GoPro recently unveiled the first sample footage shot using its new Omni virtual reality camera rig, which combines views from six separate cameras to create an immersive 360-degree video experience. The four-minute, 360-degree clip shows skiers and jumping around the Austrian Alps.
GoPro’s action camera business has been struggling as of late, and the company is hoping that this new products will breathe new life into the 14-year-old company. In addition to its upcoming Karma camera drone, which has been delayed till winter, GoPro announced its own official VR camera rig, the Omni, back in early April.
The footage doesn’t look much different from other professional 360-degree productions, probably because most of those companies have been filming with same rigs made up of GoPro cameras. There is some stuttering, and the stitching lines are visible, but the GoPro includes a disclaimer in the description that the footage was shot with a prototype, and the customers should expect ‘significant improvements to the overall output quality’ when Omni is released.
The rounded cube rig points 6 cameras in each direction, but it’s not just a rig that any 3D printer can make — it uses proprietary hardware which helps the cameras achieve “pixel-level synchronization”. The resulting footage can be explored in 360° through an interactive video or using a special virtual reality headset.
The Omni costs $5,000 as a package or $1,500 if you want the frame without the cameras. It is a pretty hefty price tag, but it’s relatively affordable compared to GoPro’s pro-grade sixteen-camera Odyssey rig, which costs $15,000. The Omni is now available for pre-order on the GoPro website. It will ship on August 17, 2016.