The Kodak PixPro 4KVR360 takes on virtual reality with a 20MP sensor and full spherical images. In this hands-on video, we take a closer look at the 360° action camera. Kodak PixPro 4KVR360 is Another 360° Action Camera This is not the first 360° action camera we’re seeing this year. At Photokina 2016 that kicked off today, Nikon introduced another new action camera alongside their Nikon KeyMission 360 and there are more manufacturers taking on the VR 360 action camera market. The Kodak PixPro 4KVR360 has two different wide field of view cameras in one body; 235 degrees and 155 degrees, both with a 20MP CMOS sensors that record 4K video and still photos. Combining the images of both cameras with stitching, the 360 degree, full spherical images can be used for virtual reality. In virtual reality mode, video can be captured in 3840 x 1920 at 24p, and still images at 27MP, both in 2:1 ratio. Using either the front camera or a combination of both cameras gives a variety of formats for video and stills, including round images and video in 1:1 aspect ratio. The front 155 degree camera can capture 1080p video at up to 60fps, with the option to change the field of view to a wider or narrower angle. 120fps slow motion is only available in 1440 x 1080 resolution in 2:1 aspect ratio. The video format is MP4, recorded in H.264 codec, there is no mention of a ‘flat’ or neutral profile for colour correction. Aimed at the sports and action market, the camera is splash-proof and shockproof up to 2m, it can be controlled via a smartphone app or the remote that’s included in the package with wi-fi, NFC and Bluetooth. Stitching can be done in camera but at a lower quality, or with the app or software in post production. Here are some more specs of the Kodak PixPro 4KVR360: F2.4 aperture 20MP sensors Camera modes – VR Mode, Round Mode, Front Mode. 3-axis level gauge stabilization. ISO sensitivity from 100 to 3200. White balance settings – Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Flourescent, Incandescent, Underwater. Records onto MicroSD. Shoots up to 160 still images and 55 minutes of video (at 4K/30p) based on battery performance. Micro HDMI port. Stereo microphone input (2.5mm connector). Removable rechargable Li-ion battery. The Kodak PixPro 4KVR360 is still in development, but is expected to hit the shelves at the end of 2016 or early 2017, with pricing around $500.00, but this hasn’t been confirmed yet.Read more
The Nikon Keymission 170 & Keymission 80 are the latest additions to their new line of action cams, adding to the 360 degree camera that they showed us in January: the Keymission 360. On the show floor at Photokina 2016, we caught up with Nikon Ambassador Ami Vitale, who put the cameras through their paces in challenging conditions while shooting in Africa. The KeyMission 170 is your classic GoPro-style action camera that records UHD video, while the KeyMission 80 is basically a rugged life-logging device – a mobile phone with just the video capturing capabilities for consumers. With the announcement of the Nikon Keymission 170 happening on the same day as GoPro revealed their new GoPro HERO 5 that offers a similar functionality at the exact same pricepoint, these two new action cameras stand in direct competition now. The only question that remains is which is the better one to choose. We’ll find out soon enough when both cameras are released later this year. Nikon Keymission 360, announced in January of 2016 The Keymission 170, 80 and 360 are available for pre-order and will be shipping in October.Read more
It’s truly amazing what inventors come up with these days. Just take a look at this new gadget that recently hit Kickstarter and is already a success: the Octospot is a diving action camera that can float through water on its own, has numerous intelligent functions and looks like an underwater starship Enterprise. Even if you’re not a diver, this device certainly has its appeal. Unlike other Kickstarter news, this one looks more like a professional tool with a very well thought-out purpose: the diving action camera is designed for a very specific environment that requires certain unique ideas. Check out the video above to learn all about it. One of the more intriguing features is the third-person viewer mode. This is cool not only because it makes the camera look like a spaceship, but also because it offers unique viewpoints for individual divers. It also negates the need for an additional camera person, much like with the follow mode on drones. Other than that, the Octospot can be mounted in numerous different ways, is waterproof and dives down to a depth of 200m. It also corrects the white balance depending on the water pressure and depth, logs diving data that can be accessed via an app and records 4K video among other things. Octospot Diving Action Camera Desktop App This device certainly doesn’t look like a toy and the ideas are intriguing. There’s little doubt that this Kickstarter will see the light of day. After all, it’s already raised $280k and exceeded the initial goal of $80k, with 13 days remaining in the campaign. The estimated delivery for the Octospot diving action camera is early 2017, and you can order the basic package right now for $369. For more information head over to their Kickstarter campaign HERE.Read more
I’m quite sad. I spend my time trawling the internet for new and interesting technology and recently, I happened upon Mokacam via IndieGoGo. Apparently, it is the world’s smallest 4K action camera—and it certainly looks like it has some interesting design features. However, is it any good, or is the world’s smallest 4K action camera really just designed and named as such to appeal to a modern market that is obsessed with minimalistic design? Let’s find out! Comparing Mokacam to GoPro Obviously, whenever anybody looks at an action camera, comparisons are made with GoPro. After all, GoPro are a pseudo industry standard after taking the market by storm. Despite the fact that their sales and share price have been tumbling enough for them to have had to cut jobs, probably due to an influx of competitors and cheaper “knock-offs”, the manufacturer is still winning the action camera race. Fortunately for me, Mokacam have made it very easy to compare the GoPro Hero range and their alternative by including a lovely little chart on their Indiegogo campaign page. I’ve added the chart below so that you can draw your own conclusions. As you can see, Mokacam falls behind when recording 4K video, but they do have some interesting trade-offs to combat that. These include several innovative design features, motion detection functionality, and a lower price tag than even the Hero4 Session—which doesn’t record 4K. Mokacam Specs 7-layer, 35mm glass lens 16 MP Sony IMX206 Sensor An integrated HD microphone Records in 4K @ 15fps, 1080p @ 60fps/30fps, 720p @ 120fps/60fps and VGA @ 240fps 8 Aperture and 100-6400 ISO 246 encoding 1000mHa lithium-ion battery with 1100mHa spare Two mounting points, one magnetic and one ¼-inch screw. Also included is an adaptor to make Mokacam compatible with GoPro mounts Micro USB charging port SD card slot, supports up to 64GB (card not included) A choice of black, gold, blue, silver, and pink bodies made up of an impact and water resistant polycarbonate shell Small form factor (45mmx45mmx30mm) and weighs 79g An integrated app for iOS and Android Mokacam’s Interesting Design Innovations I’m beginning to feel like a parrot. I keep harping on about the interesting design features that the Mokacam engineers have come up with. So, without further ado, let’s take a quick look over the design features that have turned me into a Macaw! Snap-on batteries I suppose that when you’re halfway up a vertical rock face, or slaloming down the slopes of the Swiss Alps, stopping to change the battery in your action camera isn’t the most convenient thing in the world. Mokacam seems to have combated this issue using a magnetic, Snap-on battery. What remains to be seen, though, is quite how strong the magnet is. The last thing you want when you’re trying to film your descent from the top of a mountain, using only a wingsuit—with your dog strapped to your back—is for a strong gust of wind to send yo ur battery to Timbuktu! Modular 270-degree screen Mokacam have opted to offer an optional screen for monitoring. It rotates 270-degrees and is powered by its own built-in battery, meaning that the camera’s battery life doesn’t take a hit when you decide to attach and use the screen. Unless I am mistaken, the screen appears to be controlled by buttons located on the screen’s body, rather than via touch screen. Magnetic mount It seems the folks behind Mokacam are big magnet fans—the camera can be mounted to any magnetic metal surface without using screws or brackets thanks to magnetic mounting functionality. As with the battery’s magnet, we’ve yet to see how powerful the mount really is; though Mokacam have described it as “super strong.” Motion detection This is something I’ve not personally encountered in any of the action cameras currently on the market, and I am quite interested to see how good the motion sensor that Mokacam uses is. I can certainly see some interesting uses for the motion detection technology included when combined with the magnetic mounting system. Handheld and Wearable Stabilizers Mokacam have partnered with Feiyu Tech to produce a few handy gimbals for the action camera. One is handheld, the other wearable, and both seem to fit well with Mokacam’s affinity for minimalistic design. In terms of functionality, they’re both very much what you’d expect. Handheld Stabilizer Specs 3 axis stabilization Brushless motors 3-hour battery life 238mm, 256 grams Pans -160° (left) to +160 (right) when held vertically Pans -50° (left) to +50 (right) when held horizontally Tilt -160 +160 Roll -5 – +50 Wearable Stabilizer Specs Compatible with universal tripod screw mounting points 3 axis stabilization Brushless motors 3-hour battery life 188 grams GoPro T-clamp adapter included Pitch: 320 Roll: 100 Heading: -320 Mokacam Conclusion When all is said and done, Mokacam is an interesting piece of kit with some even more interesting design features. If you’re looking to record your adventures in 4K, you should look elsewhere. However, if you’re looking for a small form factor with innovative design features and a low price tag then the Mokacam is certainly an option for you to consider. For their first offering, Mokacam’s team seems to have been relatively successful in designing an affordable action camera that I’d imagine will be rather successful. While serious action filmmakers won’t be too keen on Mokacam, I can see the camera being quite successful in the casual market—and over 4,000 backers, that have pledged almost $1,000,000 on Indiegogo, seem to agree with me. The Mokacam Adventure bundle costs $189 and is available for pre-order on Indiegogo, with the modular accessories available separately.Read more
Nikon has been running a low profile in the video market for the past few years, but it looks like 2016 is the time of their comeback. Today they introduced several new 4K cameras, including the innovative Nikon KeyMission 360 Action Camera. An action camera that lets you choose and change the angle of view in a 360-degree space. Alongside introducing the new Nikon D5 and Nikon D500, the company that once brought us the very first video capable DSLR t0day also enters the action camera market for the first time. The good news is that the Nikon KeyMission 360 Action Camera is not just another GoPro clone, offering some intriguing features with its 360-degree field of view. From the press release: The Nikon KeyMission 360 features an image sensor and lens on opposite sides of the device, with images from each combining to create a single immersive, ultra-high-definition 360-degree video and still image. A terrific companion for a wide range of travel, sports or when an adventure takes a turn off the beaten path, the camera is designed to be easy to use and to withstand the elements. The Nikon KeyMission 360 has a waterproof (up to 30m) and shock-absorbent housing. It also comes with built-in WIFI and Bluetooth for smartphone connectivity. Camera angles can be changed with the smartphone app. The official video, below, shows you how the Nikon KeyMission 360 works. The only question for filmmakers might be if it is possible to get rid of the “fisheye look” that this 360-degree camera brings. GoPro has been able to provide an action camera with a decent “film look” and Nikon yet has to prove that their camera will be able to live up to these standards. Nikon’s 360 Action Camera in Action Please note that Apple Safari cannot display these 360 degree videos properly (with the ability to move around), please use Google Chrome if possible.Read more
Sony has released a new action camera; the FDR-X1000 is a compact, splash proof wearable device that shoots up to 4K resolution. The new release comes in light of Sony’s news conference at CES 2015, one of the largest electronics tradeshows on the calendar. The Sony FDR-X1000 is small, lightweight and slash proof, but shipping with a case that is fully waterproofed. The wide angle Zeiss lens provides up to 170° FOV (field of view), shooting onto microSDs and powered by a removable battery. It’ll take photos, and bursts up to 10 fps, has a built in mic and 1/4 20″ thread on the bottom for mounting. It’ll record in 4K up to 30, 1080p up to 120fps and 720p up to 240fps. About the same as the GoPro Hero 4, right? The sting in the tail is the implementation of Sonys XAVC S codec, far more robust than GoPro’s H.264 options. It will be interesting to see how this codec/tiny cam combo works, especially due to the fact that at 3840X2160 you are receiving a direct 1:1 pixel read out; no pixel binning. If that wasn’t enough to stir things up, Sony has also implemented Improved Steady Shot Image Stabilization, which specifically mentions anti-vibration optimization for use on remote control aircrafts. Stabilization is an area where GoPro is particularly lacking, which means that micro vibrations become particularly visible with the rolling shutter in GoPro images. Proper optical stabilization in such a small camera is probably what makes the Sony camera stand out most. The FDR-X1000 is Wi-Fi enabled; with the supporting app you can control up to 5 devices at the same time. The app provides various controls including shutter, playback, timelapse and most importantly live view. Lastly is the important manual control for exposure and White Balance. White Balance is kelvin selectable (2500 to 9900K) and exposure works in increments – ±2.0, 1.7, 1.3, 1.0, 0.7, 0.3, 0.0; these are likely combinations of set shutter speeds and ISO speeds whilst relying on a fixed aperture. This is a fantastic competitor to the monopolising GoPro Hero 4, and at $500, they both cost the same. You can pre-order the Sony FDR-X1000 right now using the link below.Read more
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