Kodak’s new 360-degree VR action camera looks both ways
While Kodak's 360-degree cameras have been around for a while now, and made the jump to 4K last year, you've needed two of them strapped back-to-back to capture a full 360 spherical footage. That will change next year when JK Imaging introduces its third generation 360-degree VR camera, the 4K-shooting 4KVR360 which has two lenses.
Previewed at Photokina 2016, the upcoming Kodak PixPro 4KVR360 will make the switch to a single-body cube shaped design with front and back cameras similar to the Ricoh Theta S, Nikon KeyMission 360, and Samsung Gear 360. It uses 155-degree and 235-degree lenses which work together to capture 4K spherical footage on the 20-megapixel 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensors in the camera.
Stills can be shot at up to 27-megapixels in full VR mode, or 13-megapixels in round mode (360-degree footage from one lens). Video can be shot in 4K VR (3,840 × 1,920) or round mode (2,880 x 2,880) using the wider lens both at 24 fps (frames per second). More conventional-looking footage can be shot using just the front 155-degree lens at Full HD 1080p 60 fps, or HD 720p at up to 120 fps. Users will have to select which mode they want to record in at the time.
Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allow users to control and view the camera remotely from a smart device. Bluetooth is also at hand for remote control when using an optional wearable remote control device. The camera will come with editing and stitching software for Macs and PCs, and the resulting footage can be shared and viewed on services like Facebook and YouTube. If relying on the camera to stitch the 360 footage internally, frame-rates drop to 15 fps.
The PixPro 4KVR360 measures 55 x 55 x 67 mm (2.1 x 2.1 x 2.6 in) and weighs 170 g (6 oz) it is also said to be able to withstand the odd knock thanks to being shockproof to drops from 2 m (6 ft) and is also splash-proof. It shoots to a microSD memory card (128 GB) and the removable battery is said to deliver around two hours of use.
In addition to the 4KVR360 preview, JK Imaging also revealed a few other Kodak branded cameras. These include Astro Zoom models such as the AZ901, which packs a whopping 90x optical zoom, 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and a 3-inch articulating monitor, and the AZ652, a 20-megapixel bridge camera which will have a wide angle lens, a 65x optical zoom and built-in Wi-Fi.
There's no word yet on exactly when in 2017 the 4KVR360 will be released, or how much it will cost. We do however, know the AZ901 will cost €499 (which is around US$445) and the AZ652 €349 ($390) when they also hit stores at some point in 2017.