GoPro Omni 360 VR Camera Review
GoPro camera has been at the forefront of recording high quality 360-degree footages for some time, but a $5000 USD price tag isn't cheap for those looking for an entry level 360 camera. The GoPro Omni is for those who's serious about making high quality 360 videos, but do not have to spend over $10,000 for a Google jump or $45,000 for a Nokia Ozo.
The GoPro Omni uses 6 GoPro Hero4 cameras and an aluminum rig similar to other 3D printed rigs on the market. A central control unit enables all 6 cameras to be synced, getting rid of the need to motion or audio sync during post production and making stitching easier. The Omni is also not waterproof and offers no waterproof as an option.
Along with the camera, the company is releasing GoPro VR, a channel dedicated to 360 VR videos. The platform will be available iOS and Android for users to curate GoPro VR videos and enabling user created content. Another function that is included is LiveVR, a wireless streaming tool.
The full package priced at $5000USD includes all 6 HERO4 black cameras, 6 HERO4 batteries, 6 x 32gb micro SD cards, one AutoPano Video license, carrying case, lens covers, mini USB cables, micro SD card reader, GoPro smart remote, 7 port USB hub, waterproof shipping case, and tools. You can also get the rig on it’s own for $1500 which you will get a very solid aluminum rig, waterproof shipping case, and tools.
GoPro Omni requires array camera firmware to be installed on each camera. If you purchased rig only package then you will need to perform the update, and there are drawback in doing so. The only available modes are photos, video in 1440 at 60fps, and 2.7k at 30fps.
The firmware installation will allow 1 camera to be the master, and the five remaining cameras as slaves. This way changes in the master camera setting will also be mirror to the 5 cameras, as well as powering on and begin recording. After the firmware update, only the master camera can be paired to Wifi. If you wish to use Wifi after the update for the 5 slave cameras, you won’t be able to. You must revert back to the standard HERO4 firmware.
The battery also only last barely 3 hours, so it can be a tedious task to have to swap out batteries while shooting in the field to remove face plate on each camera and loosen and removing the screws with the hex key. You would essentially need two people to try to disassemble and putting it back together.
You can charge and remove cameras without having to remove the cameras from the rig. However, when charging via USB, the frame of the rig can cause pressure on USB connection port, where it can be easily damaged if not careful.The GoPro Omni also does not permit the use of lens caps or ND filters. There’s also some compatibility issues with the tripod mount specifications.
The GoPro Omni does not solve the pain points in 360 video post production workflow. Although it is helpful and time-saving that the cameras are synced, but you will still encounter issues to perfectly stitch your videos. Prepare to spend time in Autopano to refine stitches, especially if you are shooting high vibration scenes without a stabilizer. There are also reported bug issues with the Omni Importer where files got misplaced in different folders. So be sure to double check at all times.
Frame Rate (Spherical Resolution)
2.7K 4:3 / 30 fps (7940×3970)
2.7K 4:3 / 25 fps (7940×3970)
1440p / 60 fps (5638×2819)
1440p / 50 fps (5638×2819)
Video format: H.264, .mp4 file format, 45Mbps (Protune 60Mbps)
Audio format: 48kHz, raw PCM
Media: 6x microSD cards
Connectivity / Control: 6x mini USB connections for camera charging and offload. 1x Smart Remote for remote control
Firmware: Omni-specific array camera firmware
Power: 6x Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, 1160mAH, 3.8V, 4.4Wh. 1x 12V power input, 2.5mm x 5.5mm, 8A
Physical dimensions: 120mm x 120mm x 120mm cube