Nikon KeyMis­sion 360 £499, $499 www.nikon.com

NPhoto - - Gear Zone | New Gear -

To get no­ticed in the com­pet­i­tive ac­tion cam­era world, you need to do some­thing spe­cial. Luck­ily, Nikon’s KeyMis­sion 360 re­ally does of­fer some­thing dif­fer­ent to GoPro. Fea­tur­ing two 180-de­gree lenses, front and back, the KeyMis­sion com­bines the video im­ages from the two sen­sors in-body to pro­duce a 4K UHD vis­ual with a full 360-de­gree field of view. This footage can then be viewed back through the com­pan­ion app, VR gog­gles, or up­loaded to Nikon Im­age Space or YouTube.

Meet­ing the ac­tion cam­era re­quire­ments of be­ing tough, the cam­era is wa­ter­proof down to 30m, shock­proof to 2m and is de­signed to with­stand harsh en­vi­ron­ments of -10ºC to 40ºC (14ºF to 104ºF). A large but­ton on top starts and stops record­ing, and a smaller one on the side en­ables you to di­rectly take a photo, mak­ing it ex­cep­tion­ally easy to use. Un­like the vast ma­jor­ity of ac­tion cam­eras, Nikon has de­signed its own mount with a ¼-in thread, mean­ing you can use Nikon’s own mount or adapt count­less oth­ers.

The re­sult­ing 360-de­gree video is im­pres­sive, with footage vi­brant and de­tailed. The front and rear footage stitch to­gether well, too, and in most scenes you have to look care­fully to see the join. Footage doesn’t suf­fer from the ‘black hole’ that’s of­ten present at the bot­tom of such footage, where the cam­era tries to hide its mount. The KeyMis­sion stretches sur­round­ing pix­els to cover up Nikon’s own mounts, al­though third-party mounts might just be vis­i­ble.

The KeyMis­sion 360 is one of the best com­pact 360 video cam­eras on the mar­ket, and the fact that it’s an ac­tion cam­era to boot makes it even bet­ter. It can cap­ture spec­tac­u­lar footage and is great fun to use. In short, both the hard­ware and desk­top util­ity work bril­liantly – it’s only the app that pre­vents it from scor­ing five stars.

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