GoPro could have launched the HERO6 motion digicam this week, nevertheless it’s the Fusion digicam which has me actually intrigued. It guarantees 360-degree video and picture seize like different VR cameras we’ve seen, however justifies its $699 price ticket with OverCapture, GoPro‘s huge new software program function. That may will let you take 1080p conventional movies from spherical footage, and as I came upon once I examined it myself, it’s a possible game-changer.

Fusion is a 5.2K 360-degree digicam, utilizing the identical mounting bracket as GoPro’s different fashions. It’s waterproof to 16 toes – about half the depth a HERO6 can face up to – and helps voice instructions. GoPro will bundle it with a few mounts and a Fusion Grip, which extends right into a selfie-stick with a tripod base.

The digicam itself appears like a real-world model of the Instagram app emblem. It’s larger than a HERO6, with a 180-degree lens on both aspect; not like on most 360-degree cameras, GoPro offset the lenses relatively than placing them immediately back-to-back, which it says helps decrease sew traces. Within the battery compartment there’s a detachable li-ion pack that’s about twice the scale of that of the HERO6, together with two microSD playing cards.

Every digicam will get its personal reminiscence card, after which GoPro’s app combines the 2 units of information routinely. That’s the case whether or not you switch footage over WiFi to the smartphone app, plug the Fusion into your desktop pc by way of its USB Kind-C port, and even in the event you come out the reminiscence playing cards and use a card reader. Import it into the desktop app and it’ll mix the right information by itself.

Proper now, there’s no single-camera mode for a 180-degree perspective, although GoPro tells me that’s one thing the corporate is contemplating as beta testers have requested it. In the mean time, although, the Fusion gained’t begin recording if just one microSD is put in. There’s no colour touchscreen because the HERO6 will get, in fact, only a small monochrome LCD with battery and recording standing, a button on the entrance to start out recording, and a aspect button for energy and mode.

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In addition to 360-degree video, Fusion additionally information 360-degree audio. In the event you use OverCapture to chop out a bit of the scene, nevertheless, the digicam can create a stereo audio monitor that pertains to that part of video, and which shifts in the event you pan round.

I examined out a pre-production digicam in San Francisco, producing a fast demo reel of what GoPro’s new software program can do. What’s price remembering is that every part you see within the video is filmed with a single Fusion, mounted on the handlebars of the bike. There are nonetheless some foibles – this isn’t ultimate or software program, in any case – just like the digicam’s GP1-powered digital picture stabilization, which it’s going to ultimately share with the HERO6 however which isn’t enabled on this pattern.

Nonetheless, even with these provisos the potential is big. For a begin, you may deal with Fusion as successfully an infinite variety of GoPro cameras pointing outward from a single spot, switching between them at will. These switches could possibly be sharp cuts, as if flipping between totally different cameras, or they are often clean pans as if a single digicam was being bodily turned.

Zoom proper out and you’ve got the “tiny planet” perspective, from which you’ll then zoom again in as if from a swooping top-down view into common framing. Importantly, really doing that enhancing is sort of as easy as recording the unique footage was. Within the GoPro app, you may both drag the footage round within the preview or bodily transfer your telephone round, with the gyroscope adjusting the attitude to go well with. Every clip may be exported and uploaded on to providers like YouTube, Fb, and Instagram for the app, saved to the gadget itself, or emailed.

I think what’s going to find yourself Fusion’s forte is permitting solo customers to create the form of footage that will historically demand a separate digicam particular person on the very least. With OverCapture you would take video from a single Fusion and comply with your topic across the scene with out the GoPro ever transferring from a tripod. Mount Fusion on a motorized slider, in the meantime, and people photographs could possibly be much more dramatic – as if you will have an precise digicam crew at your disposal.

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Options like Angel View, in the meantime – which I wasn’t in a position to attempt myself, however which GoPro exhibits off on this demo video – could possibly be equally efficient. Then, abruptly, you will have a digicam which might monitor you as if from a jib or crane, however mounted on nothing extra complicated than a selfie-stick. GoPro’s software program guarantees to erase that stick from the ultimate footage.

At Fusion’s launch in November, you’ll want to make use of GoPro’s desktop app if you’d like any of the OverCapture options. The cellular app performance will comply with on in early 2018, GoPro says, together with a WiFi replace to allow the 5GHz radio.

MORE GoPro HERO6 preview

$699 isn’t cheap, even for a 360-degree digicam. Nevertheless, given Fusion may – at its most simple – offer you each the photographs that beforehand two or extra of GoPro’s common cameras would seize back-to-back, abruptly it begins to make the $499 HERO6 look a bit of costly. Issue within the inventive potential of OverCapture, and issues get a complete lot extra intriguing nonetheless.

We’ll know extra when the ultimate hits cabinets in November, at which level we’ll be capable to see how issues like digital stabilization and desktop enhancing maintain up too. Proper now, although, even when I’m nonetheless skeptical of the usefulness of 360-degree video typically, Fusion’s means to make use of that as a path to better flexibility in conventional video recording is fascinating.