At this point, you've probably heard that the Virtual Reality revolution is coming. Seemingly every week, big companies are making announcements about dipping their toes into the 360 video technology game. For example: Facebook purchased the class-leading virtual reality headset company Oculus, Samsung released their GearVR headsets that work with their smart phones, and Nokia announced their stereoscopic professional VR OZO camera.
GoPro has been no exception. Earlier this year, they purchased one of the best VR stitching software companies, Kolor, announced a consumer-level 360 rig using their own GoPro Cameras, and this week, they have announced details on the professional grade $15k "Jump" VR camera. So what do you get for all of that cash?
SEP 08, 2015
Beginning today, GoPro is offering limited purchase availability of Odyssey, the 3D, 360° 16-camera rig designed for Google’s virtual reality platform, Jump, through the Odyssey Limited Access Program (LAP). Professional Content creators and producers now have a chance to purchase and receive their own Odyssey rig later this year.
Built with the ability to sync with the Google Jump platform, Odyssey offers stereoscopic content capture for virtual reality. With features like genlock synchronization, multi-camera control and extended battery life, GoPro Odyssey aims to eliminate pain points that pro creators often face during their adventures.
Odyssey not only makes it possible for professionals to capture life’s most unforgettable experiences in an entirely new way, but it also allows for anyone to experience a time or place like they’re actually there through 3D, 360° content.
Additional Program Details Include:
Those interested in participating in the LAP can sign up now through the end of the year at GoPro.com/Odyssey.
GoPro and Google will work together to select content partners who will be granted access to purchase the limited-quantity Odyssey rig and showcase the full potential of 360° content.
Odyssey will be offered at $15,000, which includes:
- 16 HERO4 Black cameras, fully loaded with custom firmware
- 16 array bacpacs with syncing cables
- Custom-built ultra-rugged Pelican case
As Fstoppers resident virtual reality producer, I find this all pretty compelling. Although is it worth $15,000? That completely depends...I have a few questions and thoughts first. If you do the math, 16 Hero 4 Black cameras cost approximately $8000. That leaves $7000 for additional battery packs, the VR housing, the pelican case, the microphone, and GoPro tech support.
I wonder what kind of microphone system they will be using. Will it be multidirectional in order to capture multi-channel spatial sound like the Nokia Ozo and its 8 integrated microphones? Sound is a HUGE aspect for 360 video in my opinion. For any high end virtual reality production we've done, we have used our own 4 channel mics multi-directional microphones for spatial sound around the camera and also captured wild sound separately with a boom mic for unique details and had it all mixed in post production. So, even if the camera has an included "microphone", will it still give you professional level sound? Will you be able to embed custom audio mixes into the post production software? It certainly is a possibility, but would love to know!
One other big question. It appears that there are no cameras on the top or bottom of the rig (I could be wrong). That means, in order to create a full 360 video sphere, the rig will need a lot of space in order for the 16 cameras to be able to see a full field of view of the sides top and bottom. If you put the Jump in close-quarters, such as in the passenger seat of a car for a virtual test drive, it may not have enough space to see the ceiling and floor of the car interior. Although, this is all in theory and I look forward to seeing the Jump put to the test. If it can really deliver on the professional level, I will most certainly consider shelling out $15,000 for this camera system.