Nikon’s KeyMission 360 degree camera launches in October for $499


Over the past 6 months or so, we’ve reported on a number of companies that have developed new and innovative ways to make 360 degree video much more accessible to the general consumer. From Nokia’s $45,000 Ozo solution to Samsung’s Gear 360 consumer grade camera, there are more choices than ever for those looking to jump into the 360 degree video game. Now, Nikon is looking to make their own play in the space by releasing their new KeyMission 360 camera to the public.

First announced at CES 2016, the KeyMission 360 boasts some impressive specs. In terms of connect-ability, the module touts Wi-Fi along with NFC, meaning users should be able to transfer their footage wherever they are. And this isn’t any regular HD footage, either. The KeyMission 360 supports 4k video, meaning you can make ultra high quality content on the go. While there are currently no head mounted displays that support 4k resolution naively, getting the content creation device to an affordable level is crucial for the VR headsets of the future, which will likely tout these displays as a standard.

While these extra features are great and all, image quality is what really counts on a camera. The module has (2) 20-megapixel sensors with electronic image stabilization, which use fish eye lenses and stitching software to give a full 360 degree field of view. Having some sort of stabilization is absolutely crucial for 360 degree cameras, as viewing content in virtual reality can be quite taxing on the brain if a video does not move as it should in real life. Stabilization ensures that the viewer will be able to experience videos as if they are actually happening in the world around them, and helps to further the level of immersion that these headsets can produce.

Hot swappable batteries are also present here, which is extremely important when you are filming on location. Cameras aren’t known to have the best battery life in the electronics industry, so having the ability to continuously film is something users have almost always asked for. While Nikon has not yet announced the exact mAh specifications for this device, we’re sure the extra battery should be enough to help users get more than enough film in one shoot.

While this particular option will likely be the camera of choice for those looking to stick with Nikon for their VR content development, the company has announced the release of 2 other options for those with slightly tighter budgets.

The Nikon KeyMission 170 features many of the same data transmission features as the 360 variant, but takes a hit in the quality department as well as field of view in exchange for a lower price. This particular camera uses one fish eye lens with a 170 degree field of view to take in just about as much content as a human could take in itself. While the quality of the image takes a hit dropping to 12 megapixels compared to the 360’s 20, it should still deliver some solid video for the price. In addition, the KeyMission 170 adopts the water-proofing, shock-proofing, and freeze-proofing of it’s bigger brother, meaning users can feel confident when shooting in more harsh conditions.

The last camera to join the KeyMission family is the KeyMission 80. This smaller sibling has a much narrower 80 degree field of view, and is designed with vlogging in mind. The module features a 12-megapixel camera on the backside along with a 4.9-megapixel shooter on the front, enabling the user to switch between them depending on the situation. Its is designed to be able to be held comfortably with one hand, so if you’re someone that likes talking to the camera on the go, you might want to give this a look.

All 3 options will work with Nikon’s new KeyMission smartphone app, which will allow users to transfer photos and videos to their handset, as well as control the devices remotely for more discreet capture.

You can find the KeyMission 360 for $499, while the KeyMission 170 and 80 will be $399 and $279 respectively.

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