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Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K VR Review

With the release of the PixPro SP360, Kodak was one of the first companies to commercialize a 360-degree video camera. However, when the film was stretched into the format required to broadcast 360-degree video on YouTube, its 1080p resolution could not measure up to the challenge.

The most recent Pixpro increases the overall resolution to 4K, but even with those additional pixels, something is lacking in sharpness. This is especially noticeable compared to newer cameras that record lifelike 4K videos in a highly non-spherical 16-by-9 frame. However, the SP360 4K (which costs $449) is an excellent option if you are considering including a camera of this sort in your equipment.

Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K VR Design

The SP360 is a tiny cube that weighs 4.5 ounces and measures 1.9 by two by 2.1 inches (HWD). A lens is located on the top of the SP360. On-body controls include buttons to turn the camera on or off, adjust the shooting mode, browse menus, start and stop recording, and enable Wi-Fi. Other on-body controls include buttons to traverse menus. On the side of the camera is a tiny monochrome LCD that shows various shooting-related information.

The placement of a typical tripod mount on the side of the camera encourages you to point the camera in the direction of the topic you are capturing. The micro USB port, the micro HDMI port, and the internal microphone are hidden under a flap that is located below it. There is no option available to integrate an external microphone. A door on the underside of the device provides access to the replaceable battery. It can record in Ultra High Definition for around 55 minutes on a single charge.

Choices Between a Single and Dual Camera Setup

A 360-degree camera like the SP360, which only has a single lens, will not be able to record a genuinely immersive sphere. Instead, it records video that has a horizontal angle of coverage of 360 degrees and a vertical rise range of about 235 degrees. In contrast, dual-lens devices such as the Ricoh Theta S and the LG 360 Cam ($199.99), both currently on sale and can only record video at a resolution of 1080p, are not available.

Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K VR Software

Kodak provides customers with entry-level software that may be used to deal with 360-degree video. You may use your computer as a remote viewfinder and operate the camera using the SP360 4K desktop program, which is available for Mac and Windows. However, for that feature, most customers will resort to the companion app, which is known for Android and iOS. The most helpful part is the one that trims clips and gets them ready for uploading to YouTube.

Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K VR Video Quality

The SP360 4K has a higher pixel count than other 360-degree cameras, typically limited to recording video in 1080p. Its native video is a sphere surrounded by a square frame of 2880 pixels wide and 2880 pixels tall. The video gets scaled up to 3,840 pixels wide by 1,920 pixels high when it is transformed into a format that can be played back on platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

However, the bottom third or so of the footage is blacked out when using a single camera. As a result, you’re looking at video closer to 3,840 by 1,280, which is slightly more lines of resolution than you get with regular 1080p video.

Specs

Focal Length0.85mm
35mm-Equivalent Focal Length8.2mm 
Minimum Focus Distance19.7″ / 50.0 cm
Angle of View235° (Ultra Wide)
173° (Middle)
150° (Narrow)

Recording

Video Format2880 x 2880p at 30 fps (MP4)
2048 x 2048p at 30 fps (MP4)
1440 x 1440p at 30/60 fps (MP4)
1072 x 1072p at 30/60 fps (MP4)
3840 x 2160p at 30 fps (MP4)
1920 x 1080p at 30/60 fps (MP4)
1280 x 720p at 30/60 fps (MP4)
848 x 480p at 60 fps (MP4)
Still Image SupportJPEG
8 MP (2880 x 2880)
JPEG
4 MP (2304 x 1728)
JPEG
2 MP (1920 x 1080)
ChannelsStereo
Audio FormatAAC

Display

Size1.0″

Exposure Control

Exposure MeteringArtificial Intelligence AE
Exposure ModesModes: Program
Shooting ModesBurst Shooting
High Speed Movie
Movie
Time-Lapse Movie
Interval Recording1 Second
2 Second
5 Second
10 Second
30 Second
60 Second
Continuous ShootingUp to 10 fps at 8 MP for up to 10 Frames (JPEG)
Remote ControlRR-BK01 (Optional)

Features

Image StabilizationDigital
Shockproof Rating6.5′ / 2.0 m
IP RatingIP5X
White Balance ModesAuto
Cloudy
Daylight
Fluorescent
Underwater
Built-In MicYes
Wi-FiYes, Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)

Input/Output Connectors

Outputs1 x USB Micro-B
1 x Micro-HDMI (Type D)

General

Supported LanguagesEnglish
BatteryRechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 3.6 VDC, 1250 mAh
Charging MethodUSB
Operating Temperature14 to 104°F / -10 to 40°C
Humidity: 90%

Packaging Info

Package Weight2.885 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)9.75 x 7.1 x 6.95″

Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K VR Conclusions

360-degree video may be the inevitable progression of the ultra-wide field of vision made famous by GoPro. It’s also possible that 360-degree video represents the future of moving images. Or it might just be a fleeting fad. The only way to know is to wait. It should be no surprise that a higher number of captured pixels is necessary to produce a video with the same level of clarity and attention to detail that we anticipate from standard HD and UHD footage.

The Kodak SP360 4K is a little rough around the edges regarding software support; however, the video quality is on par with what we see in its closest competitor, the 360fly 4K, with the Kodak capturing much clearer audio and performing better in dim light. Given those reduced expectations, the Kodak SP360 4K is a little disappointing.

Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K VR Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Captures 360-degree video.
  • Wi-Fi paired with NFC.
  • It is a 4K recording.
Need Improvements
  • A fringe of purple in places with excellent contrast.
  • Software for smartphones and desktops is underwhelming.
  • The video edges are soft.

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