Here’s What $40,000 of 360 Camera Looks Like

It's really a shame that quite possibly the world's most advanced all-in-one 360 camera shares a name with the world's most popular social media platform. It makes the new Meta Three camera really hard to find online. But YouTuber and 360 content creator Hugh Hou was able to get a hands-on look at one in the flesh, and what a look it is.

The Meta Three is made by a UK-based company that's had the Meta name long before the social media network. The camera shoots 12.5K 360 footage and has 14 stops of dynamic range coming from four super-35 sized sensors. It's got a full complement of useful ports such as mini-XLR, 4 HDMI and USB-C ports, and Gigabit Ethernet for wired control. The camera can also do live-streaming at 8K resolution and records to either CFast 2.0 cards or SSDs attached via USB-C. All of this comes at a not-for-the-faint-of-heart $40,000 price tag.

There's a lot of footage provided by the company in Hou's video, including an orchestral performance and footage from the Eden Project's Rainforest Biome in the UK. It's expected to look good. But what's more amazing is Hou's take on it. While it's only a short walk-around the camera, it's clear that stitching, dynamic range, and even top/bottom capture are great with very few blind spots. He manages to get pretty close to the camera without much ghosting or other issues. Chromatic aberration is there (look up at the power lines), but by 360 camera standards, things seemed well controlled, so there's probably some high-quality lenses affixed to this very expensive camera.

I've had the chance to get some seat time beside some pretty high-end 360 cameras such as the Insta360 Titan and the Pro 2, but at first glance, this looks to be a different beast entirely.

Hou points out that he had in hand only one of two Meta Three cameras in the world, the other being currently affixed to the top of the Biome. So, while you're waiting for the chance to get one of your own, you can check out his take on it in the video above or get more information at the company's website here.

Just don't get the company confused with that maker of Facebook.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

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chinese communist govrenbment will love that kind of cam

Jesus Christ dude lol

And the sinophobic comment of the day award goes to...

This is the first time I see a 360 video that doesn't dissappoints me on the quality, which is very exciting. It's just a matter of time that such quality arrives at consumer cameras with reasonable prices