I make high demands on my camera equipment. Not only must it produce high quality video and still photos, but it must also be compact, lightweight, quick to set up, and able to attach to anything. For bonus points, it should also be waterproof. Because scuba diving.
The 360fly HD is just such a camera, waterproof qualities included.
And, I’m reluctant to admit, it was a complete impulse purchase. I went into my local electronics store to buy a spare SanDisk Extreme Plus 64GB MicroSD card for an upcoming dive trip (you really can’t have too many of these things) when I saw the display for the 360fly.
Crisp 360-degree HD video. Super compact, solid state design. Attaches to my full compliment of GoPro mounts. And, with a 2-second adjustment, completely waterproof to 130 feet! Be still my heart.
(There is now a second generation for this camera. More comprehensive specs have been added to the bottom of this post.)
I bought the thing, added it to my essential equipment, and couldn’t be happier with it.
The fact that it attaches to my existing GoPro accessories means I can use the tripod mount on my favorite adjustable octopus tripod, hanging the 360fly upside down from overhead beams on dive boats for 360-video views on the way out to the dive site.
Then, just as easily, I can take it down to rest on the sandy bottom for a fully-immersive dive experience, particularly helpful when you’re swimming with sharks and want to get precariously close to the action.
You will need a bluetooth-enabled smartphone to control the camera, but the interface is highly intuitive and easy to learn. The only part about the camera-phone connection that I had to tweak was on those occasions where I took the camera to any kind of depth underwater. After a few practice runs, however, even that became a piece of cake.
I can unreservedly endorse this version of the 360fly, especially if you are a diver and are just now getting into the 360-camera market. Although, truth be told, I’m going to be purchasing the higher-end 4K version of the 360fly along with the beefy dive housing before our next big dive trip. There really is no better way to capture a fully-immersive dive experience than with one of these cameras.
Update on the HD version: The first generation of the 360fly camera is only going to be available through eBay or some other reseller as it has now been discontinued. The second generation of the 360fly HD is not rated to 130 feet since the microphone plug has been redesigned. If you buy the second generation HD camera, you will need to get the dive housing to take it below 3 feet. For the 4K version, the dive housing will be necessary to take it below 33 feet.