I remember when 360 footages were really rare and one had to own $500+ camera to film and not to mention the troublesome process to create VR videos. However, technology has advanced to a point where presently, all you need is a 360˚ camera and a simple phone app to produce 360˚ videos.Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Andoer A360II, which if you did not know, is the successor of the Andoer A360I.The A360II is no doubt targeted at those who want an affordable and simple option to film 360 videos. But, is it actually worth your money? Or are you better off saving up and buying a better 360 camera?Let’s find out!
It does not come with any accessories at all but I think it’d be useful if it comes with a carrying pouch or a wiping cloth to clean the camera as the lens can get dirty/smudge quite easily.
Design & Build
The A360II camera has a very long, sleek and portable body, fits right into your pocket (don’t really recommend it though because it might scratch), which makes it very convenient to hold and bring around. However, at the same time, it is not very stable and can topple quite easily when placed on hard surfaces.On first glance, it really looks like a Ricoh Theta S as it possesses a lot of the features from it, such as the shape, the location of the buttons, and the indicators.Upon holding it, it certainly feels well-built and sturdy, has solid clicking buttons and a decent amount of weight to it.Also, the material used feels rubberish making it very easy to grip and hold on to.The buttons are also in an ideal position, allowing it to be accessed very conveniently. But I find the Wi-Fi button and mode button too close and because of that, it’s possible to press the wrong one some of the times.
Buttons, Indicators & Ports
1: Power – Press & hold for about 5s to turn on/off camera.Light Indicator: Default: Blue; Low Battery: Red; Battery Low: Blinking Blue; Fully Charged: Yellow;2: WiFi – Press to turn Wi-Fi On/off to connect to phone/tablet.3: Mode – Switch between photo and video mode.4: Recording Indicator Light – If the video is recording, the indicator will blink.5: Shutter Button – In video mode, press to start/stop recording. In photo mode, press to take pictures.6: Wi-Fi Light Indicator – No light – Turned off; Blinking – active but not connected; Solid – Connected to device (more on connecting below)7/8: Photo/Video Mode – Mode that is selected will light up9: Charging – Micro-USB Port for charging. NOT capable of data transfer10: 1/4″ thread mount – mounting to tripods or monopods.11: Micro-SD Card slot for storage – camera will not work without the cardSomething I also noticed is that whenever it is switched on and off or changing modes, there is a loud beepindication sound that can’t be switched off, which can be bothersome at times especially when the environment is quiet.
Smartphone App – IDV720
The app used is called IDV720 and it’s available in IOS & Android , which is used by multiple 360˚ cams and all the customisations of the camera are done through the app.The app is quite complicated in the beginning. But once you play and experiment enough with it, you should easily be able to use it.
Turn on the Wi-Fi on the camera and connect to pano720-xxxx. For mine, it is named pano720_deed. By default, the password is eight ‘8’s, or 88888888, which I have yet to figure out changing it. The connection is very stable and reliable, thus I got through in no time.
1: Disconnect2: Rotate Opposite3: Change Perspective4: Different Viewing Modes5: Settings6: Gallery7: Start/Stop/Capture Button8: Change Modes (photo vs video)
Video Resolution: 1920×960@30fps/1472 x 736 60fps (2:1 equirectangular Aspect Ratio)Record Mode: Normal/Loop Recording (1,3,5,10 mins)/ Slow-mo (slows by 2x)/time-lapse(1,2,3,5,10s)Photo Resolution: 5M (3040×1520), 2M(1920×960)Capture Mode: Capture By Timer/Loop capture (repeating capture – for timelapse)/Capture Sequence(burst shot)Capture EV:Exposure Value from +2 to -2Capture Quality: Fine, Normal, EconomyCapture Sharpness: Auto, Strong, Normal, SoftWhite Balance: Daylight/Cloudy/Tungsten/uuorescentCapture Colour: Colour/Black & WhiteISO Limit: Auto/800/400/200/100There are tons of customisations for you to play around and I like the flexibility you have with this.
It’ll take 2 steps in order to share it with your social media.
Download video from the camera to your phone
Change Wi-Fi connection.
Upload to social media and share
Firstly, what you’d have to do is to download the video that you want to share to your phone as the video is currently stored on the camera.To do so, select the video and tap on the downwards pointing arrow button on the right. This should start the downloading process to your phone.Secondly, change your Wi-Fi connection to the one with your internet so that you are able to upload it to social media.Lastly, all that’s left now is to upload and share.Select the video and tap on the upwards pointing arrow button on the right.The rotation setting is the anti-clockwise degree that you want to rotate.Thus, if the video is upright, you should just leave it set to ‘0’. However, say, if you mounted it any other way such as upside down you should select 180˚ as the angle to rotate it upright.Tap on start to share and once it’s done, select the social media you want and post.If you noticed from the sharing options, there is one that’s actually the app IDV720 itself. What this does is it uploads to a private video server that allows people to pan using a browser. However, to access the link, you’ll need WeChat to share, which you can then copy the link from there and share it.Also, if you accidentally tapped elsewhere and the popup disappears, not to worry. Don’t press start to shareagain as it will create another duplicate, instead, return to the gallery in IDV720.If you see now, there should be a duplicate of your video with a red globe icon on the thumbnail of it.This means it is processed and is ready to upload. To share, select the video and tap the button on the right, it should bring you to the exact sharing options you had just now.
Importing & Exporting On PC
If you are planning to import the videos onto your computer, and afterwards editing it, rather than directly sharing and viewing it on your smartphone, you can use the free SYMAX360 app (available in Windows & Mac) to view and process the video.You can view the videos on your computer similar to how you would on your smartphone as both of these apps are made for 360˚ viewing.Also, one thing to note is that the camera does not support data transfer through USB. Hence, in order to transfer the footage to your computer, you’d have to either use a Micro-sd to USB adapter or transfer it from the camera, to your phone and finally to your pc.
Transferring from your phone to computer
Dual Spherical/Raw View
If you have done the downloading process (shown above), from the camera to your phone, you should have a raw version (dual-spherical view) of the video on your phone’s library, which in IOS should be in your ‘Photos‘ and in Android should be in your ‘Gallery‘.Afterwards, you have downloaded, transfer it to your computer. There are tons of tutorials out there explaining how to transfer photos and videos from your phone to your computer so I won’t dwell on it here.
Exporting The Video:
To export the video, select the duration and click Confirm. After which, if necessary, rotate the video (similar to the smartphone app) and adjust the quality. Finally, choose your output destination and click on the start button. The video will export the video in an equirectangular format, which is the format supported by many social media out there such as Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, etc.Also, if you have noticed, there is a sharing button on the left, but it is quite useless. The reason is that instead of uploading the videos to the social media (Youtube, Facebook, Youku), all it does is brings you to the upload page.
Image (Video & Photo) Quality:
Moving on, let’s go over the video quality.I felt that for its price, what it’s offering is very decent but you shouldn’t expect very fine details or deep colours at this price range as after all it is a 360˚ camera and they require far more pixels to create a clear video than normal camera do.Something to also note about is that it’s not entirely 360˚ because it has about few degrees of blind spots due to the thickness of the camera body, but this shouldn’t affect too much.
Video & Audio Quality
I found the video quality to be very similar to the elecam 360.
**I will post more video samples soon when I have the time so stay tuned! :)**
The audio was also clear and picked up most of the things that a normal camera would have done.What I found from the footage is that it requires a lot of manual adjustment in the settings before finding what is best because the ‘auto’ setting isn’t very ‘intelligent’.It wouldn’t bother too much with you if you know your basic settings. But if not, you can learn all the essentials here, so this shouldn’t really bother if you have a little bit of time to adjust before starting recording.
It takes shots at 5MP (3040 x 1520).One thing I noticed is that it also has anti-shake image stabilization because I realised the photo wasn’t blurred no matter how much I was shaking it.The photo isn’t very crisp and sharp and also, I felt the colour were a little desaturated and dull. Otherwise, I felt it was pretty good and something I would use to film 360˚ videos.
How It Works
This is a raw, original version of the video captured with the Samsung Gear 360. It works the same as the Andoer A360II, which uses 2 fisheye videos and stitch them into a video.After processing by the app, will then there be the different viewing modes.
Battery & Charging
153 mins (8.57 GB) : 1920x960p Recording
The indicators on the power button should change depending on the battery level.
There are many other brandless cameras out there that look exactly like the Andoer A360II.The only way for sure that what you’re buying is the original one is if there’s a brand of ‘Andoer’on it. Or else, don’t buy it. It’s not any cheaper and who knows what the quality and build will be.
Be it for a family, group shots or, vlogging during holidays, the possibilities are endless. The dual lens, 360 capability allows no matter how wide of a shot to be fitted into a photo and presents it in a whole new perspective. Furthermore, it’s simplistic and portable design lets you carry around with ease.Although no accessories are provided, a selfie stick/monopod connected to the bottom thread mount will suffice, as I feel this is not for filming action scenes, but rather, it is for filming all of your family, friends and holidays into 1 shot that makes viewing easy and fun!
At the end of the day, should you buy this and is this for you?
This isn’t going to replace your smartphone or camera that you are using now because the video quality isn’t exactly very good. However, having said that, it is a great addition to your filming because of the unique panaroma video that it can produce.If you’re looking for your first 360˚ camera be it to try out for recreational use such as taking videos or photos during party and family events, or even vlogging on holidays, I’d definitely recommend this because it is a really easy to use camera and the dual lens, 360˚feature allows you to film life from another cool perspective!That concludes my review on the Andoer A360II.Thanks for dropping by! If you have any questions or problems on the A360II or 360 cams in general, feel free to comment down below! I’ll really appreciate it and reply to it as soon as I can! 🙂