The GoPro Fusion ($599 Amazon) represents a change in direction for the worlds most recognized action camera brand. Unlike any of its previous offerings the Fusion is a 360 camera that can shoot in every direction simultaneously. The camera is also largest and most expensive GoPro camera ever. So why should you buy it? Is it really worth it and what makes it unique among the many other 360 cameras out right now? I’ll be answering all these questions and more with 5 examples of why the Fusion is pretty awesome.
5 Reasons the GoPro Fusion is Worth Buying
Let me start off by saying that the GoPro Fusion isn’t a perfect camera; it requires two SD cards to work, the App is slow and the file sizes huge. Having said that, it’s still the best 360 camera out right now and arguably the most innovative GoPro product ever.
1. 5.2K 360 Video
The Fusion shoots the best quality 360 video of any consumer 360 camera out right now. This is partly thanks to its ability to shoot high resolution 5.2K video, but more importantly due to the superior optics used in the two lenses. A few other 360 cameras can shoot higher resolution video but utilize less advanced lenses which mean they cannot capture the same level of detail or work as well in low light.
Shooting clear and sharp 360 video is pretty difficult, and there are only a handful of cameras that can shoot 360 video that looks HD. The Fusion doesn’t quite manage this, but it’s pretty close. If you wanted that HD look in 360 you would be looking at a price tag in the thousands, so the Fusion is the best you are going to get for the moment.
This is such an awesome feature that I think it will become the main reason people buy 360 cameras in the future. Overcapture allows you to manipulate your 360 video and turn it into a “normal” flat video with super smooth movement and panning. It allows you to shoot first and point later, opening up a lot of creative potential. You don’t have to worry about missing a shot because the camera is always capturing everything. Here’s what overcapture looks like when shot with the Fusion:
You can also use this type of video mixed with video shot with a normal camera for some awesome effects. This is one of my favorite videos that uses Fusion overcapture footage:
Other 360 cameras have similar capabilities, but the quality of the Fusion video makes it the best for overcapture.
3. 360 Audio
One of the most overlooked aspects of 360 media is audio. While looking around a 360 video is pretty cool, if the audio doesn’t match then the effect isn’t as impressive. Ambisonic audio, or just 360 audio, is created using 3 or more microphones to detect exactly from which direction sound is coming from. When you play back your 360 video you’ll hear sound coming from its source, and if you turn then the sound will change too.
This makes for a much more immersive experience, and the GoPro Fusion is one of only a few 360 cameras capable of capturing this type of audio. Using 4 microphones the Fusion can record Ambisonic audio and sync it perfectly with your 360 video. There is even dedicated settings for rendering this type of audio for Facebook and YouTube, which require different settings in order to work.
Every modern 360 camera comes with some form of stabilization, mostly because viewing shaky 360 video is pretty nauseating. Some cameras are better than others at stabilizing video using software alone, and I tend to recommend the cameras that can do this best over others.
The GoPro Fusion had fairly basic stabilization when first released, but thankfully after a few months it was improved with firmware updated. I’m pleased to say the Fusion can now stabilize moving 360 video exceptionally well, in fact it may be the best in the category in this regard. Check out the comparison video below between the Fusion, VIRB 360 and Rylo.
The Fusion handles the heavy vibrations exceptionally well and it was really put through its paces by being attached to a moving bike across uneven ground. Compared the the other cameras the Fusion definitely beats the VIRB 360 and probably ties with the Rylo
5. Water Resistance
This may not be of interest to everyone, but for anyone who wants to record skiing, surfing or all terrain sports, water resistance is very important. The GoPro is fully waterproof up to 10ft, meaning you can fully submerse it in water and it will be fine.
See Also: GoPro Fusion Review
These are my top 5 reasons for buying the GoPro Fusion, and having used pretty much every other 360 camera out right now I can say it’s one of the best. You do have to have a pretty powerful desktop to run the stitching software and the app is a nightmare to use, but if you are willing to put in the work you can create some awesome content with the Fusion.
The best place to buy the Fusion right now is probably Amazon, it’s the same price as the official GoPro Store but you get a longer return period.