GoPro's new lens: Like a GOOGLE STREETMAPS car... for your life
360° panoramas in a single click... but res is not so hot
If you've taken the trouble to carry a camera around rather than using your smartphone, you certainly won't want to miss anything. GoPro's newest offering solves this problem by looking in every direction.
Of course resolution suffers as you are spreading the pixels over a bigger image.
The Pano Pro lens is a parabolic convex mirror designed to capture all the action. The lens and a GoPro enclosure hold the camera in place to point at the lens. This gives a massively distorted image of the world around the camera which is then corrected in software.
The mirror consists of specially formulated glass with a pure aluminium reflective coating and a protective clear coat.
Below the mirror a correcting lens modifies the focus. This means the GoPro doesn’t need any warranty invalidating modifications. The acrylic tube is designed to be as optically clear as possible, but Pano Pro said it appreciates that it will pick up scratches and so it is threaded to allow easy replacement. The whole shebang is watertight.
The Pano Pro Publisher software is available for Windows with a Mac version in beta, this can produce still panoramas, bizarre panoramic videos or perhaps most usefully videos where can drag the viewing position. The company has set up its own hosting for this.
Pano Pro has just started shipping the new GoPro version, which hasn’t made the website yet, but costs £238 including VAT and takes a GoPro 2.
The Cornish mirror-maker has been making the Pano Pro for a little while as well as producing panoramic lenses for DSLRs. The high end MKII has a 103mm mirror and fits on a 67mm x 0.75 pitch thread. While the GoPro version sits inside the protective housing, the DSLR version has a retractable mirror which can be protected by sliding into the lens tube.
Meanwhile GoPro itself has launched a housing which takes two GoPros and software to produce stereoscopic images.
The GoPro dual enclosure takes two cameras into the shower
The Dual hero system is designed for shooting 3D movies, and takes the GoPro Hero 3+ Black cameras. While the videos are not genlocked – where the video output of any one source is used to synchronise other sources – one camera can control another to synchronise the recording.
The case costs £199 and comes with two pairs of 3D spectacles, but of course you need two £359 cameras. While Pano Pro charges separately for its editing software the GoPro 3D software is free. ®
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