General, Research, Technology

They finally made a good panoramic camera.

I have been using GoPro cameras for many years. I just like them. I like the quality of shooting, functionality, form factor, versatility of accessories and the approach of the manufacturer. This year the eighth generation of the famous Hero came out and I already talked about it. In addition to Hero 8, there was a camera capable of shooting panoramic videos without the need for further processing. This is not the first attempt of GoPro in this direction, and I was interested to try it. Frankly, I was very impressed with its capabilities, but the aftertaste from using it remained a little sad.

A panoramic camera will be able to do what the ordinary cannot.

In order to understand what can dothis camera, watch the video below and just pay attention to how the shooting is done. Riders just go and it’s not clear who takes them off. There is a feeling that the shooting is from the copter. We already wrote about such a first-person shoot, but it's not her.

Only in the end I realized how this video was shot, as the creators themselves gave a hint in the form of a fallen camera. Let's watch this video.

Shooting with two lenses gives a picture of complete immersion.

Unfortunately, when we got this camera, inMoscow had constant rains and it would be nice if I just didn’t want to go out. Even after leaving, there was simply nothing to shoot. I didn’t want to shoot this foggy depressive dusk. Therefore, we’ll get by with videos that will tell us beautifully about this camera even without us. Although, of course, we give a couple of examples of how the device works.

This video has shots shot on GoPro Max

It looked like a GoPro Fusion camera.

Even before that, even before the advent of Hero 4 cameras, there wasa rather curious accessory, which was a cube in which six GoPro cameras were located. Later, a picture from them could be processed and a panoramic video could be obtained, but can you imagine how it was necessary to bother for the sake of this. At the same time, the Chinese are now releasing their counterparts, plus there are ready-made schemes for 3D printing. Then this accessory was released by GoPro itself. They were not even shy about the price of the case. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but she was very high. However, against the background of the cost of six cameras that were needed for this case, its price did not seem so high.

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Now a panoramic video is shot by a camera thatalthough larger than the usual GoPro Hero 8, but not so much. One of the elements that forced engineers to enlarge the case was a doubled battery. It really has a large capacity and a large size.

The GoPro Max battery is larger than the GoPro Hero 8 and other models.

Lenses are on both sides. They can work both together, shooting video in 5K on the radial side, and separately. When only one lens works, GoPro Max shoots like a normal camera (in one direction, but not all around. In this case, however, the maximum resolution will be only FullHD. 4K resolution when shooting on one lens is not supported. Perhaps this is due to features of the lens or matrix, which is forced to have limitations, due to the need to work in pairs

This lens makes adjustments to the maximum shooting settings

But there are four virtual lenses that provide different shooting angles. A similar picture could be seen in Hero 8, but there was 4K.

To control the material being removed and to makeSettings there is a touch screen, without which in our time it’s simply nowhere. When I started using GoPro during the Hero 3 release phase, I never even dreamed of a built-in display. You could buy a hinged accessory, but it was not so convenient and cost as much as half a camera.

The screen is well suited to shoot what you shoot.

In this case, the display may indicateimage from both camera modules. In normal mode, you will see that you are shooting in front of you, and in selfie mode, shooting will be like on the front camera of a smartphone - it can be controlled on the screen. In this case, in this mode, the horizon will be automatically aligned. This has already turned out some analogue of the suspension.

Both lenses are covered with plastic caps,shooting which is not very convenient. In addition, after dismantling it will be necessary to take care of their safety. Losing them is easy. Yes, and they are not removed very easily. GoPro would be better to work on them.

Losing these covers is very easy.

But in place of the folding eyelets,that appeared this year. I appreciated their use in Hero 8 and here I will adhere to the same opinion. Many said that they hang out, but it is very far-fetched. If you tighten the mounting bolt properly, then everything will be fine. Also, do not worry about their reliability. They are bolted to the iron frame, but even if you break them like that, it only takes a screwdriver and a couple of minutes to replace. You can buy them on the GoPro website or in retail stores.

Let's discuss in our Telegram chat the prospects of shooting 360-video.

The camera has water protection, but shooting a 360-video under water is too dubious. But if you want to use the camera in the “normal” mode, this will come in handy.

For a higher quality final video cameraequipped immediately with six microphones arranged in a circle. This year, the company has placed great emphasis on sound quality. In GoPro Max, it is also recorded very well.

In such a case, the camera will be in greater safety than without it.

Should I buy a GoPro Max?

Then I will gradually move on to my reasoning,which began in the first part of the article. It seems to me that this camera is almost the best that has happened with GoPro. After all the setbacks in the face of the GoPro Karma copter and the GoPro Hero 6 camera, this year we saw something really cool. Hero 8, if not the best action camera, then definitely shares the first place with whoever you name, and GoPro Max is finally a complete solution for shooting in 360 degree format.

The right accessories are also branded by GoPro.

I’m not happy with this camera just becauseshe is very narrowly targeted. Personally, I only need to play this. I love to shoot everything on vacation on iPhone, DJI OSMO Pocket or one of my GoPros, but I’m unlikely to use GoPro Max in the same mode. At the same time, I understand that there are a lot of situations in which the camera will be very useful and even irreplaceable. I have listed some of them above, and everyone will think up the others for themselves.

The main advantage of the camera will be that it is not necessaryposition in space. You can simply turn it on and it will remove everything around. Just do not need to be removed from hands in this case, otherwise most of the frame will be corrupted. It is better to immediately buy a monopod to the camera. Processing in this case is good and the stick will not be visible at all. The proof of this is the first video and our example with the rotation of the smartphone.

When shooting, it is better to use such a stick. Then the picture will really be 360.

A slight aftertaste, which I talked about inat the very beginning, is the camera’s poor versatility. If for a surcharge of several thousand rubles regarding the GoPro Hero 8, I would simply get the opportunity to take panoramic pictures, that would be very good. Even the loss in camera dimensions, I would not consider significant in this case. But there will still be a loss of quality of the “ordinary” video. Personally, I will shoot 4K 60 fps more often than panoramic video.

At the same time, if you know that basicallyYou’ll shoot exactly 360 videos, I can’t advise anything better. The combination of factors leads this camera to the leaders. Although I will not say that I tried all such devices, but that is what I really liked. Of course, it's up to you, but this time with the panoramas GoPro finally succeeded. Not like before.