The new Vuze VR camera from HumanEyes will fit in your (large) pocket. And it’s dead simple to use, point-and-shoot with no stitching in post-production. With eight HD cameras, you get full 360 video with 4K resolution. And it all runs through an iOS or Android app on your smartphone.
Vuze is the latest in consumer-grade cameras to be released this year. It will cost you $799, a steal compared to the other options. The GoPro Omni will cost you $5,000 for six Hero cameras along with the hardware, software and frame. And you could spend a lot more. The Facebook Surround 360 will set you back $30,000 and the amazing Nokia OZO, $60,000.
What’s in the Vuze VR camera
As Engadget notes, Vuze is not the cheapest VR camera around but here’s the positives:
Ricoh, Samsung and others are already making smaller 360-degree cameras that cost under $400, and Nikon’s upcoming KeyMission 360 may be similarly affordable, but all these options only shoot in 2D. Vuze’s system packs eight cameras versus two to four on most of these competitors, which is what allows to record in 3D (or 2D at higher resolution). Another advantage of the extra optics, is it doesn’t have to rely on fisheye lenses (and thus compensate for serious distortion) to create its wrap-around 4K picture.
You can see where this is going. Grab the camera and phone. Live your life, point, shoot, post video. In close to real-time. For the quality, nothing offers that level of simplicity.
HumanEyes is touting the Vuze’s “point and shoot” capabilities and that extends to post-production. The company says it will have “near real-time processing” (i.e., about one minute of processing per minute of footage) through its Vuze Studio app, that stitches the footage together using a variety of techniques, including a proprietary algorithm it calls adaptive blending. Based on the test footage available, the Vuze’s stitching isn’t quite seamless — you can definitely spot the lines where one camera’s footage begins and another ends. But at this point, getting stitching right is a very labor-intensive process (trust us) — HumanEyes is optimizing for speed here, for those that are trying to capture and share either more amateur or more time-sensitive footage. (The Verge)
If you’re not happy with their proprietary software, you can export the video and run it through Adobe Premiere or iMovie.
More to come
Whether Vuze will be the GoPro of the VR camera field remains to be seen. By the October release date, the market will be a lot more competitive. But it’s a huge step toward the goal of point-and-shoot virtual reality cameras. And once we get there, you’ll see an explosion of content from consumers, educators and independent filmmakers.
As if to the prove the point, there’s an entry in the short film category in current Cannes Film Festival shot on a Vuze. The quality is impressive for a VR camera for under $1,000.
Especially one that you can carry in your pocket.
Emory Craig is a writer, speaker, and VR consultant with extensive experience in art, new media, and higher education. He speaks at global conferences on innovation, education, and ethical technology in the future. He has published widely and worked with the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Living at the intersection of learning, games, and immersive storytelling, he is fascinated by AI-based avatars, digital twins, and the ethical implications of blurring the boundaries between the real and the virtual.