A Xiaomi Mi Sphere revised and modded by the MadV team, and aimed at the market outside of China. This cam is, at the moment, the best camera for the quality/price ratio on the market.
It has a particular color: orange, with which it is impossible to be unnoticed, and, unlike the sister branded Xiaomi, is sold with an extensible stick with the button for remote control (of course there is also the mini tripod, the USB-microUSB cable and the bag).
Let's see the details.
Madventure360 shoots in 24 MP, with a resolution of 6912x3456. There is the possibility to shoot in RAW, which allows you to have more possibilities for editing, or simply in JPEG.
Even in automatic mode, saturation is very good, it is not excessive, the stitching is really good, the sharpness is fine as well. In short, the shooting also automatically works very well.
Photos are NOT automatically stitched in-cam. The stitching process takes place during the transfer from the camera to the smartphone through the Madventure360 app.
For photos, we have a lot of pre-shooting customization as it is possible to manually set the ISO, EV, White Balance and Exposure Time. These features are very important for those who want to shoot in special conditions, especially for night shots.
The night shots in automatic are quite "meh", but since there is the RAW mode, I practically only took with that. Since there is the possibility to customize the shutter speed, I do not see why shoot in JPEG.
This is, among other things, one of the few 360 rooms, currently on the market, with which one can photograph the Milky Way. Definitely one of the cheapest.
The videos are in 360° with the resolution 3840x1920 30fps. Or rather, the standard recording is in this way. I always use the High Bitrate mode in order to have more info per second in the videos (about 55mbps). The size increases, but the quality of the video also increases. However, keep in mind that if you do stitching or editing in the app, the saved video will have the standard bitrate. To keep the bitrate high, videos must be stitched through the PC app.
Below you can see a screenshot with all the recording modes.
In addition to the standard recording, you can record in 2304x1152 at 60fps at 360° and then there is the Bullet Time mode. The Bullet Time mode records a FLAT video with the 2048x512 resolution at 120fps. It records, however, either only at bottom or at the top and you can do the 1/2x - 1/4x - 1/8x rallenty. Pay attention to the stitching line which could cause some problems. Once the video is recorded in Bullet Time, the frame and the playback speed can be customized second by second recording a personal video with the dimensions 1920x1920.
Stitching is excellent. It's one of the best stitching I've seen so far and it's doing well even in dark conditions. Objects very close, are cut, but must be something really close (20/30 cm).
The PC app works the same way. It is advisable to use it for video stitching to keep the bitrate high. The Madventure PC app does NOT stitch the RAW files, only JPEGs. To stitch RAW files, you can use the Mi Sphere PC app.
In addition to the official app, for stitching, you can download (for Android here) the MiSphere Converter app. It was created by a third-party developer, but it works many times better than the original app because it uses optical stitching.
Madv360 app connects in Wi-Fi with the camera and allows you to control it from about 20 meters. There is a live preview of the camera, in low resolution, which allows you to check the shot before taking the picture or recording the video. It is possible to select the view mode choosing between Mirror ball, Flat, Little Planet, Pano and Crystal ball.
And then there are various settings. At the bottom there is the Gallery, the shutter button and the shooting mode (photo/video). Just above there are the various shooting modes:
Photo - Timer / Intervalometer / Bracketing
Video - Short video / Time-lapse / Slow-motion
If no mode is selected, there is normal shooting or normal recording.
At the top there is the button to go back (to the home page), camera states, manual controls and the settings.
Manual controls for videos allow you to customize the White Balance and the Exposure Value (EV +/- 3).
The manual controls for the photos, in addition to the White Balance and the EV, allows you to set the ISO (from 50 to 1600) and the exposure time (from 1/6400s to 32s).
In the settings you can select the content resolution and enable the following functions: Cyclic recording (delete old files to save the new ones), Panoramic sound (should record directional audio, but the feature is not activated), GPS for the geolocation, automatic download of files.
You can also change the Wi-Fi settings (camera name and password), format the SD card, calibrate the gyroscope, turn the cam's LEDs on or off, set the volume of the buzzer, switch off the camera or make the factory reset.
Shooting modes :
Photo - take 360° photos at the resolution of 6912x3456 in JPEG. If selected, the RAW file (in DNG format) of the same photo will be saved too. If you shoot even in RAW, the camera takes about 5 seconds to save the photo, otherwise 1.
Timer - after pressing the shutter button, the camera will wait between 3 and 10 seconds before shooting.
Intervallometer - automatically takes full resolution photos with a delay of 2s / 5s / 10s / 30s / 60s / 2min / 5min between them. Very useful function for 7K time lapse.
Bracketing - the function is only available in JPEG mode, so the RAW must be disabled. With the Bracketing function, the camera takes 3 photos with different EVs. The maximum value and the minimum of EV is chosen by the user with a max/min of 3. The Bracketing function is used for the manual HDR.
Video - records 360° videos at the selected resolution (normally 4K).
Short video - records a 360° video of 10s / 20s / 30s at the selected resolution.
Time-Lapse - record a video in 4K by taking pictures with a delay of 0.5s / 1s / 2s / 5s / 10s / 30s / 60s. The video is created automatically.
Slow-motion - there are two ways of recording. 4K 360° with up to 2X slow-motion. Or 2K 180° (at top or at bottom) with 4X or 8X slow-motion. If you record at 4X or 8X, manual overcapture will need to be done to correct the angle etc.
Photo - to look at the photo with the real resolution, you must first download it on your smartphone. Then you can apply a filter, change view mode, take a screenshot, activate the gyroscope or VR mode, see the details of the photo and share it.
Video - videos can be cut and, in addition to all the photo options, you can record a video in overcapture and stitch.
Last, but not least, RAW.
I want to talk about RAW files separately because, after all, this is the way in which 90% of people shoot. Selecting the RAW mode in the settings, a .DNG file will be saved with the JPEG. This type of files can be processed (usually on Photoshop/Lightroom) to get a much better result than automatic shooting.
You can also stitch the DNG file and have a RAW file already stitched that will need only color correction and reinjection of the metadata.
It is not possible to transfer RAW files from camera to smartphone via the official app, but there are 3 alternative ways. They can be transferred using the USB cable (or via SD card), using MiSphere Transfer or by accessing the camera's memory via the Ambarella IP address.
Personally I always use the method through the IP address because it is easy and fast and allows you to select one file at a time, without downloading the entire folder risking to have unnecessary files. Just open the browser on your smartphone while connected to the camera, go to the IP address, open the folder of the day you took the photo you need and download.
To find out the IP address, go to the video description at the bottom of this page (or here)
The Madv360 is excellent! Its shape is very slim and does not bother in your pocket. It's very "pocketable", as Michael Ty would say.
It is IP67 and is therefore waterproof up to 1m depth for 30 min (tested in the pool).
It is very good for virtual tours and the possibility to shoot in RAW allows you to get really good results.
The manual controls allow you to make really good night (or low-light) shots. With this camera you can also photograph the Milky Way (not that I have succeeded since there are lights everywhere in Italy).
In short, the Madventure360 is probably the best all-in-one 360 camera in the consumer market. Not because it offers the absolute maximum, but because it offers high quality content and it is very simple to work on it. It is useless to have the top of the top and then not be able to work with it.
*coff coff* GoPro *coff coff*
For more details, there is the video review below. To see content derived from photos taken with Madv Mini you can go to my kuula profile.
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