Monday, action camera maker GoPro announced at The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show a pair of powerful new camera rigs in the Omni and Odyssey series alongside a new VR sharing platform and a brand new mobile application which lets you view 360-degree videos and virtual reality content hosted at vr.gopro.com on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
The new six-camera synchronized Omni rig costs five grands and packs in pro-grade features that allow pixel-level synchronization, making stitching in post-production easier and more exact than using unsynchronized camera arrays.
Pricing for the more capable panoramic stereoscopic 16-camera Odyssey rig, which is optimized to work with Google’s Jump VR Platform, will be out of the reach for most people unless they create professional VR content for a living.
The company will also showcase its full suite of professional end-to-end solutions for capturing, stitching and publishing high-resolution virtual reality content at NAB 2016, which runs April 18-21 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Omni sports proprietary hardware and software that makes possible pixel-level synchronization between its six HERO4 Black cameras, and works with the Kolor stitching software to produce immersive content.
Key highlights include:
- Six cameras act as one: Interact with the primary camera in the array to configure settings or initiate the start/stop of recording for all six cameras.
- The proven image quality of the HERO4 Black…times six: Produce high-res images that virtual reality viewers will notice. Omni may also be used for “over capture”; capture at 8K and extract an HD deliverable.
- Optimized workflow: capture using Omni, use GoPro Omni Importer for preview, data management and rendering, fine tune the content in Kolor Autopano Video, then proof the content in GoPro VR player and publish it to the GoPro VR website.
- By collaborating with Adobe, GoPro further solves the pain points of editing spherical content by enabling native handling of 360-degree video up to 8K resolution within Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Adobe After Effects CC.
GoPro will be selling an all-inclusive $5,000 Omni package that will include a GoPro Omni Sync Rig, the Kolor software license, six on-board GoPro HERO4 Black cameras and batteries, a GoPro Smart Remote, six mini USB cables to connect the cameras, 32GB microSD cards and card readers.
A more affordable $1,500 Omni package offers a GoPro Omni sync rig, a waterproof shipping case, plastic tweezers, microfiber bag and a 2.5mm hex key. If you’re interested, you can sign up for pre-order at the GoPro website.
The high-end Odyssey packs in as many as sixteen HERO4 Black cameras inside a rugged design. It works in tandem with Google’s web-based Jump Assembler service that automatically stitches the individual videos into panoramic stereoscopic 8K30 video viewable on YouTube.
Through its newly formed custom solutions division, GoPro also introduced custom systems at NAB that integrate GoPro’s camera technology and HEROCast, GoPro’s wireless HD micro transmitter, into products and systems used in pro works.
You can sign up for the Odyssey Limited-Access Program at the GoPro website.
The new app
The new GoPro VR app serves as a storefront for spherical videos and virtual reality content stored on the new GoPro VR sharing platform. Users can both showcase their own original content through GoPro VR and check out community content as well.
The app offers 360-degree interactivity: you can navigate spherical videos by moving your device around and it renders content at up to a silly smooth 60 frames per second on the latest devices. Additionally, the application can be experienced on a mobile head-mounted display in split-screen VR mode.
GoPro VR is available on the web, too, but viewing spherical videos is not yet supported by Safari. Here’s one such 360-degree video (use desktop Chrome and ASWD keys to move the view around).
More videos like this can be found on GoPro’s channel on YouTube.
The English-only GoPro VR application requires an iOS device with iOS 9.0 or later and is now available at no charge in the App Store.
You can download GoPro VR for iOS on the App Store.
GoPro likes Apple execs and iPhone apps
Last week, a longtime member of Apple’s closely-knit elite industrial design team, designer Danny Coster, said he was joining the action camera maker to head up a new hardware design group as the company’s Vice President of Design.
GoPro recently bought powerful iPhone video-editing applications Replay and Splice.