like until you open up the 360Fly app and watch your footage. You can see what the camera sees in real time when you look through the app, but it really shines when you’re editing the video.

Jason may have gone on the adventure, but I get to edit the footage in our family room. What surprised me the most was how versatile the 360Fly app is. Once you open up the video you can watch it in fast or slow motion, turn the perspective around any which way you’d like to, and add filters. You can even clip in your favourite music before you hit save and upload it to the spot of your choice. They are big files, so I found it easiest to save all of the videos to Dropbox for easy sharing, but you can also save them to Facebook or your cloud.

There’s a 360fly program for the computer, but beyond using it for downloading the videos, I didn’t get into it for editing. The app really works that well, and if I’m going to do more intense video editing, I always open up iMovie anyway.

When it comes to audio on the 360Fly, I think it depends on the situation. It will pick up really loud noises like the blades of a helicopter, but when it’s mounted on something like a ski pole, the audio is extremely quiet. I uploaded two videos to Youtube, one with music dubbed in and one with just the audio from the 360Fly. If you watch both you can get a feel for what the audio would be like when you’re doing something like skiing.

 

360-fly-paper-3D.jpg

Using the 360Fly Paper Video Viewer option

There’s an option on the 360Fly that a lot of people might not know about, but if you don’t try it you’ll be missing out on a lot of fun. If you hit the paper video viewer option and insert your phone into a paper 3D viewer, you can experience virtual reality with the 360Fly.

I wish there was a way to record what you see when you put on the paper viewer. I was walking around my house and turning to all angles to see all sides of the mountain. I may have bumped into a wall or two, but it was fun anyway.

Overall thoughts

My husband is a picky guy when it comes to action sports accessories. Because he has a job in that industry he’s seen and done it all, but when he came home from his trip with the 360Fly footage, he said he’d honestly like to get one asap. The 360-degree perspective is something that you just have to see for yourself, and he said his mind was racing with the possibilities of video he could capture.

This isn’t just a work toy for him or something he’d take out in the back country with his friends: this is something that could capture everything from amazing video of our kids to a 360 perspective of our little homestead.

His only concern was the battery power, but he felt as though he could solve that issue by using his portable charger when he needed a boost.

The 360Fly will give you a view like no other, and it’s one action camera that’s up your every adventure. Get ready to see life in 360, because it’s available right now on Bestbuy.ca.