surround 360 camera rig

Checkout This New Facebook 360 Open-source Camera

360 degree cameras are designed to enable a new generation of filmmaking, and these type of cameras are becoming increasingly popular from cheap to high-end devices currently flooding the market. While you can produce cheap 360 content with a something like a Richoh Theta that will cost you couple hundred dollars, other professional 360 video cameras will costs tens of thousands of dollars.



While Oculus was somewhat portrayed as a game focused company in the past, this week their parent company Facebook announced that they will be releasing their own 360 camera this summer…for free!


facebook vr


The Facebook 360 camera will costs $30,000 in off-the-shelf material acquisition, however, Facebook has no interest of becoming a 360 camera manufacturer, rather their goal is the enable to world to create and share 360 video content.


facebook surround 360 cam

FB Presents Surround360 Rig

The camera, Surround360, is a 360 camera that has 14 rigs uses 17 cameras. One fish-eye cameras pointing upward and two pointing downward to help VR filmmakers produced 360 videos without capturing the pole that is connected to the 360 cam, a common problem that VR filmmakers experience. The camera is run by custom designed software, exposure, shutter speed, analog sensor gain, and frame rate are all controllable via a simple web interface, so any device that supports a html browser can record.


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Facebook engineer Brian Cabral says


“You can treat it like an ordinary camera,” Cabral says of the Surround360. “You plug it in. You hit record. You get a big data file out. And it somehow gets turned into a seamless video, just like you would with any video camera.”


With a up to 4k, 6k, and 8k for each individual eye, the software’s algorithm will enable a much more efficient post-production, cutting production time by to 1/7 of the current post-production effort. The reference design of the 360 camera looks slick, shaped like a UFO. The solution solves a wide range of current technical problem, and all the hardware and software designs will be open-sourced on Github, as the company is promoting amateurs to professionals to build their own camera.


The cameras utilize a global shutter instead of a rolling one, which ensures the footage does not display artifacts from the closing of individual shutters. According Facebook, this camera will be the best on the market in it’s range.


Author: VR Reporter

I am a hi-tech enthusiast, VR evangelist, and a Co-founder & Chief Director at Virtual Reality Reporter!

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