At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018, Kodak announced and showcased two virtual reality (VR) cameras that are so new they do not even have any official names yet. VRFocus spoke to Kevin Kunze, Brand Ambassador and Beta Tester for Kodak about the company’s latest innovations in the VR space.
The first time VRFocus mentioned Kodak in regards to any VR related aspects was when Kodak announced the Kodak PIXPRO SP360, with a SOLO dual camera drone mount. This would allow drone pilots to capture full spherical 360° VR video in an effortless workflow. It wasn’t long after that Kodak brought out their 4K 360-degree camera PixPro 4KVR360. The 4KVR360 has two 4K fixed focus lenses housed on either side of the camera body. This enables it to capture full 360-degree 4K video, the footage can then be uploaded to Facebook and YouTube via the camera’s Smart Device App. As with all Kodak PixPro 360-degree cameras, the 4KVR360 will include complimentary PixPro Editing and Stitching software for both Mac and PCs.
Kunze showcased the two new Beta cameras at CES, both of which have no release date or price confirmed as of yet. The first to be shown is the three-lens 8K PixPro 360 camera that is able to film at 30 frames per second (FPS) or 4K at 60FPS, potentially even at 120FPS. The higher frame rates would enable for better filming in low light conditions, as well as capturing fast action such as for sports. The three-lens camera will also be able to go underwater. A waterproof case will be coming out soon, hopefully around the same release date as the camera and because it has three lenses, it erases the problems faced with dual lenses underwater and the light refraction.
Though no exact details have been given on battery life or price, Kunze says that comparing it to current Kodak 360 cameras on the market, this three-lens camera will most likely have a battery life of one hour to an hour and a half. It will also enable users the ability to potentially run on battery packs, if tethered to a micros SD. So rather than relying on internal power, it could potentially use the power off of an external battery pack.
“You compare with other 8k cameras on the market right now and most of them are the size of a bowling ball, and ours is the size of a hockey puck” Kevin Kunze says. It’ll also be, potentially, $1000-$2000 (USD) cheaper in price than the ‘bowling balls’ too. Kunze says that the moment it’s released that he’ll put one on top and on the bottom of a drone, and hopefully they’ll be able to fix all stabilisation issues faced with 360 by drone pilots.
The second camera Kunze shows VRFocus he nicknames “the Butterfly”. A camera that shoots 4K 30 FPS or can fold out and do 3D sterescopic 180 was designed specifically to please the push YouTube and Google are making into 3D on their platforms. You can also tether the camera together and make a full 360 3D unit, if you were to have three them tethered together due to its field of view.
To have a look at the cameras and find out more about how Kunze is testing them, watch the video below.