This 360 camera may not be a beauty, but it is a ‘Beast’ with 6K footage

Four large sensors, live-stitching software, 6K resolution, and 10-bit RAW is what it takes to make a 360-camera beast — make that Beast, with a capital B. The Sphericam Beast is the third 360 camera released from the two-year-old startup and a solid list of technical specifications aims to live up to the camera’s hefty name.

Announced this morning, the Beast uses four one-inch sensors — a size common in advanced compacts like the Sony RX100 V — to capture a complete 360 perspective. Each sensor has a 4K resolution, and stitched together, the camera offers 5,780 x 2,890 footage.

The Beast’s software stitches the images together fast enough to support live feeds for internet streaming or VR headsets. While the sensors on their own are capable of capturing RAW footage at 60fps, the automatically stitched video only hits the 30fps mark.

Sphericam says the 360 camera produces a 10-bit color depth RAW file, which combined with the larger sensors produces enhanced color and low light performance.

Sphericam / Instagram
Sphericam / Instagram

The camera is capable of transferring image data as fast as 2.8 gigabytes per second to internal storage, thanks to four built-in solid state drives. The company says the battery offers about two hours of continuous use.

While the specs appear to live up to the camera’s name, the camera’s design does too, as it’s not much of a beauty — the Beast more closely resembles an external hard drive than a camera, and looks like a small black tower with four cameras at the top. The camera does include four preview screens to see what each sensor is about to capture, however, as well as on-camera controls for shutter speed, ISO, digital gain, and white balance.

Along with the Beast, Sphericam offers a camera that goes simply by the company’s name, and that has a sphere-shaped body with 4K 360 capture. The company says the Beast is designed more for professional users than the previous consumer option. The New York company was officially founded in 2014 after successfully launching its Sphericam 1 on Kickstarter in 2012.

The Sphericam Beast will be on display at today’s NAB Show in New York. The 360 camera’s price has not yet been announced, but the professional grade Beast will likely sell for more than the consumer Sphericam 2’s $2,499 launch price.


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.

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.

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…
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.

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.
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.
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.

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.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.