Cheap 360-degree cameras to land in 2015

Consumers will finally have a chance to bag 360-degree camera rigs at wallet-friendly prices next year, TrustedReviews has learned.

Steve Lloyd, Commercial Director at 360-media firm SphereVision, told us that more affordable rigs will make it much cheaper to produce home-grown spherical content in 2015.

There’s going to be a range of small all-in-one camera devices that will be appearing on the market next year sometime,” Lloyd explained. “They’ll be at the £300 or £400 price point for a unified camera cluster.”

He went on to describe how the devices would make use of two or three sensors, and would ‘probably record to a 64GB SD card.’

Shooting 360 video right now is very expensive – professional rigs can cost tens of thousands of pounds, while consumer rigs often total four figures.

“If you go to a sports shop and go buy a GoPro Hero 4, it’ll set you back £370 right? Now to use that for spherical imagery, you’ve got to have at least six of them,” Lloyd told TrustedReviews.

“Six GoPros, plus a mount to rig it on, plus software. That’s four or five grand to get someone up and running.”

Related: Panasonic HX-C1000 review

Fortunately, next year’s raft of budget rigs will give people an opportunity to shoot their own 360 degree footage.

People will want to shoot their own 360 content though, not even just for VR,” Lloyd stated. “Get a camera down to the £300 mark with a good enough resolution, and you’ll record weddings parties and events.”

Lloyd explained how SphereVision had already experimented with ‘parabolic mirror systems’ that clip onto the iPhone, but said they’re not stable or capable of shooting fully spherical footage.

He remained positive for the future of mobile-sired 360 content though, pinning hopes on the smartphone industry.

“Once we’ve overcome all of that, we’ll see rather than just a clip-on to the iPhone, you might find phone imagery capabilities become so sophisticated it becomes very easy to do.”

He added: “Achieving good resolution in video is very hard to do with small and relatively cheap devices – you have to buy upmarket at the moment. You’ve got to be able to see that resolution.”

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