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Top 10 VR cameras for creating amazing virtual reality video

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To turn your ideas into top-quality VR content, you’ll need a VR camera. There are many 360 and 180 cameras on the market, and as VR grows more popular there are some exciting options coming up from big-name brands. Some users are even building high-quality, low-cost DIY rigs. Here are our top VR cameras to make incredible virtual reality videos for DeoVR, focusing on VR180 content. 

Canon R5 C + RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens

Canon’s EOS VR system is the best VR system on the market today, producing 8K VR180 60FPS quality RAW video. But this quality comes at a high cost and there are other issues, such as a paid subscription to Canon’s EOS VR Utility software application to access useful features such as image stabilization and batch exporting. The IPD is slightly too wide, but the DeoVR team are working on modding it to recreate realistic scale

VR videos filmed with Canon R5C

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2021
  • Quality: VR180: 8K 60FPS, 4K, 12-bit color
  • Price: Over $6,000 plus ongoing paid subscription 

Positives: 

  • Superb image quality at the very highest specs available (8K 60FPS)
  • Easy to use
  • Trusted brand making it easy to troubleshoot

Negatives: 

  • Very expensive for base model, plus requires a paid subscription to Canon’s VR Utility
  • Narrow 60mm IPD, leading to scaling issues

Best for: Creators with a high budget who want to film the very best quality VR content. 

CalfVR

The CalfVR is a great mid-priced camera that goes up to 6K quality and even takes 8K images. It’s very easy to use as it stitches footage from both lenses together on the camera into a single file. However, results are less than ideal under low-light conditions. You can even save money with the DeoVR discount code listed in the blog. 

VR videos filmed with CalfVR

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2023
  • Quality: VR180: 6K 50FPS, 4K 60FPS, 8K photos
  • Price: Approx $2,000 (cheaper with DeoVR discount code)

Positives: 

  • Affordable, especially when using the DeoVR discount
  • Very easy to use, footage does not require stitching together
  • Good support for add-ons, responsive support team

Negatives: 

  • 6K quality means quality lags behind 8K competitors
  • Short battery life (approx 40 mins)
  • Poor onboard sound quality

Best for: Beginners to VR who want an easy and affordable route into creating VR videos

GoPro DIY Rig

DeoVR's Daniel and Diego Vega, the creative geniuses behind VR180Films, have designed an 8K VR camera rig. This can’t be bought in the shops, but can be put together for under $1000, plus the use of a 3D printer. 

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2023
  • Quality: 8K, 60FPS, 177-degree FOV
  • Price: Approx $1000

Positives: 

  • Very affordable compared to other models
  • 8K quality footage at a smooth 60FPS
  • Very light and portable

Negatives: 

  • Complex workflow, footage requires stitching together
  • Low battery life
  • Tricky to get each eye perfectly synchronized, leading to issues with fast motion footage

Best for: Experienced creators who want a tough, waterproof VR system at a low cost

Canon Compact Consumer VR Camera (coming soon)

Canon has a new VR 180/360 hybrid camera coming out in 2024, likely to be available for less than $2000 or even under $1000. Is this the affordable VR kit we’ve been waiting for? We’ll have a full review at DeoVR as soon as it hits the market. 

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2024
  • Quality: VR180/360, 8K 30FPS, 4K 120FPS
  • Price: TBC (estimated to be under $1,000)

Positives: 

  • Trusted brand, likely to be easy to use
  • Can film both 180 and 360 content

Negatives: 

  • Hybrid design could mean compromises on quality and build
  • Small sensor on camera could mean subpar visuals

Best for: Newcomers to VR who are willing to wait for an affordable and versatile camera by a trusted brand

Insta360 EVO

A portable foldable camera that records both 360 and 180-degree content. It comes with a built-in tripod, and a range of mobile and desktop apps. It’s quite old now, coming out in 2019 but remains good versatile option for affordable VR filming. 

VR videos filmed with Insta360 EVO

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2019
  • Quality: 360, 180. Video: 5.7K 30FPS video, 4K 50/30FPS, 3K 100FPS. Photos: 6K
  • Price: Approx $500

Positives: 

  • Versatile and easy-to-use VR camera
  • Both 180 and 360 in reasonable quality at an affordable price

Negatives: 

  • Lacks a viewfinder making it harder to set up and frame shots
  • Isn’t waterproof, despite appearances

Best for: VR creators on a budget looking for a portable hybrid camera

TECHE 3D180VR

A relatively new VR camera, released in 2023 and offering sharp 8K visuals at a lower cost than the Canon EOS VR system, but has a few notable drawbacks, such as a built-in battery, poor onboard sound and struggles with dynamic range. It has a nice slimline design plus support for various add-ons. 

Watch VR videos filmed with the TECHE 3D180VR

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2023
  • Quality: VR180, 8K 30FPS
  • Price: Approx $4000

Positives: 

  • Excellent 8K visual quality
  • Cheaper than the Canon EOS for a professional set-up
  • Livestreaming functionality

Negatives: 

  • High cost considering Canon has better specs for not much more
  • Lacks 60FPS framerate
  • Poor onboard sound and battery is built in

Best for: Professional creators who are happy with 30FPS footage as a trade-off for a cheaper initial cost

Z Cam K2 Pro 

Similar to the Canon EOS, but with lower specs, this is another VR180 camera designed for professional VR creators only. The visuals are great, but it maxes out at 5K quality, although it does record in 10-bit color. Rather than buying new, we suggest looking for a second-hand model at a more affordable price. 

Read more about the ZCam K2 Pro as a professional production rig

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2019
  • Quality: VR180, 5K 60FPS, 10-bit color
  • Price: Approx $6000 on release

Positives: 

  • Excellent visual quality, used by top VR180 creators 
  • High framerate and 10-bit color
  • No paid subscriptions and add-ons, unlike Canon

Negatives: 

  • High cost for only 5K video quality
  • Visual quality surpassed by more recent models
  • Footage requires stitching afterwards, making it for experienced users only

Best for: Professional creators who want an all-in-one solution with no extra costs, aside from stitching software

Vuze XR

Another two-in-one VR camera, similar to the Insta360 EVO, this popular model records in both 360 and 180 degrees. It weighs just 212g and comes with a useful handgrip so you can carry it easily and quickly capture the world around you. Impressively, lLivestreaming is possible too. However, it isn’t manufactured any more, so you’ll have to try to find it second-hand. 

Watch videos filmed with the Vuze XR

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2019
  • Quality: 360, 180, 5.7K 30FPS video, 18MP photos
  • Price: Approx $400 when first on sale

Positives: 

  • Low price for good specs
  • Onboard image stitching via XR technology

Negatives: 

  • No viewfinder, requires a phone and app to adjust settings and frame
  • Requires a solid case to become waterproof
  • Small sensor mean poor low-light performance

Best for: Users who want a smart second-hand hybrid VR camera

Z Cam K1 Pro

A semi-professional camera, which isn’t quite as impressive as the Z Cam K2 Pro but shouldn’t be dismissed outright. It only records in 30FPS but there have been good results when interpolating up to a smooth 60FPS. It can be operated by a one-man team to produce good results. Although the footage needs stitching together, it comes with the appropriate software. 

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2018
  • Quality: 180, 6K 30FPS video, 8-bit color 18MP photos
  • Price: Approx $3000 

Positives: 

  • Capable of professional quality POV VR video
  • Comes with easy to use proprietary stitching software Wonderstitch

Negatives: 

  • Only records in h264
  • Poor performance in low-light conditions
  • Only 30FPS framerate 

Best for: Experienced amateurs looking to step up to a better model (buy second-hand for a reasonable price)

Meta Quest 3 Onboard Camera

Did you know you can record VR footage using your Meta Quest 3? It’s perfectly possible but the results aren’t so great when compared to the devices in this list dedicated to recording VR video. However, if you own a Quest 3 and want to experiment with recording VR footage, this is a great place to begin before making a big purchase. You can also record gameplay footage of games played on the Quest 3 headset. We have a full tutorial so you can try recording VR video on your Quest 3 easily. 

VR videos recorded with the Meta Quest 3

Specs: 

  • Release date: 2023
  • Quality: 4K 60FPS, 40mbps bitrate
  • Price: Free (providing you own a Quest 3 headset)

Positives: 

  • Available to anyone with a Quest 3 headset
  • Useful way to test out the art of VR filming for low or zero cost

Negatives: 

  • Poor visuals, only 4K
  • Footage isn’t 180 degrees, more like approximately 100 degrees

Best for: Total beginners who own a Quest 3 headset and want to try out some VR filming ideas before buying a VR camera

Agree or disagree with these choices?  Join the discussion at the DeoVR forum, Facebook and Reddit.

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