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Nikon KeyMission 170 - the easiest of the range to use.

Nikon KeyMission review: Shooting 360 no walk in park

SHOOTING and editing good 360 degree photos and videos is a lot harder than watching them on Facebook or YouTube.

While Nikon's KeyMission 360 is probably one of the easiest cameras around to use, it's not just a case of pointing and shooting.

The biggest problem initially is keeping yourself out of the shot. Your fingers, arm, thumb or any part of your body look very ugly if you are too close to the lens.

So a monopod, extended hand grip, or tripod is probably one of the first things you need. One really should come with the camera.

The camera has two wide angles lens, facing in opposite directions, to record 360 degree video in 4K UHD.

The images or video are then stitched together - something that thankfully you don't have to do manually.

But as you soon discover, it's not long before you see the errors of your ways in shooting. Stitching marks in the middle of your shots can be painfully obvious - something exacerbated by the distance been the two lenses in the Nikon 360 design.

Thankfully, recording a photo or video is a simple one button operation while you can also remotely control the camera via your smartphone using a dedicated Snapbridge app.

The app can be hit and miss, however.

Downloading images to your smartphone was easy enough, but try to download videos, using Wi-Fi, is nigh impossible given the huge size of the files.

Fortunately, you can easily download to a computer using a cable and then edit videos using a no-frills video utility.

Like the app though, the KeyMission 360/170 utility can be frustrating to use. It doesn't allow you to easily combine numerous video files into one 360 video, for example.

If you have one clip, you can add music and save it in a format for instant upload to YouTube or Facebook.

While the camera shoots 4K, in 360 it obviously won't look as sharp as a straight 4K video.

In terms of an action camera, the KeyMission 360 fits the bill in that it is waterproof to 30 metres, shockproof to 2 metres, coldproof to minus 10 degrees and dustproof. A silicone sleeve helps to protect it from any drops while it includes replacement lens for both underwater and dry use.

One of the best pieces of advice in terms of shooting 360 is to watch some tutorials on how to do it before you head out.

Nikon itself has some great little guides, while there are others on YouTube which are also helpful.

The camera giant has also released a range of optional mounts and accessories, including the Vented Handy Grip to prevent you from being in the shot during handheld shooting.

Like a GoPro, the KeyMission can also be mounted on a bicycle helmet or other vantage points.

We also tested out the KeyMission 170 and KeyMission 80.

Of all three devices, I probably found the KeyMission 170 the most fun and easiest to use, though the 80 is great little device for capturing images and video on a bushwalk.

The 170, which is also shockproof and waterproof, captures 170 degree wide angle 4K videos and images. It has slow motion, superlapse and time-lapse recording options.

The KeyMission 80, which is much smaller than a mobile phone, is something you can easily slip into your pocket, or mount on a jacket, and use while fishing, skiing, trekking or camping.

It's a tough little compact camera, waterproof to a metre, with a small NIKKOR lens which would appeal to the adventurer wanting quick access to a camera on the go. Images captures are sharp and vivid with an LCD monitor allowing easy selfies and review of shots you have taken.

Overall, Nikon still has some work todo, but the KeyMission range is certainly a step in the right direction and hopefully future upgrades will make for an even better action camera experience.

KEYMISSION 360: record 4K UHD 1/24p. Waterpoof to 30 m, shockproof to 2.0 m, coldproof to −10° C and dustproof

Compatible with the SnapBridge 360/170 app (for smartphones and tablets) and the KeyMission 360/170 Utility (for computers). Price range online from $500 to $699 with handygrip.

KEYMISSION 170: Supports 4K UHD/30p recording of 170° ultra wide-angle movies. Waterproof to 10 metres, shockproof, coldproof and dustproof. Pricing online $419 to $500.

KEYMISSION 80: Super compact wearable camera, one handed recording with press of button, waterproof to 1m, shockproof to 1.5 m, coldproof and dustproof. Prices online around $400.