The LG 360 Cam was one of the first consumer hand held 360 cameras of its time. Time to look back at it and see what lg did right and what it did wrong.
LG 360 Cam Review
In this hands on review of the LG 360 Cam I will be going over many different things.
- Unboxing the package and go over everything that is included
- Basic design of the 360 camera, buttons and each port
- Battery charging and tests
- Deep dive into the devices menu items and setting options
- Photo and Video tests
- Mobile App pairing and overview of the features of the App
- Any included software which usually is stitching or post production software
- Table of technical specifications
- Any Issues or errors that I experienced throughout the review
- My final thoughts
The LG 360 cam 360 camera comes packaged in a small nice looking package. It has bright colors and looks like a typical LG type of branding on it. Lets go ahead and take a look at what is inside of the packaging and what cords and extras are included.
The product components include the LG 360 cam 360 camera device, cap for the LG 360 cam which acts as a cover for you camera, USB cable for charging and the User Guide for troubleshooting and FAQ. These are the typical things you would expect to be in a 360 camera package sold to consumers. The only thing that is missing that some 360 cameras have included is a mini tripod. The [Samsung Gear 360 2016 model] included a tripod as well as the [Garmin Virb 360 camera].
LG 360 Cam Design
The LG 360 Cam design is built very well and is very easy to use. The camera has a dual camera lens so that it can capture two wide angle shots and stitch together for a 360 degree view. The shutter LED is right below the lens on the main side with the LG logo on it. And the shutter button to take photos and video is right below the shutter LED.
The power button is on one of the sides of the LG 360 cam 360 camera. It is on the same side as the LED lights for 360 or 180 lens modes.
Using the buttons
- Power on – Press and hold the Power Button (1 second)
- Power off – Press and hold the Power Button (4 seconds or longer)
- Take a photo – Press the Shutter Button
- Record a video – Press and hold the Shutter Button (1 second)
- Stop recording – Press the Shutter Button
- Enter sleep mode – Press and hold the Power Button (1 second)
- Exit Sleep mode – Press the Power Button or Shutter Button
- Forced shutdown – Press and hold the Power Button (12 seconds or longer)
The LG 360 cam 360 camera also has a mounting hole for the typical 1/4 thread on tripods. It is not in the middle of the device so make sure to hold on to the camera while twisting it onto the tripod. Most 360 cameras have the mount at the very bottom center of the camera, but this isn’t that big of a deal.
The normal micro SD card is what is used for storing the photos and video taken on the LG 360 cam 360 camera. Most 360 cameras use a micro SD card, so make sure to at least buy one or two extra in case you need more for other cameras. It is also nice to have extras around in case you lose your main one. The LG 360 cam 360 camera supports up to 2 TB storage from the micro SD cards.
The LG 360 cam 360 camera is a camera that doesn’t have a LCD screen to display all the options and settings, so pairing it with a phone is a must if you want to change any specific setting. Most of the larger 360 cameras have smaller LCDs that show you what options are currently available and how to select them.
LG 360 Cam Battery
Battery Charging and Alerts
The Power LED indicates the battery level
- Green – More than 15%
- Red 5% – 15%
- Red Blinking – Less than 5%
Charging the LG 360 cam 360 camera is pretty easy to do. At the bottom of the camera you will find the USB C port. This is what you will have to plug into a USB charger to charge up the phone. As mentioned above the different colored LED lights will let you know what battery % you are currently at.
The LED light on the side of the camera will start as red and slowly will become green when you are fully charged up to 100% in the battery.
Battery Life & Tests
The battery in the LG 360 Cam is 1200 mAh and estimated at a 120 minute charging time.
Test #1 : While recording video at 2560 x 1280 @ 30fps will I run out of storage on my 32 GB microSD card or will I drain the battery to 0% before then. For the first test the results were 5 video files of 20:00, 8:12, 16:18, 16:49 and 4:52 for a total of 68 minutes 11 seconds and a total size of 8.63 GB.
Camera Options and Menu Items
To get the full options and menu items of the LG 360 cam 360 camera, you must pair it with a compatible smart phone device. Both Android and iOS phones are compatible with the device and the pairing Mobile Apps on their respective App Stores.
Timelapse options, Photo resolution options, Video resolution options
This setting has the options of 3 or 10 seconds for the timer to count down from to either take a photo or start to record a video.
Can turn on or off your GPS location so that it will not insert the GPS information in the meta-data of the photograph that you take using the LG 360 Cam 360 camera. This feature is nice if you like to share your photos to your friends and family. This way if the sharing platform that you are going to be using supports meta-data GPS location it will automatically know where you took the photo. If you travel a lot, this is a nice thing to always have on so you can remember where about you took the photo.
- 16M 5660 x 2830
- 2560 x 1280 @ 30fps
- 1920 x 960 @ 30fps
- 1280 x 640 @ 30fps
Shooting settings – Manual / Automatic
If you want to set as many pre-production settings as possible to get the perfect shot, you are definitely able to do so. The manual shooting settings give you a wide variety of options to set.
- WB Range Values : 2400k – 7400k (Blue – Red)
- ISO range 50 – 2700
- Shutter Speed 1/2, 1/8, 1/30, 1/125, 1/500, 1/2000, 1/6000
- One lens or dual lens mode
Image / Photo Quality
Every 360 camera that I test, I make sure to run it through many different photo quality tests. For all of my tests I do not change any settings or configurations, it is all directly out of the box. First I test low light photos with various amounts of lighting (low, medium, high). Then I go to a local park to test a few other specific locations to get as many different lighting, colors and scenery to compare with.
Low Light Photos
The LG 360 Cam has one of the worst results for this low light photography test. This is without any pre or post production changes or changes to any of the settings. It is directly out of the box with default settings and looks like this. The LG 360 Cam had the worst results out of all the 360 cameras that I have tested with this low light photography test. As you can see in the very first photo you can barely see anything.
Other Test Photos
Photo Test #1
Photo Test #2
Photo Test #3
Photo Test #4
Low Light Video
Video Test #1
Video Test #2
360 Cam Manager
This Mobile App is the one for remotely accessing and using the LG 360 Cam 360 camera from a distance. The 360 Cam Manager enables you to do many things that you can’t with just the physical 360 camera. There are many settings and configurations that you can set within the App.
Very rarely do you get to see a help screen that walks you through the functionality of the Mobile Application. This is one thing the LG 360 Cam Mobile App does really well. At the beginning of the menu options you get a small question mark at the bottom of the screen, this opens up the help scroll bar window which walks you through the basic functionality of the 360 Cam Manager mobile app.
The help window tells you about how the 360 degree camera works and that you can take photos and videos in two different ways, 360 and 180. Most 360 cameras have this type of functionality. The LG 360 Cam also can record in 5.1 surround sound, stereo sound or 3D spatial audio. It also shows how to view the photo or video that you have taken in the gallery section.
The last three help window slides talk about the physical design and buttons of the LG 360 Cam. It shows you how to connect to the device via WiFi and how to use the buttons correctly. The LG 360 Cam can be used without the360 Cam Manager Mobile App by just using the physical buttons, but the360 Cam Manager Mobile App is pretty helpful.
Using the Mobile App is pretty simple. The main screen of the App is for taking photos and video, at the bottom of the screen is where you click on the take photo or take video icons to start one or the other. There are also many options surrounding the screen top and bottom. If you don’t want to worry about setting any configurations or settings then just set the adjustments to auto in the top right hand corner.
After taking a few images and videos it is time to view them. You can go to the gallery window which displays all of the photos and videos that you have taken on the LG 360 Cam. If you have transfered any media over to your smart phone then you can click on the bottom tab and change it to ‘My Device’ to see those. At the top right corner we can download the media, share it to any social platforms and or delete the media off of the 360 camera. You can also preview the photos or video by clicking on one of the items in the grid.
After selecting a photo or video to preview, it will open up the preview window. This window has similar options as the gallery window but you can click on the screen and move around the 360 degrees to see what the final results of the photo or video look like. After you are done with previewing the results, you can download the media to your phone, share it to an online social platform and or delete the media from the 360 camera.
LG 360 Cam Viewer
The LG 360 Cam Viewer enables you to view any 360 panoramic photo and video on your phone. It doesn’t have to be taken from the LG 360 Cam 360 camera, if you have other 360 cameras you can still open up and view the results. This is a nice Mobile App to have if you have a ton of panoramic images and you want to be able to change the camera angle to see what it looks like in different positions. One of my favorite things to do with the LG 360 Cam Viewer is to zoom out into a ‘tiny planet’ view so I can see what that specific photo would look like if I added effects onto it to become a ‘tiny planet’ or other effects onto it.
When you open up the LG 360 CAM viewer Mobile App it automatically will find any 360 panoramic photo that is currently on your device. Like most Mobile Apps the 360 panoramic images are in a gallery view so you can easily find the photo that you want to preview.
Once you click on a photo to preview, you are now in a window that allows you to zoom, pinch and rotate around the image. This is an easy way to create a interesting angled photo of a 360 panoramic image. Sometimes I just take a screen shot of the current angled photo and then upload it to social sharing platforms.
The LG Cam Viewer can be downloaded from the LG Website and enables you to view any 360 image on the desktop. It is the same as the Mobile App above but for desktop viewing. You can download both from their website here : Viewer for Mac and Viewer for Windows.
Errors and Issues Experienced
While doing my typical battery test with recording a video I experienced an unexpected setting. I started with 83% battery life and decided to see how much video I can record before I either run out of space on my 32GB microSD card or run out of batteries first. Well, sadly the answer is neither because the LG 360 Cam stopped only after 20 minutes of video and drained the battery to only 60%. I didn’t realize that the LG 360 Cam seems to have a hard stop for video recording at the 20 minute mark. I couldn’t find any settings to change the max amount of time you can record video for so not sure if you can actually change that setting. I found that to be a little unappealing not allowing the user to make a settings change like that.
LG 360 Cam Review – My Thoughts
The LG 360 Cam 360 camera has been out for a very long time now. It was one of the first 360 cameras built by a well known company. 360 cameras were still pretty new to consumers and didn’t have the popularity as they do now. But LG did a great job in creating a simple and easy to use 360 camera. Overall during its time it was a great 360 camera. Now, however there are so many newer 360 cameras that the competition destroys the quality of the LG 360 Cam.
If you want a cheap 360 camera to test out and see how it works, then the LG 360 Cam is a good choice for you. I think it is probably one of the cheapest available, unless the Samsung Gear 360 2016 model price drops, then that might be the cheapest available. Either way, I recommend grabbing a cheap 360 camera just to play with.