Currently a prototype, the all-seeing camera will be available to buy in August this year.
The device consists of a camera head and a base unit. It uses four cameras to create the 360-degree video in a 2:1 aspect ratio. What’s remarkable is that the stitching is done on board, in real-time, with very low latency. This means that it can be put to use without the need for complex external processing. It’s designed for live broadcast of sport, concerts and other stadium events.
It sounds like it’s simple to operate, with automatic exposure and white balance. It uses “real-time, active stitching that is able to modify the stitching position to adapt to the requirements of different types of scenes.
The 4K (3840 x 1920) image, says Panasonic, provides an immersive experience for the viewer.
We think it’s encouraging to see major manufacturers branching away from “conventional” video. With 360 degree and video-based virtual reality, it’s a somewhat chicken and egg situation at the moment. Viewers are waiting for more material - and the means to watch it - but manufacturers are holding back until there are more consumers for the new formats.
So kudos to Panasonic for their efforts to break this particular logjam.