December 1, 2015 weblog
OZO Virtual Reality camera ready to stand out for professional creatives
Nokia Technologies' uniquely simple but high-end professional Virtual Reality camera has gone up for pre-orders and numerous technology sites said it's a camera worth viewing.
The camera captures 360° spherical video and 360x360 surround sound and shows interesting capabilities in quality and efficiency. As the company tags it, it shows the power of one. One single video file stores all video and audio data in sync. One output cable. One power and memory cartridge.
Operation and recording go wireless, with a combined memory and power cartridge. Nokia said the interchangeable cartridge provides 45 minutes of recording time, and saves all video and audio to a single file, "rather than a handful of SD cards."
A single coaxial cable allows extended or continuous VR recording.
SlashGear said the camera is expected to ship in Q1 2016 and The Verge commented on the strategic timing. Bryan Bishop, senior reporter for The Verge, wrote, "Ozo will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2016, just as consumers will find themselves with an overabundance of VR viewing options—from simple solutions like Google Cardboard and Gear VR, all the way up to the imminent Playstation VR and Oculus Rift. It's undoubtedly going to result in a massive uptick in content creation, and Nokia is happy to support every platform or device out there."
OZO's design and potential appeal drew comments from the Nokia team in a video they made to promote the camera. The point made is that it is less cumbersome.
Ramzi Haidamus, president, said the camera is a category changer. OZO was designed to be almost transparent. Its form factor, said Haidamus, makes it almost invisible and lets the actors, the creators, do their job without being encumbered by the technology.
Fundamentally we are looking at something where the container, the form factor, takes a back seat to the content, or the thing contained. In a production process, the camera dramatically reduces the time it takes to produce VR content.
Bishop said, "as a working solution it has the potential to vastly change the way people direct and stage VR."
The team's goal was to work with producers and directors, making sure they took in all the feedback, and to give them "nothing but the best" in this category, said Haidamus.
SlashGear called the OZO a $60,000 360-degree camera for VR pros, and also commented on the price. SlashGear's Chris Davies on Monday remarked that "even with the eye-watering price confirmed today, it's likely to have videographers drooling."
While it is expensive, Bryan Bishop wrote, "it's clear Nokia thinks it's found a niche that it is uniquely suited to capitalize upon—and write a new chapter for the company in the process."
Axel Meyer, head of design, spoke in the video about how the team needed to start "very simple, going from the inside out, understanding the lenses that you have, understanding the position of the lenses."
Davies in SlashGear provided more details: "Each lens has a 195-degree angle of view and an f/2.4 aperture, with a base sensitivity of ISO 400 and 10 stop dynamic range."
He said that "Video is captured at 30 fps, and stored on a 500GB solid-state drive 'media module'; each is good for 45 minutes of footage. Control is via a suite of remote apps for OS X and Windows, with the camera controlled over WiFi, though there are also HDMI and stereoscopic VR render outputs. Final footage is rendered at 8K x 10K with 10-bit sRGB color."
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