Google has announced a new 180-degree VR format, including third-party cameras that you can use to shoot in it.
Called VR180, it's a collaboration, between YouTube and Google’s Daydream VR unit. It has been introduced alongside an announcement about a new line of VR cameras that comply with VR180's certification standards. Google said you can expect these cameras to come from Yi, Lenovo, and LG, as well as other partners.
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New VR180 cameras
Their VR180 cameras are supposed to launch sometime this winter, and they will supposedly be affordable, likely even priced around the same as regular point-and-shoot cameras. We don't know what these cameras will look like in terms of design, though Lenovo has released a line drawing of its upcoming VR180 format camera.
It seems to feature two wide-angle lenses that can shoot stereoscopic video. Obviously, it looks way different than the pricier VR camera rigs we've seen so far, like Google's Jump system. Creators can shoot VR videos using any camera that's VR180 certified. But here's the thing about VR180 videos: they don't wrap around.
180-degree video format
You have to face forward while watching them, meaning you can't turn and look back, but they'll still be immersive when you watch them through the YouTube app with a compatible headset, such as Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, or PlayStation VR. If you don't use a VR headset, they’ll appear as traditional flat videos.
So, what's the advantage to a 180-degree VR video over a full 360-degree video one? The primary benefit is that it doesn’t require a VR system with multiple cameras, nor do you need to take the time to stitch together all the video feeds from those cameras in order to make an immersive VR video for YouTube.
Save time and money
You see, 360-degree videos, which surround you, typically require tons of time and money, as well as a filmmaker who is willing to hide behind things in order to capture a scene without their body in it. But with the VR180 format, there's now a happy medium, literally. The format essentially renders 180-degree video in stereoscopic 3D.
The picture will appear wider than your field of view - about 135 degrees - and you'll get a single image, so there's no need to stitch or match anything. Just film, edit, and upload it to YouTube. Filmmakers will be able to shoot the way they would normally and even edit with Adobe Premiere Pro or other software.