Virtual reality headsets may be on many holiday wish lists, but VR production tools? Not so much. After all, when was the last time someone gave you a $45,000 Christmas gift (like the Nokia Ozo), or even a $5,000 gift (like the GoPro Omni)?
That’s what makes the Cyber Monday announcement of the Insta360 Air particularly timely. At $99 for those who pre-order the camera on Indiegogo, it’s an affordable clip-on 360 camera for Android phones (and a useful tool to dip your toes into the VR waters).
The camera stitches footage from 210-degree dual fisheye lenses in real time for 3K still photos and 2K video at 30 fps (up to 3K video on some Android systems like the Samsung S7 and Huawei P9). The camera also offers advanced stabilization and adjustable shutter speed and ISO.
After connecting the camera to an Android device via micro USB, the app automatically launches to make capturing quick 360 videos and stills easier. The app also features a handful of image and video editing tools and four viewing modes: flat mode, sphere mode, VR mode and planet mode.
Users can also share immediately to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, Messenger and WeChat, as well as livestream 360 video to various platforms. The camera can also be used as a 360 webcam for laptops and integrates with Skype and other meeting software.
The Insta360 Air is available in four colors (black, white, pink and yellow) and comes with a cable to connect the device to a laptop to use as a webcam or for longer video and livestream capture.
Insta360’s goal for its Indiegogo campaign is $20,000 to put the device into mass production, and, at the time of publication, the campaign had already raised nearly $12,000. After the campaign is complete, the cameras will be available on Amazon and on Insta360’s official online store for $119.
In addition to the basic bundle with camera and cable, Insta360 is also offering Indiegogo packages including accessory bundles, multiple Insta360 Airs at a further discount, and packages including both the Insta360 Air as well as the Insta360 Nano, the company’s clip-on 360 camera for iPhone.
The Insta360 Air is expected to ship worldwide in March of 2017. The usual health warning applies – like almost all crowdfunding campaigns a pledge does not guarantee that you will receive the product, or that it will meet the timeline goals.
For more information, visit the Insta360 website.