Facebook and cinema firm Red team up to build a more realistic VR camera

Facebook has depth estimation software to re-create 3D scenes. Red Digital Cinema has high dynamic range cinema cameras. And with the two of them together, virtual reality headsets could have more realistic content. During the Facebook F8 conference on Tuesday, March 1, Facebook and Oculus announced a partnership with Red to create a pro-level virtual reality cinema camera. 

While details on the camera are slim this early in the partnership, Facebook says the two are working to create a solution from capture to VR headset to create footage with six degrees of freedom (6DoF) — and the ability to explore the scene. 6DoF allows the viewer to move forward, backward, up, down, left and right, though it is unclear just how extensive that motion will be with the 3D and 6DoF mix from the new camera.

“Facebook’s industry-leading depth estimation technology captures full 3D information about all objects in scenes to deliver a complete 3D reconstruction,” the announcement reads. “Add in 6DOF capture — the ability to simultaneously film multiple angles from within a given volume — and you can generate infinite perspectives from any direction within a field of view so your audience can explore the scene freely.”

Red’s current technology will help alleviate some of the common struggles in 3D 360 capture, Facebook says. Red’s camera sensors can capture up to 16 stops of light, a range that helps capture detail in both the brightest and darkest areas of an image. If an object is in shadows, Facebook explains, the camera struggles to capture the data necessary to re-create that depth.

Facebook also partnered with Red for the company’s high pixel count, with a goal of designing a VR camera system for professional creators. The partnership will also help create an intuitive workflow for the VR content, Facebook says. The process will include depth estimation using Otoy, as well as editing with Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Foundry.

Facebook says the partnership is the next phase of the company’s x6 and x24 prototypes, cameras introduced during last year’s F8 conference and named for the number of lenses in each one. Capturing, rather than animating, a space that the viewer can actually move into is a high hurdle — Lytro also created a camera with 6 DoF, but the giant camera was only rented out and now the company has closed down.

Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.

Using A.I., Lightroom can now boost the resolution of RAW photos

Need to eek a bit more resolution out of a RAW file? Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can help with a new feature called Detail Enhance. The tool uses A.I. in the demosaicing process to enhance details and reduce artifacts.

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.

Corel VideoStudio adds tools for customizing color in simple video edits

VideoStudio is Corel's more consumer-oriented video editor but the software recently gained advanced color correction tools. The update adds custom transitions, along with speeding up performance, and adding new shortcuts.

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.

Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z series finally has a bright zoom available without an adapter. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S offers new coatings and more customizable controls in a smaller, lighter body than the comparable F-mount lens.

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.

From f/1.2 primes to the mysterious DS, here are Canon’s upcoming RF lenses

Canon's EOS R mirrorless series will gain six new lenses this year. Canon just shared a list of six lenses under development, including four zooms and two prime lenses. One has a mysterious new feature called Defocus Smoothing.

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.