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Acer Holo360 – Photographing in 360 degrees

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The Acer Holo360 is a 360-degree camera that runs on Android 7.1.1 and is equipped with a 3inch touchscreen on which you can view the images in 360 degrees. And because Acer also has WiFi and 4G built-in, you do not even need a smartphone or PC to share your images. The housing is made of metal and feels like a solid block. The back is made of glass while the screen itself is also glass. Although the Holo360 does not feel fragile, you have to be a little careful for the lenses. They are (logically) convex and protrude on both sides of the camera. So some caution is advisable so that you do not damage the lenses when you put the camera down.

A 187-degree camera is placed on the front.

Limited smartphone

The Holo360 runs on Android, has a touch screen and accepts a SIM card. So you could say that the Holo360 is also a smartphone and that is partly true. Because although Acer sticks a skin over Android with only icons for the camera apps, you can easily switch to the normal Android launcher. Thanks to the Snapdragon 625 SoC, Android also runs pretty smoothly. There is, however, an important but for your smartphone experience and that is the 3inch screen with a resolution of only 640 x 480 pixels. In itself, you can use most apps, but everything is very tight and little information is shown at the same time. You can use the Holo360 to quickly look up something, but for longer use, the screen is very small.

The back also contains a 187-degree camera.

So we really see the Holo360 as (action) camera. In that respect, it is inconvenient that Acer has not used a thread in the housing for a tripod or selfie stick. After all, you can make more convenient photos and videos where your hand cannot be seen in the picture all the time. Because in 360 degrees you see everything around the camera. You can obviously find a tripod or selfie stick that you attach to the camera in a different way, but this is always less sturdy than a screw connection. Alternatively, you can put the camera on a flat surface to take a photo. By turning the timer on (maximum 10 seconds) you can quickly walk away a bit when you take a picture.

You can use the Holo360 with the standard Android launcher.

Image quality

The Acer Holo360 is equipped with two 12megapixel cameras and except in 360 degrees, you can also take normal photos and videos. Just like on your smartphone, you can then choose the front or rear camera and you can make selfies just like on your smartphone. However, we can be brief about the image quality in ‘2D’: it is not very good. You can make much better photos and videos with a modern smartphone from the middle or high segment.

The camera app displays the images of the two cameras simultaneously. The image of the rear camera is shown in a ring around the image of the front camera.

Perhaps a consequence of the extreme ‘fisheye effect’ that is required for photography in 360 degrees. What the 187-degree lenses see, you can clearly see in the ‘raw files’ that show images that the camera records. By the way, they are not raw files in the sense of raw data that you can consider as digital negative and gives you a lot of freedom in post-processing. The raw files are also jpeg files. On the camera, you can render images captured by the camera via the viewer app, after which they are saved in a format that a 360-degree viewer can use. There are various services to view photos in 360 degrees. Your 360-degree images can even be automatically uploaded to Google Photos.

The images as the sensors store them (RAW).

But what about the image quality of 360-degree photographs? You can see a few examples of 360-degree photos on Google Photos. If you look at these photos, you will certainly be able to comment on blur and some noise. Also, in almost every photograph a flaw is visible between the images of both sensors. We certainly take this into account in our judgment, but the fact remains that photographing in 360 degrees and looking around is a lot of fun. Extra useful is that you can also do that directly on the camera itself

The same photo rendered suitable for 360 degrees.

Conclusion

The Acer Holo360 is a striking camera. Because the Holo360 runs on Android, you can easily connect to the internet and that is possible via WiFi or 4G. So you can upload photos or videos directly to your favourite service or even live streaming. You can also install apps and Android runs smoothly through the fast processor. Still, because of the small screen and low resolution, we do not think that this is a smartphone replacement, it is primarily intended as a camera. In that respect it is inconvenient that the Holo360 has no screw connection, so you can not directly connect a tripod or selfie stick. For normal photos or videos, the image quality of the Holo360 is not very impressive, the pictures of a little smartphone are many times better. The camera really needs its 360-degree functionality. Then you have a handy 360-degree camera with the Holo360. So thanks to the screen you can view your photos directly in 360 degrees on the screen and that is a unique option compared to other 360 degree cameras. In short: the Holo360 is a nice device for when you want to shoot photos or videos in 360 degrees, but it is certainly not perfect.

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