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MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera
If you're looking for an easy and affordable way to get into 360 AI photography and videos, the Wunder360 S1 is a promising consideration.
Pros
  • Convenient, compact size
  • Easy on-board controls and mobile app
  • In-camera 360 stitching
Cons
  • Image quality is just okay
  • Mobile app places watermark on tiny planets
  • Requires cloud service for full functionality
7.5Overall Score

One of the bigger trends to emerge in recent years is 360 photography and 360 video, spurred partly by the impressive rise of virtual reality (VR) technology. The technology is more accessible than ever, not only as an average consumer, but also as a content creator. The Wunder360 S1 360 AI camera continues that trend as the "first 3D scanning and 360 AI camera."

Wunder360 S1 Specs at a Glance

MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera

From a technical standpoint, the Wunder360 S1 ticks a lot of boxes that the average person may want out of a 360 camera. You can use it as a dedicated device on its own or you can connect over Wi-Fi with your mobile device and control it through the free mobile app. For specs:

  • Dual 360-degree field of view
  • Aperture: F/2.4
  • CMOS sensor
  • Photo size: 4096 x 2048 pixels
  • Video size: 3040 x 1520 @ 30fps or 2176 x 1080 @ 60fps
  • microSD storage
  • 1200 mAh removable battery
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4/5GHz)
  • micro USB 2.0 connectivity
  • Weight: 98 grams
  • Dimensions: 74 x 50 x 35 mm

There is also an on-board 32 x 64 pixel status display.

What's in the Box?

MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera

What you get in the box with the Wunder360 S1 will depend on "perk" level that you choose to support the project on Indiegogo. From what I can gather, the review sample that I received as reasonably representative of the retail model, with the addition of the optional waterproof case and a couple of small accessories: a mini tripod, a carrying pouch, and a cleaning cloth.

When you put the camera inside the waterproof case, it should be able to withstand depths of up to 100 feet of fresh water. I didn't quite test it that far, but I did take it for a little plunge in a hotel pool and it held up just fine. The waterproof case has external plungers so you have full access to the physical controls.

MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera

The contents of the Wunder360 S1 box itself are relatively minimalist. You get the camera itself, of course, as well as supporting documentation and the microUSB charging cable. There is no included wall adapter or microSD card, so you'll need to supply those yourself. That said, some of the backing packages on the Indiegogo campaign do include a memory card.

User Interface and Mobile App

MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera

This is going to sound really basic. Although I'm not especially experienced with 360 cameras, the ones I've played with have either been lacking in adequate physical controls or they outright require you to connect the camera to a mobile app to do anything. That's thankfully not the case here and you'll be perfectly happy using the Wunder360 S1 in a standalone fashion.

On one side of the device, you'll find a square "M" button that's used to switch between the different modes. These modes are clearly indicated on the little on-board display as you cycle through photo, timer, video looping and so forth. Above that is a prominent red record button, easily reachable with your thumb, and above that is the LED indicator. I found this was great for taking selfies (using the 2-second timer).

The display will also show if your Wi-Fi is connected, how much storage you have left, how much battery you have left, the resolution, and so on. You do need to get into the app for fine tuning, but for regular everyday use, this is perfectly adequate.

MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera

On the top of the device is where you'll find the Wi-Fi button and the power button. When you turn on the Wunder360 S1, the Wi-Fi is enabled by default and it'll start looking for your connected mobile device.

MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera

The free mobile app, downloadable from the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store, is decidedly simple and straightforward. You can use it to frame your shots and adjust some basic settings, but it's not nearly as robust as I had hoped. In sifting through the Indiegogo page, I saw the ability to play with advanced features like AI smart tracking, smart stabilization, a phantom clipper and more. However, you will need to upload your clips to the associated cloud service to perform many of these functions.

And while you can switch between a few different viewpoints when reviewing shots you've taken, like fisheye and wide-angle, it's unfortunate that the Wunder360 watermark is added to tiny planet shots by default. There's no way to remove that watermark in-app, as far as I can tell, but the watermark is not hard-encoded into the image file itself. It just means you need to edit the photo back on a computer, which takes away from the ability to instantly share the 360 tiny planet image on social media sans watermark.

Photo and Video Samples

MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera

If you're expecting to get some truly tremendous images out of this 360 camera, you're probably going to be sorely disappointed. Each of the two cameras produces a photo that is 2048 x 2048 pixels, automatically stitched together in-camera to form a 4096 x 2048 pixel photo. That sounds like a decent resolution until you realize that it has to cover such an impossibly wide angle, far wider than you get with a more "normal" field of view on a "regular" camera.

The low-light capabilities will understandably leave something to be desired, but I found that the camera still wasn't even the best out in more ideal conditions outside. The net result is an image that's probably a little better than your basic, entry-level webcam, but you gain the ability to shoot truly spherical photos and videos. It's cool, but not great.

MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera

From what I can gather, the embedded 360 photo above of me at the local skate park doesn't really work as a true 360 experience here. It's just an ultra wide, all the way around panorama. However, you can check that photo out, as well as a few other sample photos on Flickr, where you can pan and scroll your way around.

Support for 360 photos is growing online; the image files are supported in Google Photos and Facebook, for example, straight out of camera. Of course, you can convert them to tiny planets and other formats for a more "standard" sharing experience.

In terms of videos, I toyed around with the camera for a recent vlog. The Wunder360 S1 footage starts around the 1:54 mark in the vlog embedded below. I used some third party software to transition from a fisheye view to the tiny planet. The stitch points are pretty obvious, but it does make for a neat effect.

And here is the "raw" 360 video footage for the same segment.

You should be able to pan around the YouTube video here, as well as take advantage of Google Cardboard for a VR perspective.

MEGATechie All Around You or MEGATechie Spinning in Circles?

MEGATech Reviews: Wunder360 S1 360 Camera

If you go in with a tempered set of expectations, there's a lot to like about the Wunder360 S1. It's really easy to use and comes with a good variety of basic modes to cover the bases. The in-camera stitching is reasonably effective, even if the seams can be pretty obvious. Image quality is about as good as a webcam, but the ease of operation and affordable price point strike a good enough balance to justify it.

The additional advanced functions and features through the cloud service are intriguing too, but it would be nice if you could do more directly on camera, through the mobile app, or even through a provided desktop app. For now, I find myself using a third-party editor for most of my needs. I just wished they removed the Wunder360 watermark from tiny planets in the mobile app.

The Indiegogo campaign wraps up in a few days -- it's raised over $600,000 (of its $20,000 flexible goal) as of this writing -- so be sure to back the project by the end of the week. The featured pledge level is $139 plus shipping. That gets you the Wunder360 S1 camera itself, as well as the waterproof case, selfie stick, 16GB SD card, SD card reader, one year cloud service, 1200 mAh battery, dual battery charger, helmet strap mount and mini tripod. Expected delivery is November 2018.


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