GoPro has released details of new hardware that will allow you to shoot 360-degree video.
One is a six camera spherical array known as the GoPro Omni, which allows professionals to capture high-resolution video in every direction at once. The other product is known as the GoPro Odyssey, and packs in 16 Hero4 Black cameras to record 360 degree video.
GoPro Omni rig offers 360-degree recording
The Omni features six cameras that interact with a single primary camera in order to configure settings. It is also used to start and stop recording on all of the cameras at once.
The array is capable of recording 8K video from which the user is able to extract HD images. The Omni allows pixel-level synchronization between the cameras in the array.
GoPro has put together an all-inclusive package that will record 360-degree video straight out of the box. The six Hero4 cameras will be set up and ready to go for the price of $4999.99.
Two options of new rig available
The Omni rig package will include the rig itself, GoPro Kolor software, six Hero4 Black cameras, smart remote, six mini USB cables, six 32GB microSD cards and six Card Readers. The package will ship in a single case and buyers can place pre-orders from April 18 onward.
GoPro has also announced a cheaper version of the Omni that will retal for $1,499.99. It will include only the rig itself, not the cameras and software. You can fit your own cameras, or team up with friends in order to do so, but you will have to stitch together the resulting video footage yourself.
While the Omni may be priced out of the reach of most casual users, GoPro has an even more expensive option aimed exclusively at professional clients. The Odyssey packs in 16 Hero4 Black cameras in a round rig.
It records 360-degree video that can be stitched into a panoramic stereoscopic 8K30 video, viewable on YouTube. The Odyssey works with Google’s Jump Assembler, a cloud-based piece of software that stitches the video together.
The Odyssey sells for $15,000 and is only available to certain industry professionals at selected brands and agencies via a limited access program.
Camera maker pushing ahead with VR ventures
With virtual reality and 360-degree video the new frontier for GoPro, the company is set to unveil a platform on which users can share their VR content. The GoPro VR platform will be unveiled at NAB 2016.
It will allow users to watch 360-degree content produced by GoPro and artists from around the world. The platform will be available online, via a mobile app, or via a VR head-mounted display.
Shares in GoPro have continued to suffer of late but some analysts believe that the stock is due for an upturn in fortunes. One bright point for some observers is the planned release of the Karma drone.
While Chinese company DJI has surged ahead in the drone market, GoPro executives still believe that an in-house drone could drive revenues for the company. Some observers are skeptical about its potential impact given several delays suffered by the project, which have allowed competitors to capture market share.
The move into virtual reality is an interesting one for the company. While the Omni is out of reach of all but the wealthiest consumers, the Odyssey is a very exclusive product. As it stands the rigs look set to demonstrate GoPro’s continued dedication to innovation rather than improving profits.