One of our goals on the DDMC forum over the past couple years has been to keep pace with innovations in 360 camera technology in their application at Duke. We’ve covered milestones from the still awesome Insta360 Nano introduced in early 2017 all the way to the new 6-lens Insta360 Pro 360, which opens the door to 8k in the prosumer sphere. Since GoPro is such an important player in the world of portable action cameras, we wanted to note their foray into the 360 camera space with their new Go Pro Fusion (~$700.00). While the claim GoPro makes that the Fusion is “arguably the most versatile creative tool ever made” is, well, arguable, it is an interesting camera and worth considering if you’re planning on purchasing a 360 camera.
As you would expect from a company built around sports footage, one of the benefits of the Go Pro is its durable design and the thinking that has gone into how the Fusion can function as an ergonomic accessory for someone engaged in physical activity. For example, it has a solid hand-held design and can be extended using a disappearing selfie stick that most reviewers seem to appreciate. In addition, it can be voice activated to make it easy when operating the unit from a distance.
- Durable housing
- Selfie stick attachment disappears when aligned with camera body
- Built-in image stabilization (non-gimbal)
- High res (5.2K)
- “OverCapture” is a well-conceived framework for accessing and exporting segments of video in post production
- Voice control
- One of the significant differences between the Fusion and other 360 cameras is the requirement for two SD cards, and the fact that each of the two lenses writes their footage separately to each card. This means that in order for you to obtain a full 360 video you’ll need to use the editing software, which adds time and difficulty to the process of creating a video. Takes a long time to export footage. Between 20 and 45 minutes per minute of footage in GoPro Fusion Studio.
- Large files sizes for exported videos: ~4.5 GB/ minute at 5.2K in Pro Res format (~ 1 GB/minute at 4K H.264)
- The unit can get hot when operating
- Mobile software hasn’t been getting great reviews
Here is a fairly through review of the Fusion that delves into many of the nuances of the Fusion and could be helpful if you’re considering making a purchase: