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Build quality and finish is excellent and any worries about the lens being damaged easily are quickly dispelled, although a careful cleaning technique as highlighted on the 360fly website should be followed to ensure that the lens stays in excellent condition. The outer shell is solid and the geometric surface is a work of art.
Attaching the camera to a bike or helmet is easy enough and in the box there are a small selection of self adhesive mounts that can be stuck directly on to your object of choice. There's also a GoPro mount adapter that enables you to use the camera with the vast array of existing GoPro Mounts. If used you do need to take into consideration that the 360fly is a larger and heavy camera than the GoPro, so any mount used needs to be a little more sturdy in order to avoid vibration and wobble when on the move.
The mount in the image here was designed for use with a 22mm diameter bar and printed with the Ultimaker 2 Go 3D Printer.
Getting started is easy enough – you just hold down the button on the camera for a few seconds and wait for the vibrations and blue light.
All operations for the camera are handled by the 360fly app. Once downloaded and paired through bluetooth to your phone, the app can be used to view the latest videos from the 360fly community, control the camera, adjust settings or view the footage you've shot.
Due to the nature of the 360 video there are no real adjustments to the video recording settings. Although this is the first device to enable this style of video captured all under one roof, it would have been good to have some flexibility over the white balance, sensitivity and frame rate settings. However, not being able to adjust these settings isn't too much of a worry as the 360 video is the major feature.
To start and stop recording the large record button on the screen of the app needs to be tapped and a red bar across the top of the screen shows that recording is in progress. Tap the record button again and recording is stopped.
Video can then be reviewed through the app by selecting the clip that you want to see and clicking. At this point the footage is displayed on your Phone. Due to the interactive nature of the video clips it's best to download the clip to your mobile before watching them back. Once a clip is downloaded it can then be viewed, edited and shared directly from the mobile device, which is a really nice touch.
When it comes to sharing your footage with others the process is well thought out, enabling you to either share your exploits with the rest of the 360fly community or launch your 360 videos onto YouTube or FaceBook via a simple share button.
Video editing can also be carried out on the Desktop 360fly Director app. This is available for both Mac and PC and can be downloaded directly from the 360fly website. As with the app and camera the desktop application is just as well thought out and enables you to quickly edit your footage, add soundtracks and upload your movie to the community, YouTube or FaceBook.
Powering down the camera follows a similar procedure as powering on, so you just hold down the button and wait for the vibrations and the light to go out.
Current page: Build and handlingPrev Page Introduction and features Next Page Video performance and verdict
Ali Jennings is the imaging lab manager for Future Publishing's Photography portfolio. Using Imatest Master and DxO Analyser he produces the image quality tests for all new cameras and lenses review in TechRadar's cameras channel. Ali has been shooting digital since the early nineties and joined Future's Photography portfolio back in 2003.
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