Review - Giroptic IO 360 Camera for iPhone
I've been dabbling in 360 photo and video for about a year. I didn't think much about it until I saw Ben Wong's 360 video at Chelela Pass in Bhutan that I realized that 360 video has great potential for unique storytelling. In Ben's video I saw him narrate his time in Bhutan and speak on the massive prayer flags around him. I could see the prayer flags around him as he spoke to the 360 camera.
I've mostly played with the photo feature of the 360 cameras more than video. I've learned that photographing in 360 requires more attention to detail. You have to check lighting, check placement of the camera, look at the positions of buildings/objects that may be in the way of your subject, and so forth. When you take a 360 photo everything around you is in the frame.
The Giropic IO is a unique 360 camera that fits today's fast moving social media world. Here are a couple of features that I find useful:
- Portability - The Giropic IO is pocketable even with its case.
- Ease of use - The device activates the app when you attach the camera to your iPhone when it is unlocked. Once the footage has been recorded it is available to edit on your device's camera roll. No need to wait to download images from a device to the phone.
- Real time preview - The app provides a real time preview with image manipulation prior to taking the photo. This is useful in previewing "little planet" photos and video clips.
- Live streaming - The app can transmit live 360 video to Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope as well as a manual server. You cannot stream to multiple platforms.
There are a couple of things that need to be improved:
- Adapter - I would like an adapter to fit the Giroptic IO with my iPhone case on. I have to have a case because I tend to drop my expensive items.
- Stitching - In my video review I talk about the stitching of the camera in how it looks weird when it's handheld. I use a Manfrotto PIXI and a GLIF to hold my cell phone with the Giroptic IO on top so that the stitching isn't weird. Plus I have more flexibility on how I move the 360 camera with this setup.
There are things this 360 camera does not do nor do I think it was meant for the following purposes:
- Continuous video recording - The mini-USB port is not accessible when the Giroptic IO is attached to the iPhone. Also, after some testing I found that battery life is around 40-50 mins of live streaming per charge. The device gets hot with continuous use even with 5-10 mins of recording.
- Weather proof - This device is not weather proof. Be wary of using this in rainy and humid conditions.
The Giroptic IO is a great portable travel 360 camera. It does not allow for long periods of streaming, but it is great for getting 360 images and small live streaming events. If you're video savy enough you can put a couple 360 videos together and pump out a video all form your phone.