By now you have probably noticed the boom of 360 video and photography popping up everywhere from your Facebook feeds to epic vlogs from your favourite youtubers! To see what all the fuss is about I teamed up with Nikon to test out the new Nikon KeyMission 360!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Nikon who challenged me to use the Nikon KeyMission 360 to document my trip. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.
Check out the video I captured using the KeyMission 360 here:
Let’s jump straight into the technical aspects of the camera. The Nikon KeyMission 360 has two 180 degree cameras positioned either side of the body shooting at 4K resolution. The 23.9 megapixel camera also captures great quality stills too. The camera is shockproof, waterproof (to 30m) and freeze proof which makes it perfect for capturing your next adventure whether you’re scuba diving in Thailand or hiking through the French alps. Something to note however, to film underwater you will need to attach the underwater lens protectors which reduces the field of view.
The first thing I noticed with the Nikon KeyMission 360 is how small and lightweight the camera was. Fitting neatly into the palm of my hand you could easily throw it into your handbag or even your pocket before you head out on your next adventure! The compact design really sets it apart from other 360 cameras which can be heavy, bulky and require a lot of assembly.
When it came time to test it out, I had never used a 360 camera before in my life! With two buttons it is a simple one touch motion to instantly start recording or capture a still. From there the camera does the rest! It even stitches the footage together for you, again, making it great for beginners.
Even though this kit is brilliant for first timers, it still takes some getting used to. Suddenly everything you knew about cameras has been flipped upside down and there are a lot of things you need to consider before getting the shot. The biggest one for me was being aware there was no “behind the lens”, no where to hide, absolutely everything is in shot and you have to plan accordingly.
After a few test shots my confidence grew! The quality is great. Being 360 there is a lot for this little camera to capture so I did notice some detail was lost especially in low lighting. That being said the 4k resolution really makes this tiny camera stand out with surprisingly great quality! Check out the screen shot below of the footage before it was imported into KeyMission 360/170 Utility software.
As the camera stitches the footage together for you, you will have to remember not to place anything too close or stand on the stitch line as you will notice a distortion. This was probably the biggest down fall for the camera as the stitch lines are very visible. Even though I tried to combat this by being very conscientious about how my shot would look later on this was hard to control when you are shooting in public.
I was surprised by just how much detail the camera captured when taking a still photograph! Just like recording video, one press of a button and you will activate the self timer (so you best get into position quickly)!
As you can see with the example above my hands sat on the stitching line which caused a distortion. Also to note, the Nikon KeyMission 360 was set up on a mini tripod at the time which is why you can see some of the legs poking out. However a small hack for you, if you purchase a monopod or mini tripod and an extendable selfie stick, the pole underneath will actually disappear when it stitches it together.
I was overall very happy with the photo quality and with a few photoshop hacks, you could turn them into something incredible (ie: Tiny Planets).
The Nikon KeyMission 360 has both the KeyMission 360/170 Utility and the Nikon SnapBridge 360/170 app.
The KeyMission 360/170 Utility software allows you to make very basic edits to the footage as well as managing the camera settings. Overall the program is easy to use however lacked a lot of functions, requiring you to use a second editor to create more complex videos containing multiple clips cut together.
I started using iMovie to edit however due to the video being VR and having a different aspect ratio to the standard 16:9 that iMovie will automatically set for you, I had to switch to Adobe Premier in order to get the best results.
Nikon have a huge range of high quality accessories available for the KeyMission 360, my favourite being the soft case. Not only does it protect and organise all of your accessories but you are also able to remove the individual velcroed sections. This was great when I just wanted to take the camera out with me and leave everything else behind!
Overall thoughts of the Nikon KeyMission 360
Nikon have certainly packed a lot into this tiny device. The automatic stitching and one touch recording makes this camera easy to use and perfect for beginners. The ease of use it definitely a big selling point however, the quality was lacking when it came to some of the finer details while using the camera in low lighting conditions. It is definitely a compromise however I feel for first timers stepping into the 360 game, this little gem really does everything you need!
What has been your experience with the Nikon KeyMission 360? Let me know in the comments below!