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GoPro releases industry-grade VR rig made from 16 cameras

By Liu Hongzuo - on 9 Sep 2015, 12:17pm

GoPro releases industry-grade VR rig made from 16 cameras

GoPro Odyssey, now an actual VR rig instead of a concept product.

GoPro’s Virtual Reality (VR) rig is finally ready for use. Their stereoscopic panoramic capture rig, dubbed the Odyssey, is now available for professionals who wish to own a VR camera rig made of 16 GoPros knitted together.

Example of 2.7K resolution used by GoPro HERO 4 cameras. Source: abekislevitz.com

By using a total of 16 flagship GoPro HERO4 Black cameras, set in a circle within the Odyssey Panoramic Capture Rig, you can capture videos up to 2.7K resolution in 4:3 aspect ratio (2704 x 2028 pixels) at 30 frames per second (fps) in NTSC mode, or 25fps for PAL. The footage from all the cameras will then be processed in the Jump assembler – a VR processing technology by Google – and the Odyssey will have an output resolution of up to 8,000 x 8,000 over under panoramic MPEG4 video, with a bit rate of 600Mbit/s.

Other features of the Odyssey include additional support for external power (AC/DC) via XLR connector, and external support for stereo microphones, using a 3.5mm microphone adapter that’s sold separately. What is included, however, is the Zoom H2N external recorder kit.

Specifications of the GoPro Odyssey.

The Odyssey comes bundled with extra accessories, such as 16 microSD cards and a carrying case, on top of the 16 GoPro HERO4 Black cameras and the setup rig itself.

The GoPro Odyssey rig is a retail-ready version of their 360-degree camera array experiment, which also uses the same camera syncing concept. GoPro is not the first company to produce a professional grade VR camera – there’s also the Nokia OZO, launched in late July 2015 this year. Unlike the Odyssey, Nokia OZO uses eight synchronized global shutter sensors to record stereoscopic 3D video, and eight built-in microphones for recording spatially accurate sound. The footage is then processed with third-party production tools, in order to cut down on the time-consuming process of stitching panoramic images together, to achieve the VR effect.

To get the GoPro Odyssey, you will need to be a professional filmmaker in the industry, and register for a unit here. If your company or you are eligible for the Odyssey unit, GoPro will personally get in touch for more details. This purchase system is similar to the invite-only system used by the smartphone makers of the OnePlus 2. GoPro states that the purchase system is in place, simply because they can only produce a limited number of Odyssey sets at a given time.

For non-filmmakers who want to learn about GoPro’s 2.7K resolution, you can watch this video, or read this resolution guide.

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