360° videos

360° videos got very popular on Facebook and YouTube since they implemented this feature and I think this trend will get bigger. The first videos were done using 6 GoPros in a cage. With the cheaper Xiaomi Yi Action Camera it was easier to afford 6 of the same cameras and soon a cage for this camera was available. Beginning this year Nikon announced the 4K KeyMission 360 (not available yet). KeyMission features two lenses, so just one camera for a 360 video. With the Amkov AMK100S now there is an affordable camera to start with 360° videos.

There are two other cameras looking like the AMKOV AMK100S: the Andoer 360 and the OKAA 360. The specs seem to be the same:

AMKOV AMK100S

AMKOV AMK100S

 

AMKOV AMK100S Specs

Image Sensor: 
AMKOV AMK100S uses a 8 MP Sony sensor.

Chipset:
The camera holds a Sunplus 6350 chipset, same chip is used in the EKEN H8 and H9.

Resolution Frame Rates:

  • 1920 x 1440P – 30fps
  • 1440 x 1080P – 30fps

I’ll explain how these videos are handles later on.

Video Format:
.mov video format; .h264 codec

Photo resolution
You can select: 8MP (3264×2448), 5MP (2592×1944), 4MP (2304×1728) photo resolution; .jpg format

Lens:
The AMOV AMK100S has a 360 degree omni-directional angle lens; f2.0 aperture.

Connectivity & Ports:
Wifi is built in to connect with the SYMAX360 app (Android & iOS)
It also offers a microHDMI as well as a microUSB port.

Storage:
microSD card, 8 – 32 GB cards are supported, class 10 recommended.

Display:
The AMOV AMK100S has a small display to check settings of the camera – no live view.

Battery:
A 1000 mAh removable lithium ion battery is included; working time stated is 2 hours.

Dimensions:
51 x 42 x 36.v mm; 84g (including battery)

AMKOV AMK100S Dimensions

AMKOV AMK100S Dimensions

 

Accessories:

AMXOV AMK100S comes with lots of accessories including: waterproof housing, transparent protective frame, silicone protective case with suction cups, adhesive or helmet mount, bike handlebar, GoPro adapters, bag, USB cable (80cm) & English user manual:

AMKOV AMK100S Accessories

AMKOV AMK100S Accessories

 

Retailer / Price Comparison:

Amkov AMK100S

  • Banggood: 119.99 USD
  • Gearbest: 107.99 USD – coupon code: FCKAC
  • Geekbuying: n/a
  • Aliexpress: n/a
  • Amazon: n/a

Andoer

OKAA

 

App

How to connect:

Press the wifi key on the camera to activate wifi. Open up the SYMAX360 app on you smartphone and look for the wifi: AMK100Sxxxxxx

The wifi password will be display on the camera’s LCD screen, standard password is: 1234567890

 

Remote Control

There is also a remote control available for the camera. With the remote control you can power on /off the camera and start/stop video recording and take photos. Working range is about 30m. The new remote control looks a bit different than the ones already sold with AMKOV cameras:

AMKOV AMK100S - Remote Control

AMKOV AMK100S – Remote Control

 

Body, Buttons & Ports

AMKOV AMK100S - front and back side

AMKOV AMK100S – front and back side

 

Frist of all it is important to know how to hold the camera. The recorded video file is a round video (spherical video), which will be stretched into a panoramically video. The side which holds the 1/4″ tripod thread as well as the door with microSD card slot, microUSB and micro HDMI port (right photo) will be the center of the panoramically video. The side which holds the LCD screen will be the left and right and, stitched together in the 360° video and on the backside of the video, when uploaded to Facebook or YouTube.
On on smaller side of the camera are the buttons located: Power / mode switch button, wifi button and shutter / record button.
On the back of the camera there is the door for the 1000 mAh battery:

AMKOV AMK100S Battery

AMKOV AMK100S Battery

 

Functions & Settings

The camera has 3 main modes which can be switched with the power/mode button: video recording mode, driving mode and photo mode.

Video Mode:
In video mode a camera symbol is displayed in the upper left corner of the LCD display. You can start/stop recording with the shutter button and the red LED indicator light is flashing

Driving Mode:
This mode is indicated with a small car symbol in the upper left corner of the display. The camera will record 3 min. clips and delete the first ones recorded, once the microSD card is full

Photo Mode:
The photo mode is indicated with a small folder icon labelled “P”; the counter indicates how many pictures can be taken until the SD card is full

 

Settings:
Long-press the wifi button to enter the camera’s settings. You can switch photo/video settings and camera settings by pressing the power button.

Video Settings:
In the video settings you can select resolution, image stabilizer or invert mode.

Camera Settings:
include power save options (when the camera powers down if in standby) date & time as well as language

 

360° video workflow

How do you get to a 360° Facebook or YouTube video:

The camera records a max. 1920 x 1440 video (that’s 4:3 – max. sensor size). The recorded video is spherical which looks like this:

AMKOV AMK100 - spherical video

AMKOV AMK100 – spherical video

 

If you upload a video like this to YouTube or Facebook, it will stay like this. Could be a nice effect, often referred to as “small planet”, but If you want a 360° where you can move around by moving your smartphone, you have to convert the video. The PC software is available for free from AMKOV’s website: Symax 360 Video Controller. Currently only a Windows version is available. Simply import the video file from your camera (which is a .mov file) and convert it. The output video will be a .mp4 file with 360° meta data (more on that later) and now is a panoramic video (1920 x 960):

AMKOV-AMK100-panoramic-video

AMKOV AMK100 panoramic video

 

As you can see it is important to know where the camera points to. The side of the display was facing the car’s logo which is on top of the spherical video. Now in the panoramic video it is not centered. The new center of the video is the small side of the camera where the buttons are located!

If you want to edit the output video you have to create a .mp4 file. But careful the output video from your editing software will not include 360° meta data information. You have to add them before uploading the video to YouTube or Facebook. The software is for free and available for Mac and Windows. Just import the video and save it, it just takes some seconds. Now you can upload the video to YouTube and Facebook.

 

Demo Video

Here’s a Demo Video my friend Stefan did during his Surfing Trip. Make sure to watch it on your Smartphone using the YouTube App and move around!
When watching on a computer, use the Chrome Browser!

 

 

Conclusion

To me the camera is very appealing as it seems to be an affordable entry product to shoot 360 video. You don’t have the hassle of getting 6 cameras, the cage and the expensive software to stich the footage. The 360° trend is catching up, the Nikon KeyMission with better specs will be available soon. The KeyMission is a camera with 2 lenses, but of course, with a higher price tag. Another similar looking product is the Kodak SP360, where you need 2 cameras to achieve a 360°video. I’m very curious about the results and will post them soon – stay tuned!

 

Retailer / Price Comparison:

Amkov AMK100S

  • Banggood: 119.99 USD
  • Gearbest: 107.99 USD – coupon code: FCKAC
  • Geekbuying: n/a
  • Aliexpress: n/a
  • Amazon: n/a

Andoer

OKAA

 

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