It is probably the best camera that a user who wants to take amateur shots can buy right now.
Why do I say that? Because it's very small, very light, portable, has excellent photo resolution, has a wide compatibility, is very simple to use and has an affortable price.
It weighs only 23 grams and its dimensions are 4.20x3.50x2.50cm, practically half of a Ping Pong ball. It is practically plug&play, or better "plug&shoot", and costs more or less € 80.
Let's say under $ 100. There is only the version with the USB Type-C, so I am very sorry for Apple users.
But let's see the details.
This camera is made for amateur shots, for non-professional shots, but still of excellent quality because the photos are in 5.4K, precisely 5376x2688 (13MP). Each sensor covers about 210°, f1.8.
The photos in the dark are good. The camera suffers a lot in very low-light conditions, but above all the stitching suffers when there are different sources of light.
The colors are very good, perhaps only slightly desaturated. The photos are quite sharp and stitching is great during the day, but I'll talk about it later.
It is very simple and very immediate to take a picture with this camera. It takes about 15 seconds to have the photo on your smartphone. In fact this is the camera that I recommend to all those who take a lot of pictures.
The videos, unfortunately, are only in FHD, precisely 1920x960. I made very few videos with this camera because the FHD, in my opinion, is not enough for 360° videos. If it was in 4K, it would have been better. However they are not really awful. The stitching remains good, the overall quality is good and, watched in tiny planet on the smartphone, the videos are acceptable.
Avoid videos at night.
Stitching is really good. For a so small and on-phone camera I expected to see many errors, many more lines. But in truth both by day and by night the app does a really good job.
However, there are situations in which it's hard to eliminate the stitching line from the union of the two images. This often happens at night, when the light rays of a light source go beyond a sensor, but are not captured by the other (the photo below explains better). But it also happens during the day, occasionally, when the difference of light on the sensors is very high.
To correct this stitching error, Madv inserted an optimizer into the app. The "Optimize" command improves stitching and, most of the time, makes it perfect. It also improves the overall quality of the photos. But not always. In very hard situations the only solution is to redo the photo or work a lot with Photoshop. But since this camera is made for quick and occasional shots, the first option is the most convenient.
The effect of the optimization is irreversible, so I recommend to save a copy of the original photo.
The only part where stitching creates a clean cut is where it sticks to the smartphone. It is practically impossible to eliminate it and the best solution could be to cover it with a logo.
Madv Mini has its own app (downloadable here). It opens automatically when the camera is connected to the smartphone and turns the screen upside down. Since the camera has to be at the top and the USB ports of the smartphones are at the bottom, this action is necessary for comfortable controls.
The app, however, can also be opened without the camera to interact with its contents.
If the app opens when the camera is inserted, the live preview of what the camera sees starts immediately. The primary sensor is the one without the word "madv" above and it will be the first visible view in the app. Not that it changes a lot.
From the app you can change the shooting mode (photo, video, time lapse, live streaming, 15sec paused video), customize the shot, open the settings and the gallery. If the camera is not inserted, opening the app you'll see the gallery.
I've already talked about photos and videos. Just want to add that the contents are saved in the phone's memory (or on the SD) so the quantity limits depend on the smartphone.
The camera takes photos every 0.5/1 sec and records a video in FHD at 30 fps. It is not possible to make the camera shoot single photos at maximum resolution and then combine them in a time lapse manually.
With the Madv Mini it is possible to stream on Weibo and YouTube. Honestly I did not try to do it because of the video quality. For this reason, I can't say anything about it.
15sec paused video
This mode allows you to record a 15 seconds video with the possibility to pause at any time and then resume recording.
Personally I didn't find any utility of this mode.
There are 3 pre-shooting customizations available.
- Exposure value (EV) from -2 to +2
- White balance
The ISOs are automatic and range from 100 to 1600. The shutter speed is automatic.
In the settings it is possible to set the timer and have 2/5/10 sec of time before the picture is taken.
You can insert Madv Mini logo (or other default images) instead of the stitching cut in the part where the camera is attached to the smartphone. Personally I have disabled this option because you can't add a custom logo.
Once the photo is taken, it will be possible to interact with it directly from the phone gallery. But even Madv Mini app has several options like, first of all, different view modes (Crystal Ball, Little Planet, Fisheye, Perspective). You can take a snapshot of what is framed in that moment with the "Snapshot" function. The gyroscope can be enabled or disabled.
You can also do the optimization that improves the stitching line and the overall quality of the photo. However, the effect is not reversible. In the sense that if optimization is done, it is no longer possible to go back. So if any optimized photo will not live up to your expectations, but there will be something worse or something that could be improved by hand, you can not go back.
This is why I always recommend to save a copy of the photo and then, if necessary, do the optimization to see if the app can do a good job.
Obviously, there is the Sharing function directly from Madv Mini app and the contents are shared in 360° (on platforms that support 360° content, otherwise it will be shared in equirectangular format).
"Move to SD card" appears to me because that photo is saved in the phone's memory and I can move it to the SD Card (otherwise it will be the opposite).
"Enable VR" is used to switch to the view mode for virtual reality viewers.
"GIF" function. This is very interesting, but I did not find it very useful.
The GIF function creates a GIF image that starts from the frame chosen by the user before giving the command, goes all the way around the 360 picture horizontally and returns to the starting point. The saved file has a 500x500 resolution.
This camera is the gadget you always want to have in your pocket. It is not a problem to bring it always with you considering the weight and size and it can be very useful both for those who make a lot of amateur shots, both for those who takes occasional shots. But if that occasion happens, it's better to have a Madv Mini in your pocket !
Madv Mini is also the perfect gift for a friend who loves taking pictures. Since there are holidays and the discount, it could be the perfect purchase to make (even for yourself).
Personally, when I went on vacation, I made more than 200 photos with this camera in a week. This is because it was much simpler to shoot with this camera than with the Madventure 360. It needs few seconds, I don't have to wait to connect with Wi-Fi and at the same time I don't waste time with the people I want to take the picture.
For those who do not seek professional shooting, or in that moment doesn't need it, this, at least for now, is the best solution.
20% DISCOUNT WITH THE CODE "Alchi360"
In collaboration with madv360.co.uk, there's the 20% discount on ALL THE CAMERAS branded MADV (Madventure360 and Madv Mini) and on the Remote Control.
The discount is valid on the website www.madv360.co.uk (paying in €/£/$).
All you have to do is to insert the code "Alchi360" (without quotation marks) in the "Coupon Code" section and click on "Apply Coupon" before the checkout. It applies to the whole cart !
For more details, there is the video review below. To see content derived from photos taken with Madv Mini you can go to my instagram profile.
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