Gigabyte Jolt Duo is a Bargain for a No-Frills 360 VR Camera
Most virtual reality based 360 cameras don't come cheap especially those supporting 4K video. Fortunately less premium brands like Gigabyte offers an affordable way to own a 360 camera with the Jolt Duo that also supports VR. The Jolt Duo is however limited to just HD resolutions which is similar to the Ricoh Theta S, another 360 camera. By comparison other brands like the Samsung Gear 360 camera (2017) and Kodak PIXPRO Orbit360 4K VR Camera can achieve 4K resolutions but are more expensive.
The Jolt Duo 360 camera like the Ricoh Theta S can work with any phone brand but needs to support minimum Android 4.2 or iOS 8.0 platform for the Jolt Duo. The Jolt Duo 360 camera is also compatible with computers supporting at least Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.10.
The Jolt Duo 360 camera that comes with dual spherical lens mode offers a 1920x960p@30fps resolution for video recording which is close to that offered by the Ricoh Theta S. The dual lens mode of the Jolt Duo also offers up to 4.5MP (3008x1504) resolution for still image capture.
Unlike the Ricoh Theta S that comes with an embedded SD card, the Jolt Duo 360 camera has a ready to use microSD card slot that offers up to 32GB storage. Gigabyte states that at least Class 6 microSD cards need to be used. Once you've recorded the content, you can transfer them to a PC or Mac using the microSD card and use the JOLT Player stitching software to create a single file to play 360 VR content.
While you can use the Ricoh Theta S to play video directly to a display or TV over its HDMI 1.4 Type-D interface, you can't do the same with the Jolt Duo 360 camera which doesn't support external display output. The Jolt Duo does however have a USB 2.0 micro USB connector like the Ricoh Theta S for photo/video transfer and charging. Note that other 360 cameras like the Samsung Gear 360 camera (2017) use the USB Type-C connector instead of the micro-B connector for faster charging and data transfer.
The Jolt Duo 360 camera can be remotely controlled using Wi-Fi just like the Ricoh Theta S and comes built in with a 1500mAh Li-ion battery. The 1500mAh battery can support 60 minutes of recording operation (with Wi-Fi turned on).
While traveling in Neihu, Taiwan, we dropped by the Chunghwa Telecom store which is one of the main mobile service providers in Taiwan. Inside the store they were selling the Jolt Duo 360 camera at an impossibly low price bundled together with its own Lifestyle Kit, Outdoor Kit, and an 8GB memory card.
The Lifestyle Kit consists of a tripod with flexible joints, monopod and a waterproof case adapter, while the Outdoor Kit contains a bike mount, waterproof case, floating hand grip, vented helmet strap and flat adhesive mount. The IPX8 certified waterproof housing of the Jolt Duo 360 camera makes it water resistant.
The Jolt Duo 360 camera is a good choice for casual users to immediately capture and play VR content and also transfer content to a PC or Mac and using a program to stitch the files together. We will be taking a closer look at the Jolt Duo 360 camera and what SD cards work well with this camera.