By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
When GoPro dove into live video streaming via Periscope, they took it to the ESPN Winter games in Aspen to give it the widest possible test with their target demographic. Now it looks like they’ve done the same thing with their new Fusion 360° camera, bringing it to the Mountain Games, which it also sponsors. And we got a chance to see just how things really are for shooting with what they’re calling the “ultimate GoPro.”
This is GoPro’s third entry into the 360°/virtual reality genre, with the six-camera GoPro Omni, and the 16-camera Odyssey array (formerly called JumpVR), which they built in concert with Google. Both the Omni and the Odyssey are ideal for situations where you want to capture an experience with a locked down camera. But if you’re looking to be on the move, especially in high action situations, you’re going to want something both handheld and capable of taking a crash now and again. So GoPro came up with the Fusion.
The first thing you notice about the Fusion is that it has two cameras juxtaposed horizontally from each other, much like you’re standard all in one 360° camera. With two fisheye-style lenses, the Fusion can capture most of the 360° spectrum and do it in 5.2K resolution. It’s also key to note that GoPro hasn’t placed a protective cover over its lenses, as it has in the last few versions of the HERO; this may be due to the extremely wide focal length required to shoot 180 degrees unobstructed.
But you also notice that it’s bigger. A lot bigger than, say, the GoPro HERO5. Fusion has to use a lot more complicated electronics to process that video footage, and as such, it requires a tad more real estate to house it. There are also three microphones built into the top to be able to capture audio in the round. But even with the larger footprint, Fusion still looks like it was engineered to be very light.
Outside of that, the Fusion also sports the standard monochrome LCD screen, a power/record button, mode button on the side, and what looks to maybe be the wifi button just above it? There’s also the iconic GoPro mount on the bottom, which is also removable.
There’s not mention on whether the Fusion will have a built in waterproof case like GoPro has added to the HERO5, or will go with an additional waterproof case. But based on the ability to remove the mount on the bottom, I’m guessing that it isn’t waterproof at this point, and that you’ll need to use an optional waterproof case if you want to get Fusion wet. Others think that due to its styling, which is similar to the HERO5, the Fusion could be waterproof. So only time will tell which is accurate.
As mentioned above, the Fusion shoots 5.7K ultra high definition 360° video, and I imagine some pretty sharp still images. But it also has what GoPro is calling an ‘OverCapture” mode, which will enable shooters to select a portion of the spherical video and then use to “punch out” a flat 1080p video or still image when editing. You can also do a ‘tiny world’ still image where everything is shown.
You can edit on the go with the new version of Quik, coming out later this year, and share to the Internet much faster. OverCapture will also give shooters the ability to use the Fusion to capture both sides of a conversation, making shooting scenes easier. A nice added benefit. Quik will also have a feature called “QuikStories,” which will enable users to automatically assemble a one minute video of the day’s still image and video activities, and publish them as a story via your smartphone.
No word on pricing just yet, but it looks like GoPro wants to launch Fusion by the end of summer.
Hat Tip: Tech Radar