After months of teasing and sneak peaks, GoPro has finally spilled the bins on its revolutionary new 360-degree camera. The Fusion is the company's attempt at showing how easy it should be to create VR footage, but in a way that makes it incredibly simple to work with on a flat screen too.
GoPro Fusion: Design
- Waterproof to 5m (16ft)
- Large square device
- Fixes to almost all existing GoPro mounts
GoPro Fusion has a mostly square design that's noticeably different to the Hero 5, it's also clearly larger. We don't know the exact measurements, but it's roughly an inch thick and around 3.5 inches tall and wide.
While its shape is clearly different from the Hero 5, there are some similarities. It has a similar two-tone grey finish, with the same rubbery texture and the same grippy pattern around all four of the edges.
There's one 180-degree camera on the front, and another on the back, both sitting behind concave glass, but only protruding slightly. The front plays home to the quick capture button, which you press to start recording video or taking a photo. This, again, is different to the Hero, since it's not placed on the top of the camera. There's also the small, monochrome LCD screen on the front.
The mode/highlight button is on the right edge, roughly half way up the side. Underneath is where you'll find the place fix the multi-accessory mount. With this mount you can attach it to every GoPro accessory, except the Karma Grip or Drone.
You'll find 3 microphones on the top edge, arranged in a triangular layout, and the unit is waterproof up to 5m. It's worth noting though that, while it's waterproof, the design of the lenses means it won't work well for underwater shooting. However, take it surfing, paragliding, snowboarding, or anything else involving water and it'll survive just fine.
GoPro Fusion: Cameras and Editing
- 5.2k 360-degree video
- OverCapture editing for flat screens
- 18MP spherical photo
As previously mentioned, the Fusion has two cameras; one front, one back. These enable 360-degree video and photo capture.
A full 360-degree photo boasts 18-megapixels, while you can capture video at 5.2K resolution at 30 frames-per-second, or 3K resolution at 60 frames per second. It also features advanced electronic stabilisation, to ensure videos are as smooth as possible.
One of the great features of the GoPro Fusion is OverCapture. It means you shoot everything at once, and then choose afterwards what angles, panning, zooming and transitions you want. That means it has the potential to look great both in VR and on a flat screen.
To begin with, GoPro will be launching desktop software for getting OverCapture to work. Professionals will be able to use a plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro as well.
As for regular consumers, they'll need to wait until 2018 to get OverCapture working on their mobile devices, although the current GoPro app will support editing 360-degree video.
GoPro Fusion: 3D Audio, GPS and other features
- Voice control in 10 languages
- GPS, compass, accelerometer and gyroscope
- 3D audio for VR viewing
- Up to 80mins recording time
To match the 360-degree visuals, GoPro built in three microphones to capture 3D Audio as well. That means if you do end up watching your captured video through a VR headset with earphones, the audio will adjust positionally to match your head movement.
With the Hero 5 featuring GPS, it makes sense that the flagship VR camera will as well. In fact, it has GPS for location as well as a compass, accelerometer and gyroscope, all of which combine to ensure the camera is aware of all of its own movements and location.
What's more, like the Hero, it has voice control, so you can tell it to take a photo or start shooting video, and it will respond (providing you speak one of the 10 supported languages).
If you're worrying the battery might die quickly, rest assured, the camera can shoot continuously at 5.2K resolution for 70 minutes, or at 3K resolution for 80 mins, presuming you're at room temperature. Real life usage we suspect will vary.
GoPro Fusion: Price
- £699 UK/$699 US
Given its advanced features, it's and twice the number of cameras compared to a Hero, it's no surprise that the Fusion is more expensive than the previous flagship Hero 5, and the recently launched Hero 6.
You'll be able to buy a GoPro Fusion for £699/$699 when it retail store shelves, and it comes with the new Fusion Grip Mount, which also acts as a long selfie stick and tripod.
GoPro Fusion: Release date
- Pre-order now
- Launch before end November
GoPro Fusion was sent out to select pilot testers at the end of summer 2017, to get feedback on features and performance from various 360-degree content creators.
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