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Nokia Confirms $60,000 Professional Virtual Reality Camera

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Nokia made its name as a cellphone maker but has moved in a different direction of late. The Finnish company is set to target professional filmmakers with the new camera, which it has been developing since early 2013. Earlier this summer Nokia released scant details about the project, and confirmed on Tuesday that it will be selling a professional quality virtual reality camera that can handle live broadcast.

Professional camera aimed at high-end market

Interested parties can now pre-order the new camera for $60,000, with delivery expected in the first quarter of 2016. The Ozo camera is a teardrop-shaped device capable of recording 360° spherical video and 360×360 surround sound.

The capabilities allow it to create immersive content for virtual reality devices, and Nokia has already claimed that it is “the first Virtual Reality camera system specifically designed for professional production.”

Eight 2k x 2k sensors make up the video sensor array, each of which boasts a 195° field of view. The array provides full 360° x 180° video coverage, and records at 30 fps. Ozo will be compatible with your standard videocamera tripod kit and will operate wirelessly thanks to an in-built battery pack.

Nokia betting on desire for high-quality virtual reality content

Audio and video are saved to a single file on a removable digital cartridge with capacity for around 45 minutes of recording. The cartridge is located on the back of the device, alongside a rechargeable battery pack, and a promotional video shows the camera attached to a drone.

Spherical cameras have been released periodically over the past few years, including an effort from Samsung-backed startup Bublcam. The camera is far more affordable than the Ozo at just $800, but it is far less high-tech.

GoPro is also looking into spherical cameras aimed at consumers, but Nokia is concentrating on the professional market. The company is evidently betting on the fact that the broadcasting industry wants to create high-quality virtual reality content to make the medium more mainstream.

Nokia has a good history of developing camera modules from its days as a cellphone maker. In 2012 it put a 41 megapixel PureView camera onto a smartphone, making headlines around the world.

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