Chinese tech company Xaiomi is jumping in on the 360 game. After first launching in international markets, the Xaiomi Mi Sphere is coming to the U.S. as an affordable, portable 360 camera.
The Mi Sphere uses two 16 megapixel Sony-manufactured sensors and two 190-degree f/2 lenses. When the view from both lenses are stitched together, the result is a 3.5k (3456x1728) 30 fps video or 23.8 megapixel still photos. Xiaomi included a six-axis electronic stabilization system to help compensate for camera movement as well.
While the price point is low, there are a number of more advanced features included. The camera has some manual controls for setting the ISO or using exposure compensation, Long exposures and time-lapses are both also possible with this camera. The camera also houses a gyroscope and three-axis acceleration sensor.
The camera measures only about three inches at the widest point, with a depth under an inch. The camera is also weather sealed against dust and rain. A tripod mount sits at the bottom and a small tripod is included with the camera.
While the camera appears to have a good feature set for the price point, there are a few things missing compared to the pricier 360 cameras. The GoPro Fusion has a higher resolution, more modes, and Overcapture as well as an entire existing mount system that allows you to do more than shoot handheld or from a tripod. The Garmin Virb 360, meanwhile, has more sensors for overlays and steadying that video.
The Mi Sphere is Xiaomi’s first 360 camera, so there’s no previous reputation to go on, but the specs and early reviews look solid for the price point. The camera launches Dec. 1, 2017, for $290.