Kodak Pixpro SP360

Kodak PIXPRO sent me one of their SP360 Action Cameras to use on the North Cascades Expedition I did in early August.  Just like Delvcam’s Sportcam-1,the SP360 arrived in a box filled with adapters and accessories. After attaching the helmet mount onto my climbing helmet, I packed the camera and a charging cable into my backpack. We’d be going into the rugged North Cascades following this route (and it turned out to be a wild adventure), and I looked forward to getting some sweet shots with this $349.99 camera. Since it was a loaner from Kodak (#000432), it had been used by someone else in the past and, judging by the scuffed edges, worn label, and blue plastic-glue stuff sealing the lens to the camera, I doubt he or she took good care of it.

As user #2+, I was able to get some decent shots with it in 360° before the lens popped off  as we were climbing through a boulder field on Day 3 (thank God it was inside the waterproof case, because that would have been a nightmare to find). From then on, the quality of photos became much worse and often included out-of-focus pictures (usually with small bits of blueish plastic seen).

The battery life was incredible though, with it only needing to be charged once during the 7 days it was used in the Cascades. The photos from the first few days were great, then as evidenced below, there is a bit of a change after Day 3:

The Kodak PIXPRO SP360 does exactly what it’s name states: it can take photos and videos in 360° (Dome Setting, 10M, 3264×3264, 1:1). However, it also lets the user take normal 4:3 front photos (2592×1944, 5M), panoramas (10M, 3264×3264, 1:1), Segmented Photos (10M, 3264×3264, 1:1),  and Ring photos (10M, 3264×3264, 1:1). Most photos taken can also be post-processed and adjusted to one of the other modes using the PIXPRO SP360 Software.

The underwater pictures taken with the SP360 are fairly decent (if a bit dark), but I didn’t take a whole lot with them. See below for a comparison with the other camera I used a lot on this expedition:

Here’s an example of the 360° footage with the 360° plugin from Youtube  (watch it in 1080p HD). Feel free to drag around and watch us get ready to eat breakfast:

And here’s the footage without the 360° plugin from Youtube:

I found that the 360°  Dome mode for videos works best if the camera is on a stationary platform (e.g. a car, boat, rock, etc.), because it’s pretty dizzying to watch footage of it when it was on your helmet or your hand and was constantly moving around (especially if you decide to insert Youtube’s 360° plugin).
Specifications:

  • 360° Viewing Range
  • 16 Megapixels MOS Sensor
  • Full HD 1080p Video
  • 10MP Pictures with 10 FPS Burst Shooting
  • 2m Shockproof / -10°C Freezeproof / Dustproof / Water Resistant
  • Wi-Fi/NFC Connectivity (Control Wirelessly with iOS & Android Devices)
  • Optical Zoom: Fix Focus, 214 Degree
  • Focusing Range: 50 cm — ∞
  • Number of Recording Pixels:
    • Still Image (1:1) 10MP: 3264×3264, (4:3) 5MP: 2592×1944, (16:9) 2MP: 1920×1080
    • Movie: 1920×1080: 30fps, 1440×1440: 30fps, 1072×1072: 30fps, 1280×960: 50fps / 30fps, 1280×720: 60fps / 30fps, 848×480: 60fps, High Speed Movie: 848×480: 120fps
  • File Format:
    • Still Image Exif 2.3 (JPEG)
    • Movie MP4 [Image: H.264; Audio: AAC [Stereo]
  • Shooting Modes: Still, Burst Shot, Movie, Time Lapse, Loop Recording, Wi-Fi
  • Status LCD size: 1.0 inch TN LCD
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto (100 – 800)
  • Exposure Metering Method: Artificial Intelligence AE (AiAE)
  • Burst Mode: Approx. 10fps (Full Resolution)
  • White Balance Control: Auto (AWB), Daylight, Cloudy, Flourescent, Underwater
  • Recording Media: Internal Memory: Approx. 8MB, Micro SD/Micro SDHC Card (Up to 32GB Support) [MMC Card Not Supported]
  • Language Support: English
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery LB-080, 3.6V 1250mAh, In-Camera Charging
  • Operation Environment: Temperature: 14° – 104°F / -10° – 40°C, Humidity: 0 – 90%
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): Approx. 1.61 x 1.96 x 1.49 in. / 41.1 x 50.0 x 38.0 mm (Based on CIPA Standards)
  • Weight: Approx. 3.63 oz. / 103g (Body Only)

 

pixproAppearance:  The Kodak PIXPRO SP360 looks different than any other action camera on the market, but it’s fairly easy to use. Simply turn it on, change the mode to whichever you’d like it to be, and press the shutter. At a hefty 3.63 oz (103g), it’s heavier than a GoPro and other GoPro-like action cameras, but it’s lens is also much, much larger. With the waterproof case that came with mine, the weight was even heavier and the camera felt rather bulky – so keep that in mind if you’re looking for a lightweight camera.

The lens covers can be easily detached and re-attached if needed. The Micro USB, Mini HDMI, and Micro SD ports are covered with a small rubber flap that helps prevent dirt and grime from entering. Overall, the Kodak PIXPRO SP360 looks great and feels solid (like a rock – just don’t get a used version that has blue stuff around the lens).

Value: Currently, the Kodak PIXPRO SP360 is  priced at $349.99 on the PIXPRO website, while it can be found for as low as $276.99 elsewhere online. Considering that the typical GoPro costs $399.99+, the PIXPRO is quite a bit cheaper (but still much more expensive than the Xiaomi Yi).

Overall, the Kodak PIXPRO SP360 takes great photos (when the lens hasn’t broken off), is unique by capturing 360° images and videos (in 1080p!),  is unfortunately not very durable (compared to other action cameras – or maybe mine had been beaten up by the previous owner too much) nor is it easily compatible with GoPro accessories, but it is much cheaper than a GoPro – I’ll give it a ★★★★☆.

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