Nikon Keymission 360 Review
Nikon, the Japanese company that specializes in optics and imaging has moved into a new line of cameras. With the Keymission 360, Nikon has released its new action camera line. They are shockproof, waterproof, and even freeze-proof. Nikon KeyMission 360 is the first of its kind that does 360 x 360, 4K recording with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities for easy file transfer or smartphone pairing. The files are ready for upload doing away with the time consuming conversion process. If you are looking for a whole new approach to photography, the KeyMission 360 might be able to give you that giddy feeling you once had when you were a novice photographer.
This small cube of a camera has two huge lenses with a protective cover that can withstand a 6 foot drop or dive to a depth of at least 100 feet. The lenses are covered with a plastic dome which is ideal for on the ground shooting, while Nikon also has an underwater lens protector should you want to explore with your photography skills while submerged. The action camera comes with a removable rechargeable battery which will last for at least 50 minutes of recording.
It will take a $400 bite out of your wallet, but it does have a lot to offer for the price. However, the price tag for this piece of equipment can be justified if you consider that this is a 360 degree camera working as an action cam.
• 4K or 1080p 24fps videos
• 30MP 360 degree panoramic images stitched automatically.
• Shock-proof and water-resistant to 100 ft.
• Stills stitched automatically
• YouTube and Facebook upload ready videos
• Overheats due to extended recording
• Can turn on and record accidentally
• Buttons close together, and shoots images accidentally
Nikon KeyMission 360 Technical
Nikon KeyMission 360 has 2×20.1mp 1/ 2.3 inch CMOS sensor with f/2.0 1.6mm ultra-wide-angle lens which is equivalent to a full-frame 8.2mm. The still photos come in 30 mp (360 degree panoramic) and the video footage is Utra HD or 4K. The videos have a 58Mbps bitrate and captures at a rate of 24fps. It has stereo sound at 48khz and a resolution of 3840 x 1920.
If you got lost in the math of how it captures a large 30MP image, there is a simple explanation. It can capture 30MP stills because it stitches 2x 20 MP images for a 360 degree panoramic image.
There is an application specially designed for the Nikon KeyMission 360 which may be mistaken with the standard Snapbridge app. The Snapbridge 170/360 is available for Android and iOS devices which will allow users to take full control of their KeyMission 360 and experience its full capabilities. When paired with the app, users get more options like wind noise reduction, superlapse, timelapse, standard underwater and video modes, and looping. The app will also give remote view of the recording and NTSC or PAL options.
The stills come pre-stitched and are a breeze to transfer and even upload to social media sites. The design is easy to use but you do need a little maneuvering to avoid getting your finger or yourself in the shot. Considering that this is a 360 degree camera, you would expect that there would be a lot of instances where your fingers will get in the way.
A video and a photo button is available to start stitching videos or stills when pressed, and it also has an airplane mode to give you that peace of mind not thinking of accidentally connecting to a phone. Nonetheless, the buttons are going to be a problem. It can turn itself on when packed up in a bag. Since it records videos automatically, there would be a lot of instances where you would record blank videos and muffled sounds, eating away at the battery. It would be better to take out the battery when the camera is not in use.
The entire set up of this camera may seem good enough, but one of the biggest downside this action camera has is the LED indicator for battery life, since it just lights up, there is no precise way of knowing how much battery you have left, better rely on your instincts and math skills on this one. Each battery charge is good for 50 minutes of video. However, a 50 minute 4K 24fps MOV video should be able to fit into 32GB microSD card in terms of file size. That would depend on the type of videos you were storing. Most action cam users usually have a spare battery due to the purpose of the camera. It is suggested that you also buy an extra battery along with the accessories and attachments.
Nikon KeyMission 360 has a traditional size threading at the bottom, for standard tripod mounting. If you have GoPro-style attachments, these would not work unless you have an adapter. The camera is not interoperable with GoPro style tripods and mounts.
Along the battery’s dual locking mechanism sealed door, you will find the HDMI and Micro USB port as well as the MicroSD card slot. Opening and closing the sealed door may be a bit hard, due to the size of the device, and also for the dust-resistant and water-resistant seal.
At first, Nikon KeyMission 360 came out with an app that was hard to use and manipulate, but they were able to redeem this by sending an update. Now, the smartphone app unlocks the full capability of the action camera, making it more than just another device that can stand against pressure and harsh environments. Do not be fooled by its appearance and how it closely resembles action cameras out there, this new offering from Nikon has a lot more to offer and excite professionals and novices alike. It does come with a hefty price tag, but once you have unleashed all the features, you know you have made the right choice.
In terms of choices, Nikon also has the Keymission 170 and the Keymission 80 action cameras. The model numbers refer to the camera’s angle of view, with a wide 170 degrees, and 80 degrees viewing angle respectively. These cater to the more traditional action cam users.