Sunday, August 19, 2018

Wunder360 S1... Reviewed!

If you're familiar with our product reviews... you know its time for an unboxing!

As you see, this camera was shipped from Hong Kong... and the shipping box (in the bag) was beaten up, but the camera's box was fine. Its durable and the thick foam in the retail box should keep your purchase more than safe during shipment. Once mass production begins, retailers will be selling the camera Stateside... so it won't have to travel as far as this one did. It came super quick though (in a matter of a few days)... some of my personal online purchases have taken longer. By the way, shout out to Evomotion for supplying the camera for this review.

This is my first time reviewing a camera... so bear with me. The Wunder360 S1 is a... 360 camera (duh of the day), and while I haven't reviewed others... I can say that this is a pretty cool piece of tech that came along way. Wunder360 was established back in 2015, can you believe its 2018 already? Time flies but... they were able to get through a round of investments a year later, followed by the birth of the conceptual design work in 2017 and so on. They were also able to pull off a very successful Indiegogo in July (2018). 

How successful? Hmmm... outside of meeting their goal in 30 minutes (yes 30 minutes), they surpassed their goal by 2700%. I'd be flipping flapjacks at that point, but they've been on a journey for a while... so did it just... get... real? No, not really, but that's not a bad thing because it's cool and insightful to see them work their plan and have it come to this point.

Some of you may have seen the Wunder360 S1 at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, MWC 2018 in Barcelona, or even Computex 2018 in Taipei... but to see it and experience it up close and personal is sweet. By the way, shipments to Indiegogo backers will go out as early as October 2018 (US & EU initially).

Backers are receiving things that I as a reviewer did not get for this review, which are:

Wunder360 S1 Waterproof Case (that can go up to 100ft underwater)
Selfie Stick
16GB Class 10 micro SD Card (up to 64GB)
2 X 1200 mAH Batteries (you should have about 45 minutes of juice per battery)
Dual Battery Charger
Helmet Strap Mount
One Year Free Cloud Service

I usually don't mention this sort of stuff (specifics of a crowdfund that is), but the included items compliment this camera perfectly. I'm sure some owners of this camera will not be scuba diving, climbing mountains, or even racing down a track... but if you decide to go bad ass all of a sudden... the camera's ready when you are. Did I ever tell you guys how I had to drive down a bridge and floor the gas on an old pick up truck in order to drive through fire? It wasn't intentional, but that would've been one heck of an experience to capture on video. That said... time to get onto my review. 

The Wunder360 S1 is presented as the first 3D scanning and 360 AI camera. Its very lightweight weighing less than a pound (0.216053lb to be exact) and its super portable... literally fitting in my pocket. The design looks good and it feels good with buttons in the right places. Right off the bat... one thing I would add to the design... is grip. I would've run grips down the four rounded corners of the camera... or rubber siding. Even if it may change the look of the overall design... I think that the increased grip would be perfect for this sort of handheld design.

The camera has dual wide-angle lenses with a 360 x 360 field of view, CMOS sensor type, removable battery (which is always plus... vs that built-in battery crap), and the mount socket is a standard 1/4 inch size so you can use various existing mount accessories. The beauty of an industry standard size... is you don't have to go out to seek, find, and pay more for proprietary accessories. Granted the waterproof case is proprietary... that makes sense to fit the actual body of the S1.

It also has a small LCD screen for standalone use, and even built in 5G WiFi. You might be wondering why a camera would have 5G WiFi... but that's simply to allow fast access to the camera and transfer via Android or iOS with the Wunder360 app to your device. If you have a phone that isn't compatible with 5G... the camera also has 2.4G. You simply go into the network connections and connect to the one representing your Wunder360 S1 camera, connect (entering the password key of course)... and the app connects to the camera. From there, you can use your phone as a previewer, a remote for the various real-time capabilities of the camera (including record) and downloading recorded video.

The capabilities of the camera (which are easily accessible by your Android or iOS device) include:

Video Looping... ranges from 3mins to 10mins

Time-Lapse... ranges from 0.5seconds to 60seconds

60FPS... in 2K

Video... in 3K at 30FPS

Photo... in 4K (4096 x 2048)

Continuous... which takes 3 rapid shots (options can be changed from 3 to 20)
             - To be specific, you can take 3p/1s to 20p/1s or 20p/2s

Timer... ranges from 2 seconds to 10 seconds

Mirror Ball mode... allows you to basically look around the environment in basic 360.

Fisheye mode... gives you a spherical view of things (which makes things look a bit more curvy).

Tiny Planet mode... is the funniest of these 3 modes because it makes a world out of the things directly around the camera. If you're sitting next to the camera during this mode... chances are your head is going to be magnified and you're going to look hilarious.

Gyro... lets you shift your phone to look around the environment (no screen swiping necessary).

VR... give you the ability to record in VR (second duh of the day), so if you have a VR headset... high five to you.

Tiny Planet... can give you some cool results.

The camera uses micro SD cards as seen above, which can use up to 64GB (Class10 or above UHS-1 required)... and video is saved directly to the card which allows you to download the video directly to your phone through the app. Shout out to Amazon... who supplied us with 3 additional 64GB memory cards. 64GB gives you a little more than 11 hours of recording time... and I'd recommend going the max size if you can because you don't know when the opportunity to record will arise. That at least gives you a good amount of space so you can get in a standard workday worth of video before unloading your card.

One thing I have to give you a heads up on... is that this bad boy runs hot. I don't know to what precise degree, but (sing with me) "While you are shooting... mount up this beauty... because it gets... hot Hot HOT". While looking at images and video on the memory card, the Wunder360 S1 was warm but not bad at all... it was only when capturing video or utilizing the lenses to preview on your phone that the heat turned on. I'm sure the same will apply when it comes to 3D scanning and live streaming, which I haven't had the pleasure of doing yet.

The live streaming function is in beta at this time, with limited functionality... but I didn't have (or I should say I couldn't find) an OTG cable to connect the camera directly to my Android phone yet. Some of you might be thinking "Dude, what about the camera's WiFi?"... and the answer is simple... I can't do two connections at the same time. So when I get the chance to connect... I will try and come back to this review to provide an update. Live streaming can be done on YouTube, Facebook, etc. (I don't know what the etceteras are just yet).

Another feature the camera has is the real-time on-board stitching for video and photos... no post-production necessary, you can literally just take the video from the camera and upload it directly to sites like YouTube and Facebook + VEER. Downloading content to your phone allows you to upload it directly to social media sites as well, but one thing I want to point out is your ability to edit video and images that are on the camera (from your phone). That's pret-ty cool, so not only can you upload with ease, but... you can edit before doing so. This is valuable to me because I'd like to know what specific image or video I'm about to download before taking the time to do so (but to also be able to edit? HECK YEAH)... and the camera doesn't have a built-in screen, so this is a plus.

The S1 may be a 360 camera, but... standard video is also possible. The ViewPilot lets you re-frame 360 videos... and share them as standard video. While (on the other hand) SmartTrack allows you to follow something... which is very cool. You can follow the object in the frame and the app will create a video clip for you automatically... how freaking cool is that? These two things are a plus in my opinion because not only do you get the addition of standard video capability... but you can also save money vs spending cash on a video camera plus the cost of a mount that follows you. I'd say this is even better than a follow mount because you wouldn't have to rerecord compared to a standard camera that missed the shot or was slightly off. It has full 360 viewing capability, so you can just move to the intended target.

Download your video to your phone and access the ViewPilot option.

You can be the person tracking the person or thing, or the person being tracked by the person or the thing... either way the video comes out with no shakes due to the built-in Smart EIS 90axis gyro stabilization system. I've captured and watched plenty of shaken videos... and each one is as annoying as the last, so I always appreciate these sorts of technologies.

Though the service is still in development, check out the Virtual Tour demos seen below (These are promising for people who want to make their own virtual tours.):

3D reconstruction is also part of the available cloud service that's available. You upload your images and video and 3D models are automatically generated with the help of algorithms. From there they're supposedly universally formatted into 3D models that are available for use with popular software, web players, Minecraft scenes and sites like the one listed below: (GameRoom) (IHCafe) (ThaiTemple)

I think one of the things I appreciate most about these types of cameras... is their ability to capture not only intended moments, but also unknown moments. A 360 camera can catch something in the distance or out of view of a standard camera that you may be completely oblivious of until a later time... and that always interesting.

On to the cons... hmmm, I can give this camera a strike for the heat. I don't know what they can do to truly help with that... maybe add some more vents or something, but it does get a bit hot. I'm going to open the door of the camera to see how it cuts down on the temperature vs when it's closed. Another strike I can give it is... there should be 4K video, the lack thereof takes away from the thunder this camera could have. Images are in 4K... but 4K video would've been nice.

Price wise the Wunder360 S1 is priced at $139 for the Indiegogo early bird supporters, which is a steal in my opinion (the items mentioned above are also included in that). There is still time to jump on this... if you're 1 of 40 able to get the perk. (As mentioned before I usually don't mention crowdfunding like this, but) The retail price will be $299 USD... so is this a deal? Yes ladies and gentlemen, based on my experience with this product, that is a deal... especially for those of you looking to make great use out of it. So architects, game developers, curators and anyone else looking for a new cam... this may be the one for you. $299 is still solid but... I like $139 a lot better.

Overall, the Wunder360 S1 is a compact 360 camera that's perfect for capturing video or streaming at home, the office, on the go... or wherever else you see fit. This is my first go-round reviewing a 360 camera, but the capabilities are pretty useful... even if some are still in development at the time of this review. If they deliver the way they plan too... this will be one bad ass super useful little 360 camera.

Design 4.5 (More ventilation could lower the heat)
Quality 4.5
Comfort 5
Price 5

4.75 out of 5 Cool Points

Brought to you by the... Baby Fu Clothing Co!