The Nikon Keymission 360 camera is a well built powerhouse of a camera. It has many great features and is on the higher end of resolution when it comes to both video and photo quality.
Nikon Keymission 360 Review
For this review I will be going over many different things. Unboxing, everything included, design, battery size and tests, photo quality and video quality, mobile application, software included, any errors or issues and my final thoughts about the 360 camera.
The Nikon Keymission 360 camera has probably the largest packaging out of any 360 camera that I have seen. It has a decent amount of goodies inside of the box, but they probably could have made it a lot smaller.
Inside we have a few wires for charging, extra lens covers, a camera rubber covering and many different sticky mounts to attach to multiple objects.
Nikon Keymission 360 Design
The Nikon Keymission 360 camera is a pretty beefy camera. It feels like it is very well built and can take a beating or two. This camera is one of the few cameras that has high ratings for water, dust, temperature and shock resistance levels. Not too many 360 cameras have the same ratings of the Nikon Keymission 360 which make it a unique action camera that can withstand the elements.
Many buttons surround the entire casing, so lets go over each one and see what exactly its purpose is. One unique feature of the Nikon Keymission 360 is that if the battery is in and has more then 0% then it is kind of on all the time. If you click on either the video button or the photo button the Nikon Keymission 360 camera will come to life and take that photo or video for you.
Below is an image of one of the the sides of the Nikon Keymission 360 camera. This side has the button for taking a photo. As you can see there is a camera icon below the button with the text ‘ON’ next to it. If you do not have a remote device to activate the camera you can easily just click on this to start the photography capture process.
On the top of the Nikon Keymission 360 camera, we can see this longer button in the center of the camera. To the left of it is the battery LED light and to the right of it we can see the text ‘ON’ and a video icon. It also looks like a video button because the middle of the button has a red dot which usually means that a video is currently recording. This is obviously the button that starts recording video on the Nikon Keymission 360 camera. Just like the camera button, just tapping this button will wake up the 360 camera and start recording video.
On the other side of the Nikon Keymission 360 camera we have a enclosed hinge-like compartment. If we unlock it and open it we can see what is inside. Here we have the battery spot, the mini hdmi port, the micro SD card slot and the mini USB port as well. To charge the battery, you must plug in the micro USB cord into an outlet or into a computer.
In this section I will be going over the battery size, charging times and amount of video you can record before draining the battery to 0%
The battery included with the Nikon Keymission 360 camera is a Nikon Lithium ION battery pack 3.7V 1050mAh 3.9Wh. Along with the battery you get a Nikon AC adapter with an Input rating of 100V-240V ~50/60Hz 0.14A-0.08A 12VA-18VA and an Output rating of 5V 1A. Using the Nikon AC adapter it takes about 2 hours to charge the battery from 0% to 100%.
For all 360 cameras I do a battery test by recording video on a 64GB microSD card to see if I will run out of batteries first or fill up the SD card first. After recording video at Ultra HD 4K resolution at 24 fps I have found that you can record up to 78.2 minutes of video or total size of 42.88 GB before you go to 0% on your battery. Pretty decent for the video resolution that you can record at Ultra HD 4K resolution at 24 fps.
The Nikon Keymission 360 camera also records chunk size video clips similar to most other video cameras. It typically records up to 7 minutes and 30 seconds before creating another video file on the microSD card. Occasionally it will be slightly longer, I have had 7:30, 8:02, 9:40, 7:40 but most hover around the 7:30 mark.
This 360 camera is one of the few cameras that does not have an overheating problem when recording long continuous amounts of video. Both the Samsung Gear 360 2016 camera model and 2017 camera model have issues with overheating.
Camera Menu Items and Options
The Nikon Keymission 360 camera does not have a LCD display that enables you to set the configuration or settings of the camera without using a remote control or a Mobile App using your smart phone. You must download the SnapBridge 360/170 Mobile App either on the iTunes store for iPhones or the Google Play Store for Android phones.
Once you are inside of the Mobile App, you have plenty of options to choose from for both photography and video on the 360 camera.
In the Mobile App we have an option for ‘Shooting options’ under this we have three selections : Movies, Still Images and Shooting options.
In the Movies menu item we have a few options for recording video : Movie mode, Movie options, NTSC/PAL and Wind noise reduction.
This gives us a lot of different options for recording video, : Standard movie, Superlapse movie, Loop recording and Time-lapse movie, lets take a look at what we can do.
Standard Move : This option is just for recording normal video.
Super lapse movie – Take movies at slow frame rates that play back at high speeds. Use to compress time in panning shots.
- 2x, 4x, 6x, 10x, 15x
Loop recording – This option gives us the ability to continuously record in loops. The settings for the time are as followed
- 5 min, 10 min, 30 min, 60 min
Time-lapse movie – This option will continuously take a photo every certain amount of seconds and create a time lapse video out of all those photos. The settings for the time are :
- 2 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, Night sky
Under this menu item, we get to choose the resolution and frame rate for recording video, the options available are
- 2160/24p, 1920/24p, 960/30p, 640/120p and 320/240p
This option allows us to choose from NTSC and PAL. The option selected determines the frame rate options available for Movie options.
Under still images we have two menu items, Image size and Self-timer.
Here we have the ability to choose the photo resolution for all of our photographs we plan on taking, we have two options available.
- 7744 x 3972 and 3872 x 1936
This option is used if you do not have a remote control device to trigger the camera or you just want to get out of the way of the photograph before it takes a picture. The options available are
- Off, 2seconds , 10 seconds
Under this setting, we have a few nice settings available for shooting :
- Underwater : Yes / No
- Active D-Lighting : Yes / No
- White balance : Auto, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy
- Color options : Standard, Vivid, Monochrome
- Exposure compensation : postive or negative : 2, 1.7, 1.3, 1.0, .7, 0.0
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 Nikon Keymission 360 camera has one of the best results for low light photography. 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 this good.
Test Photo 1
Test Photo 2
Test Photo 3
Test Photo 4
I do similar tests with video as I do with the photography, this way it is easy to compare to tother 360 cameras.
Low Light Video
Video Test 1
Video Test 2
The SnapBridge 360/170 Mobile App for the Nikon Keymission 360 camera is not the friendliest and or easiest to use Mobile Application for 360 cameras. It has a lot of windows and a lot of settings for many different things. Sadly, most of the time I tried to use it when it first came out I could barley keep a connection to the Nikon Keymission 360 camera with my newer smart phone. Eventually after many firmware upgrades and Mobile App updates it has been a lot better, but the damage has already been done.
Lets go over the Mobile App
Below we have the main tabs of the Nikon Keymission 360 SnapBridge 360/170 Mobile App. The main tab you will be accessing and using the most is the third tab for connecting to the camera and transferring photos from the camera onto your device. Clicking on the ‘Remote photography’ button will attempt to connect to the Nikon Keymission 360 camera.
Once you have connected to the Nikon Keymission 360 camera, it is time to either start recording video, take a photograph or set up the camera settings.
Lets go ahead and jump into the settings, which is the farthest to the right button in the shape of a gear. Here we are going to have all of our shooting options available. Listed are Movies, Still images and more Shooting options.
Lets jump into Movies and see what additional options we have to select. Here we can choose the type of ‘movie’ or video we want to shoot under Movie mode, we also have the ability to select the video resolution we want to be filming at. Next lets see what type of Movie mode options we have to select.
Inside of the Movie modes option we have a few video types that we can record : Superlapse movie, Loop recording and time-lapse movie.
All have their own unique type of recording features.
- Superlapse movie: Take movies at slow frame rates that play back at high speeds. Use to compress time in panning shots.
- Loop recording: Film in a loop, with the movie automatically deleting filmed footage and resuming recording after a set interval. The camera stores only a set length of footage recorded immediately before filming ends.
- Time-lapse movie: Join a series of photos taken at a set interval into a time-lapse movie. Select Night sky for time-lapse movies of the night sky.
But lets say we are going to just have the typical standard movie mode which is normal video, what resolution options do we have to choose from? Lets next go into the movie options to select a resolution right for us.
As we can see above, we have a wide variety of recording options. These are the frame size and rate of our videos. So this might look a little strange, but they only display the height of 2160 and not the width which would be 3840. An easier explanation is that the resolution is 3840 x 2160 @ 24fps which is what most other 360 cameras display as the video resolutions.
Now lets take a look at the Still images options, under the Shooting options we are going to select ‘Still Images’ to see all of the options available.
Here we can select the photo resolution as well as a self timer for taking a photograph after an interval of seconds.
So the Image resolution sizes that we can choose from are 7744x 3872 or 3872 x 1937. The highest resolution of 7744 x 3872 is pretty impressive, not too many 360 cameras have that type of resolution for photography in 360 degrees.
For the self timer, we only get a very few options as you can see above. Off, 2 seconds or 10 seconds. Not exactly the best configuration options but I think those will work well for most users.
The Nikon Keymission 360 does not come with any special software packages for your desktop computer. Because everything is done internally inside of the 360 camera, you don’t need any special software. The stitching of the photos and video are all done automatically for you.
Errors, Issues and Complaints
When the SnapBridge 360/170 Mobile App first came out, it was awful. I had so many issues trying to connect to the Nikon Keymission 360 camera and keep the connection going. The Mobile App is also not very user friendly, they made it pretty difficult to find everything and made too many windows with too many options. They could have cut the Mobile App screens in half and made it simpler to use.
The one touch turn on button for both the camera and video are not the best solutions for anybody who is just carrying around the camera in a bag or container. If you barely touch either button it will automatically start recording video or take a photograph of the inside of wherever it is. This is awful if you accidentally bump the record video button because you could accidentally trigger the video recording while driving to your photo shoot destination and once you arrive you find that you just wasted not only your battery but all your space on the micro SD card.
Nikon Keymission 360 Review – Final Thoughts
Overall the Nikon Keymission 360 does have great quality photos and video. If you can deal with the stupid auto video record button and the crappy Mobile Application, then you have a decent 360 camera. But when the Nikon Keymission 360 was released brand new there were way to many problems with it, which is why it is rated close to one or two stars in every marketplace. The cost of the Nikon Keymission 360 was pretty expensive too, I think it was around $500 when it first came out.
The Nikon Keymission 360 does have more options and configuration than most other 360 camera competitors. If you are used to using fancy cameras with a lot of settings, then you might also like this 360 camera. Most of the time 360 camera consumers just want a click and go type of device.
Another great part of the Nikon Keymission 360 camera is the resistance to the elements. It probably has one of the best ratings for water, shock, freezing and dropping resistance rating. So if you want an on the go action camera that can live up to the horrific elements, this is probably your camera to use.
It also has the best out of box low light settings for any 360 camera that I have tested. If you looked at the low light photograph testing and video testing that I did, you can easily tell that it automatically adjusts everything for you. So if you do a lot of low light photography or video recording, this might be a great choice for you.