Shooting 360-degree video with a GoPro is about to get epic with Fusion camera

Update on June 8, 2017: While details are still limited, GoPro has officially revealed the Fusion. The camera, still in beta has similar design cues as the Hero5 Black, but the larger square-like dual-lens camera is wider and taller, and weighs roughly the same (at the least that’s how it felt in our hands). It looks different that the picture of the camera teased at NAB 2017, but it is in keeping with the recent Hero5 products and the Karma drone. Here’s what we know (or suspect), so far.

The Fusion is targeted toward consumers and even pros looking to shoot a quick and easy spherical video, so we assume it would have GoPro’s ProTune advanced settings. It would most likely utilize a USB-C connection like the Hero5 Black, although waterproofness is up in the air. At the bottom, it looks like the Fusion is using a removable mount that will fit existing GoPro accessories – we would not be surprised if it could be attached to the Karma drone for 360-degree aerial shots – although, again, this is a beta device and the final product may not look exactly like what we’ve seen. At the top, there appears to be three pinholes for microphones (we assume for stereo and wind noise cancelation), while the shutter button is on the front. A mode button is on one side, with two fisheye lenses on either side.

gopro fusion 360 camera unveiled 7
The GoPro Fusion 7 mounted to a GoPro 3-Way accessory. Les Shu/Digital Trends

GoPro also released a video edited from spherical content taken with the Fusion, which you can view below. From what we saw using VR goggles, the Fusion (or the software, rather) does a very good job with stitching, and does a better job at capturing the entire top and bottom of the picture – making it truly spherical. You still don’t get much depth perception as multi-lens, 3D 360-degree cameras, but the image quality looks very good. The Fusion, we know, will be capable of functioning as a single-lens camera – like a normal GoPro Hero. According to GoPro, the content users capture will not so much be viewed with VR headsets, but in videos it calls OverCapture, which are standard videos users create in post-edit (likely from a mobile device) with the freedom of picking a POV that helps them tell the story they want to share, or use special effects like a “little planet” POV. The video below is an example of Overcapture.

We will update as more details are announced.

Original article, published on April 17, 2017: Just ahead of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show on Saturday, GoPro has announced its first immersive video camera, called the Fusion. While the company has offered a 360-degree solution for some time in the form of the Omni cage —  which locks six GoPro Hero cameras together — the Fusion is a compact, single-camera device designed to be mounted in all the same ways as a normal GoPro.

Initial details on the new camera remain scarce, but one interesting tidbit is that it shoots 5.2K resolution, slightly above the now standard 4K. This is good news for immersive video enthusiasts, as higher resolutions tend to make a dramatic difference in 360 video, where all of those pixels are spread out over a spherical area. GoPro says this will also allow for HD-quality, non-360 video to be extracted from any angle, essentially giving Fusion users the ability to create both immersive and traditional fixed-frame content from the same camera, at the same time.

“Whether filming for VR or traditional fixed-perspective content, Fusion represents the state-of-the-art in versatile spherical capture,” said GoPro founder and CEO, Nick Woodman, in a statement. He did not elaborate on other ways in which the Fusion would be state-of-the-art.

gopro fusion 360 camera unveiled product 1
This image was the original teaser GoPro used at NAB 2017.

What we do know is that work remains to be done to get the Fusion ready for the public. GoPro announced it will run an exclusive pilot program this summer, and is asking professional content creators to apply for it starting today. The goal is to field test the Fusion and produce content that GoPro can use to demonstrate its power before taking the camera to market. Assuming all goes well with the pilot program, GoPro expects to offer a “limited commercial release” by the end of 2017. No other details on pricing or availability have been given.

While the Fusion certainly seems interesting, our current sentiment can best be described as cautiously excited. We’re glad to see that GoPro is taking a single-camera approach to immersive content, but with so many 360 cameras popping up all the time from brands both big and small, the Fusion will need to deliver a trifecta of power, usability, and affordability to truly stand out from the crowd. For now, we’ll wait patiently for more details to emerge.


Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.

Need gift ideas? Here’s what to get the skiers and snowboarders in your life

You can't purchase snow, but you can grab your favorite skier or snowboarder some sweet gear this holiday season. We've hand-picked some of the best available that'll wow even the most well-equipped terrain park junkie we know.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.

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…

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.