Sphericam might not be a household name, but the company certainly has vision. A week or so at NAB NYC, it announced its new 360 degree camera system.
Placed as an antidote to the rather consumer-orientated solutions out there, the Beast is a modular system that can stream VR live, as well as capturing data at 6K resolution in Cinema DNG raw at 60fps. Interestingly, Sphericam advertises it as using 10-bit RAW, as opposed to the more common 12 or higher. This may have a bearing on grading potential. But with 512GB being captured per sensor, per 10 minutes, you still need to be sure of some serious storage for any footage that you obtain with it!
360 video is increasingly being used in marketing, such as for Virgin, showing some of the experiences that can be booked with them. Until now, most 360 camera solutions have been based upon GoPro camera arrays or low tier, all-in-one cameras such as from Kodak.
However, despite a subtly increasing niche use for such systems, it is, perhaps, telling that no other company has really come forward with a truly easy-to-use, affordable professional 360 system. So, we can only wait and see whether Sphericam has cornered this particular area of an emerging market and whether it will truly take off in a way that 3D didn’t.
Press release on Page Two.
Full Press Release
Introducing 360 VR camera system so powerful we call it the Beast.
New York, November 7th 2016
Sphericam Inc. will be launching its newest 360º camera system at the NAB Show in New York City on November 9th after several months of intense stealth development.
The new Sphericam Beast camera system is a large-format, high-end, cinema grade, modular and easily scalable 360º video capture system that can also stream live to the web or to headsets. The first iteration of the system uses four 1" inch sensors and four M.2 SSD drives to capture uncompressed 360 degree video at an output resolution of more than 6K at 60fps and 10-bit RAW format.
Sphericam is expanding its product portfolio with a new studio-grade virtual reality camera system designed from the ground up to offer best-in-class fully spherical image capture and streaming performance for high-end filmmakers and broadcasters. The Sphericam team has created this "truly cinematic" system with great care and consideration, providing production groups the level of quality and resolution they have been asking us for. "For a young venture backed company the decision to address the challenges of the professional users rather than to focus on the large volume consumer solutions is a defining moment. We feel our strengths are understanding the most demanding product and technical aspects of spherical video capture and providing the industry with no-compromise tools to empower a true cambrian explosion of quality immersive content," founder and CEO Jeffrey Martin explains.
Practical features of the Sphericam Beast camera system are a direct answer to production community needs
● Closely positioned large sensors in a portrait configuration offer exceptionally small parallax for easy stitching
● Live preview 5-inch FullHD displays for each camera ease on-site production workflow
● Practical two-piece design allows the small camera head to be unobtrusively positioned up to 5m from the rest of the system
● Live stitching supports immediate streaming to headsets or through a streaming service at 4k 30FPS
Captures 512GB of RAW sensor data (Cinema DNG) per sensor in under 10 minutes to avoid any compression losses