We have all seen the Facebook and YouTube 360 degree videos that work great with VR goggles or using your phone to explore. I have often wondered how to make those. The Monster Digital Vision VR ($379.99) allows users to create 360-degree virtual memories to share with friends and family. It is even easy to share the videos from your phone.
The Monster Vision VR records video and takes photos with dual lenses then stitches those images together to create 360-degree videos that can be uploaded to Facebook or YouTube. The videos allow viewers to utilize VR goggles such as the Monster Vision VR Headset With Integrated Headphones (which will be my next review so stay tuned), a smartphone, or drag the image with a mouse if on a computer to get a 360-degree view of the video. It is quite remarkable and unique.
The kit comes with everything you will need to get started. Three mounts, bendable tripod, 16GB microSD card, card reader, remote and charging cable. The camera includes a tripod mount and can also use an adapter to connect to most action camera accessories. I was surprised with the number of accessories that came with the kit.
The camera itself is similar to most action cameras but you will notice one huge difference. There are lenses on both sides. These wide-angle lenses provide the double images that are stitched together to provide the 360-degree viewing options.
The controls on the camera are simple to use. On top is a power button, record button, and WiFi button. Press the WiFi button to turn it on and control and download videos with your phone. A long press on the same button will access the menu. The video settings are self-explanatory and easy to change.
I found the camera much easier to control with the phone app. The app is much like any other used for cameras once connected to the WiFi. There are options on the top of the screen to change the views and downloading is a snap.
Once the video is downloaded, access it through the app and click the share button. I am assuming this is where the software magic happens and transforms the video into Facebook and YouTube 360 formats. If the video does not appear on the site immediately or has an odd look, just wait a few minutes and it will show correctly.
**If the supplied videos do not show 360-degree viewing, watch on the YouTube app on your phone.**
I took these videos on a recent hunt. The above video is my walk to the blind and the other is inside the feeder pen. I really wanted to be able to show some 360-degree views of animals, but I had to wait a few hours for them to come in and the camera was either asleep or out of battery by that time. At any rate, it is really cool to be able to share a complete view of your experience. If you view on a phone, simply use the phone to look around. If using VR goggles, tap the cardboard option and if on a computer, drag the screen around.
The video produced is high quality, but not super high def. I think that is due to the work it takes to stitch and convert the video to be viewed in 360 degrees but I am still satisfied with the results. I have always seen videos that do this, but never dreamed I would have the ability to try it on my own. I really wish I would have had this camera when we visited the Grand Canyon.
The Monster Digital Vision VR is a sweet little camera that will bring you into producing your own 360-degree videos. The camera is small and light, but still rugged. The package comes with many accessories making the camera fully ready to go right out of the box. I found the settings easy to use and the use of the phone app makes it simple to control and download. The videos are easily downloaded to a phone then uploaded to either YouTube or Facebook to share almost instantly. Now you can share special experiences with friends as if they are there with you.
Source: Manufacturer’s supplied review unit
What I like: Easy way to make 360-degree videos. Works with VR goggles.
What could be improved: I would love to be able to use this under water