Not so long ago, Nikon introduced a new product line consisting of three action cameras called KeyMission, designed for demanding users. Built-in protection against external influences, 4K recording in two more expensive models and the ability to shoot panoramic video with a viewing angle of 360 degrees in the flagship model. The latter will be discussed in our review.
- Matrices: 2 CMOS 21 MP, 1 / 2.3 inches
- Lens: NIKKOR x2, f / 2, 1.6 mm
- Focusing range: 30 cm to infinity from the center of the front of the lens
- ISO Values: 100 to 1600
- Shutter speed: 1/8000 to 1 s
- Metering Mode: Dot Matrix
- Exposure control: programmed automatic exposure mode, exposure compensation (from –2.0 to +2.0 EV in increments of 1/3 EV)
- Shutter: Matrix
- File System: DCF and Exif 2.3 compliant
- Photo Resolution: 7744 × 3872
- Video Resolution (NTSC): 2160 / 24p, 1920 / 24p, 960 / 30p, 640 / 120p, 320 / 240p
- Video Resolution (PAL): 2160 / 24p, 1920 / 24p, 960 / 25p, 640 / 100p, 320 / 200p
- Interfaces: HDMI-output, USB-interface, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Display: no
- Memory Card Support: microSD, microSDHC
- Supported Operating Systems: Android, iOS
- Security: protection from falls from a height of 2m, diving to a depth of 30m
- Battery capacity: 1050 mAh
- Weight: 198 grams
- Dimensions: 65.7 × 60.6 × 61.1 mm
- The price at the time of writing the review is 39 thousand rubles
The camera came to us for review without factory packaging, but with part of the accompanying documentation and a complete set of delivery. The latter consists of a charger (as on conventional cameras), a USB cable, mounts, a protective rubber casing, and two additional lenses for underwater shooting with flat glasses.
The instructions are detailed and understandable, translated into Russian, so it’s quick to deal with a beginner with a camera. But in reality, not everything is as simple as it seems at first glance.
Nikon engineers decided to make the camera secure without the use of additional special boxes (such a solution has already been encountered, for example, in the latest GoPro line). The case itself serves as protection against external factors. Be it water, fine dust, or physical influences that can damage the integrity of the camera.
The two main parts of the KeyMission 360 enclosure, on which the cameras themselves are located, are identical. Differences lie only in details such as inscriptions. On opposite sides are the camera lenses. Near them in a circle are holes in which protective lenses are inserted. Strong fastening does not give reason to doubt that water can get inside.
On one side face there is an NFC tag for connecting to a smartphone and a shutter button designed to take pictures. The other face is a dense cover with a system of blocking from accidentally triggering the opening mechanism. Even with a standard latch, problems with involuntary opening should not occur. In any case, additional protection measures will never hurt.
Under the rubberized cover is a button to put the camera in mode for use on an airplane, a slot for a memory card, battery and two ports. One is for connecting KeyMission via HDMI, the other for USB.
Above were three LEDs that help in controlling the action camera, and a button to start or stop video recording. She is also responsible for turning on the camera. A standard thread (allowing you to mount the camera on a tripod or monopod), a guide hole for reliable fixation, and a hole for using the strap fit on the bottom.
Using cameraConnecting the camera to a smartphone, it’s worth saying right away, turned out to be very problematic. The camera connected only on the second attempt (and even then only twice during the review).
I tried to establish a connection with both devices on board with Android and iOS. It was never possible to connect the camera to the iPhone. Why were the developers unable to debug the application and fix all the malfunctions? The question remains open.
Ideally, the process of connecting the camera is quite simple. It is necessary to hold down the power button of the camera for 7-8 seconds, until the two green LEDs begin to flash alternately. After that, you can lean the NFC-enabled smartphone to the mark on the camera and the connection process through Nikon's proprietary SnapBridge 360 application will start automatically. In fact, everything is complicated by the very raw software, whether the camera, or the application itself.
No less strange when using it is the lack of a small time delay when taking photos and videos. If you do not use applications to control the process, then part of the hand will inevitably appear in the frame. But if the video can be cropped during editing, then reducing the height of the photos is not the case. This has a very negative effect on the experience of using Key Mission 360.
The KeyMission battery was enough for me for a whole day of use. True, not in the most active scenario, but the indicator is encouraging. During the day of the walk, the camera’s LED did not show that the battery was running out. If you lead an active lifestyle, then it is probably better to immediately take a spare battery, because they are never superfluous.
As for the indicator itself, it will not be possible to determine how discharged the battery is. The LED can display only two states. The first - the battery is charged (green), the second - the camera will soon be discharged (orange). No intermediate values are provided.
applicationThe standard SnapBridge 360/170 app has a pretty nice design and an almost intuitive interface. It is absolutely impossible to call it intuitive, since in order to deal with all the camera settings, you will have to take some time.
Really a lot of settings. There is the possibility of very detailed settings for video recording and photography. Also, through the application, you can control the shooting modes, control the quality of video recording, activate the automatic loading of images on a smartphone.
But in fact, all these settings were simply not needed, since the camera refused to connect even after a reset to the factory settings. And without the ability to connect a camera, setting up something simply is not possible. Not for nothing, this application received extremely negative reviews in the Google Play store.
Shooting qualityPerhaps the only thing after a solid body that Nikon managed to do. But again, with reservations, sometimes large.
Compared to its competitors, KeyMission 360 shoots well. Not much better, but simply better. Compared with the same Samsung Gear 360, which is also capable of shooting in 4K, KeyMission 360 is able to process the edges of images much better, carefully combining images from both cameras into one. Sometimes at the joints, a difference in the measurement of exposure can be seen, but this is not so critical for a camera from the consumer segment.
Detailing is perhaps one of the most important details that is needed in a panoramic video, because reproducing it with the same virtual reality glasses, I want to see a high-quality picture. And the resolution itself, as such, plays not the first role here. Also upsets the lack of sound stabilization.
Photos like videos taken during the day look pretty nice for a 360-degree camera. A small amount of color noise, talk about "wiring" when shooting on the go can not be. But it is only necessary to slightly increase the image, as if a detailed picture turns into something incomprehensible. The small size of the pixels and the size of the matrix itself simply do not allow the camera to capture a larger number of details, which are so lacking.
At first it seems that it will be difficult for camera sensors to cope with shooting in a poorly lit room, but in reality everything is not as bad as it could be.
If you need a camera with support for shooting panoramic videos right now, then it's best to take a look at the time-tested models from competitors. Software is one of the important things to look at when buying a camera of this class. Nikon was definitely trying to make her first action camera a good one, and it shows. It turned out to be durable, protected and pleasing to the eye. But the lack of experience with mobile software made itself felt in the form of connection problems.
Is this an option for a purchase soon? More likely no than yes. Of course, you can buy a camera now, but you have to be content with bugs in the software and wait for subsequent updates. But when they will be - it is definitely impossible to say. Most likely, they will not be long in coming, as the lack of support will greatly damage the reputation of a company such as Nikon.
PS After writing the review, a small update for the camera software was released, which fixes a fairly large number of problems, but we no longer have the opportunity to check it.
Final rating: 6 out of 10.