In the world of virtual reality cameras, resolution can be a slippery term. Some VR cameras can record 4K video, but when viewed in a headset, they only display a 1080p signal per eye. Not so Insta360’s new Pro 2–it’s capable of recording and delivering an 8K 360-degree video in 3D to each eye.
To compensate for the fact that no one has 8K viewing devices, Insta360 has created a playback app that dynamically renders footage to display the highest possible image quality at the exact segment of a scene that a user is looking at.
The Insta360 Pro 2 uses six cameras to create 8K 360-degree images in 3D. It uses six 200-degree f/2.4 fish-eye lenses. You’ll have a number of frame rate and resolution options including 8K 3D at 30fps, 8K monoscopic at 60fps, 6K 3D at 60fps, and 4K 3D at 120fps.
Photo and video quality will vary based on whether you want the camera to perform the stitching itself or whether you’ll stitch the footage yourself in post (which nets a higher quality file). If you want the camera to stitch the footage automatically, you can record a 4K/30p file in 3D. To enjoy 8K resolution, you’ll need to stitch in post.
Each camera records to a separate microSD card (six slots in total) and there’s a full-sized SD card slot to capture image stabilization data and low-res proxy files.
Every time the Pro 2 captures a video, it automatically saves a low-res proxy version in addition to the full-quality footage. When footage is imported into Adobe Premiere Pro, these proxy files will be automatically recognized and stitched instantly so you can preview your final project. When you’re ready to export, Insta360’s algorithm takes over and stitches together exactly the footage used in the final project, at full quality. This way, you’re only stitching what’s used in the final project.
Unique among VR cameras, the Pro 2 features a new remote monitoring technology, dubbed Farsight, that provides 360-degree video monitoring optimized for distances up to 300 meters with low latency. Farsight is positioned as a more robust alternative to Wi-Fi monitors.
The camera uses Insta360’s FlowState stabilization technology to electronically stabilize footage using gyroscopic tracking across nine axes for “gimbal-like” smoothness, according to the company.
Beyond recording VR video, the Pro 2 can livestream a 360-degree video in 4K in either 3D or monoscopic formats. You’re able to save an 8K file simultaneously during a live stream.
Additional features include:
- in-camera HDR feature
- i-Log mode for a desaturated file optimized for color grading
- a hot-swap battery dock
- 100-6400 ISO range
- four built-in mics for 360 audio
- a pair of USB and 3.5 mm audio inputs on the top and bottom of the camera
- DNG and H.265 file support
- time-lapse mode
- built-in GPS for geo-tagging
The Pro 2 will retail for $5,000 and is available for pre-order now. The price includes a 3-month license to Mistika VR Professional Edition ($236 value) and a 3-month subscription to Blend Media’s 360 Stories Pro software ($745 value).
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