The 360 ° world is now part of the daily life. Famous and less famous brands created cams for spherical photos for years, and most of them can be controlled by any smartphone.
But not all of them.
ION360 (here the official website)
The ION360 U is a 360° on-phone camera. On-phone because it needs to be connected to a smartphone to work and can not be used stand alone.
For now, the ION360 produces only four models of its camera compatible with
The peculiarity of the ION360 is that the cover, which goes on the smartphone, works both by battery to power the camera without consuming the battery of the device (which can be charged using the cover) and as well as protection of the smartphone itself. The battery is of 1260 mAh.
The camera box is really beautiful. Magnetic closure, book opening and well-divided interior with enviable order.
We have the camera, a case to carry it, the micro-usb usb charging cable, the instruction booklet and the smartphone cover.
The design is very elegant and pleasing to both sight and touch. Both the cover and the camera have horizontal streaks that, besides giving the ION360 a very good look, increase the grip and make it less slippery.
On one side of the camera there is a button to turn it on. The ION360 goes in standby after 2 minutes of inactivity and can be activated by pressing it. A white led indicator on the button indicates that the camera is on.
At the back bottom of the case there is a led indicator showing the charge level.
On the underside of the cover there is a jack hole, micro-usb port for charging the cover and smartphone when connected to it and the speaker hole.
The camera is 7.4 MP and allows you to capture photos at UHD resolution (3840x1920) and video at 4K 30 fps. Photos are saved in .jpg while the videos are compressed in H.264 and saved in .mp4.
Here, below, you can see some of my video tests with the ION360 U beta.
The app to control the ION360 U can be downloaded from the Play Store or the App Store, depending on your phone.
It is very simple and intuitive. On the homepage we find the contents taken with the ION360 U that we can watch, delete or share on facebook / YouTube. Sharing on facebook includes sharing on your own page or group. Through the app it is possible to make live on facebook or YouTube and this is one of the peculiarities of this cam cause the streaming in 4K at 360° is not yet very widespread.
By connecting the camera to the smartphone, the app runs automatically and we can see a live preview of what the camera sees and we can "navigate" in the preview by changing the view with a finger. You can also record only 180° and in that case you can choose which of the two sensors will be active.
During preview, you can adjust the ISO, white balance and exposure.
The shots of the photos are very fast and you can suddenly see them stitched at 360°, the same for the videos.
The stitching is perfect. There are few cams that can give us this results.
Overall, the quality of the files (both photos and videos) is very good. In the 360° world, the 4K is the minimum necessary for good details and the ION360 U, with the perfect stitching and enviable color quality, is perfect for those who often use the smartphone to take photos and videos.
The nocturnal quality, and here I have to admit I was surprised, is great. I expected the picture noise and overall fatigue in the camera, but after recording some clips and taking some photos, I was pleasantly surprised about the quality of my content. The info is not specified, but I think the sensors are f2.0 or something like that.
The camera is available in two colors: gray or teal
Personal opinion: it has to be bought. Not only for live on socials, but also for creating special 360° content at a great quality. Capturing everything around you allows you to review everything from every angle at any time and whenever you want. Files are not very heavy and can be suddenly shared.
Unfortunately, there is no sharing on other socials (instagram, twitter), but the problem is that these socials have no compatibility with spherical photos. I hope that in a near future this compatibility will be added.
The only lack in the app is the editor. Even a basic editor would be pleased to see the own content in different modes (tiny planets, hemisphere, VR), possibility to correct the colors and capturing the images to share them on socials that do not support 360 ° content.
Below there is the review of the ION360 U beta that I had the pleasure to test, in a way not very correct since I used it with my LG G5 but now the app to control the camera is ONLY compatible with models Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ and iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+. Then you can see the video ignoring the part about compatibility.
Special thanks to Jenny, Director of Customer Care.