GoPro enters the VR game with Fusion 360-degree camera

Pre-orders for the $699 action camera are now open worldwide.

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GoPro has entered the virtual reality market with its latest pocket-sized camera, called the Fusion.

With two wide angle lenses, one of either side of the device that record video at the same time, the GoPro Fusion creates a sphere of video: perfect to watch in VR.

GoPro's CEO Nick Woodman revealed the new camera today, which already has a major free software update planned for early 2018. The device will get a range of new shooting and editing modes — each taking advantage of the fact the camera shoots in every direction at once. Users will pick and choose which angle they want from any moment of the recorded footage.

The most impressive feature is called Overcapture, which can be used to take a 360-sphere of video, shot with a static Fusion camera, and then let photogs zoom in and out and pan across the footage. Woodman demonstrated the tool by shooting static footage of a skateboarder passing by; he then created a video where the camera appears to zoom in and out, and pan to follow the subject across the skatepark.

Check out the video below for a better picture of what this means:

Come the new year, the $699 Fusion will also get Angel View, which makes footage appear as if it has been shot from a camera floating several feet away from the subject. An extension pole is needed here, but the way the Fusion's lenses are located means the pole is subtly removed from shot, while the subject remains untouched in the centre of frame.

The Fusion can be pre-ordered now and will ship in November, while the software update enabling Overcapture, Angle View and other features will arrive early next year.

GoPro says the Fusion is waterproof, has the same voice controls as other GoPro cameras, and boasts impressive video stabilisation. It also has Wi-Fi, the standardised GoPro mounting system for attaching accessories, and works with the GoPro smartphone app.

The Fusion will begin shipping in NovemberGoPro

Karma news too

A year on from the disastrous launch of the GoPro Karma drone, which in some cases fell from the sky and was temporarily withdrawn from sale, the device has received an update. It now has a follow mode to track its owner from near or far, and the ability to pan its camera upwards for a new view of the world around it. The new Karma is available for purchase now and costs $799 without a camera, or $1,199 when bundled with the new Hero 6.

Also announced today, the Hero 6 is GoPro's first camera to use the company's own processor, called the GP1. This means twice the performance of the year-old Hero 5, improved video stabilisation, and the ability to shoot 4K Ultra HD footage at 60 frames per second. It can also shoot 1080p Full HD at 240 frames per second. Finally, GoPro has improved the camera's Wi-Fi performance, meaning footage transfer to the smartphone app is now a claimed three times faster than with the Hero 5.

The Hero 6 costs $499 and is available globally now.

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