Insta360 has launched the Insta360 Pro 2, a six-lens professional virtual reality camera that delivers 8K VR imagery. And, the company says, it won’t make you sick.
The camera can shoot 8K-per-eye 3D 360 video, and it has innovative features throughout the entire professional VR production workflow. The company previously launched a VR camera in 2017.
That includes FlowState stabilization, long-range live monitoring, simplified post-production in partnership with Adobe, and a new technology that delivers 8K VR to viewers regardless of whether they have high-end playback devices.
The Insta360 Pro 2 uses its six cameras to capture every angle of a scene at once. The resulting videos or photos are then fused into two 8K 360 images, one per eye, to create immersive 3D VR.
Available shooting modes include 8K 3D at 30 FPS, 8K monoscopic at 60 FPS, 6K 3D at 60 FPS, and 4K 3D at 120 FPS, among others. New in-camera HDR keeps lighting natural even when it varies in every direction, and i-Log mode is optimized for maximum flexibility in post-production coloring.
The Pro 2’s in-camera stabilization is one of its high points. Until now, VR creators have faced a grim choice: Make their audience sick with poorly stabilized footage or use bulky stabilizing gear that would show up in scene and create a post-production headache.
FlowState solves this, achieving gimbal-level, pro-quality stabilization with no gear necessary. The Pro 2 uses an ultra-precise gyroscope that tracks motion on nine axes, and then – when paired with Insta360’s software innovations – allows creators to stabilize their footage down to a hair, automatically.
Insta360 said that the dynamic, moving shots filmmakers rely on to tell good stories are now possible in VR, along with a new language of dynamic 360 shots waiting to be created.
The camera also addresses another problem. VR creators struggle with a fundamental challenge of the medium. How do you direct a shot when you can’t be on set? The common solution — Wi-Fi monitoring — is notorious for being unreliable, short-range, and prone to delay and interference.
The Pro 2 comes paired with Farsight technology, a 360-degree live monitoring system that offers a high-definition, low-latency video stream that’s optimized for long-distance previewing.
With a transmitter and receiver, creators can direct and control their scene from a distance of roughly 300 meters. Transmitting at 5.18Ghz, the Farsight uses smart channel switching to ensure it always cuts through the noise.
The Pro 2 is also built for convenient stitching and editing using Insta360’s integrated Adobe Premiere Pro workflow. Every time the Pro 2 captures a video, it automatically saves a low-res proxy version, in addition to the full-quality footage.
All a creator needs to do when they finish a shoot is directly import their footage into Adobe Premiere Pro. The proxy files will be automatically recognized and stitched instantly to let creators preview their final project.
The Pro 2 weighs in at a handy 3.42 pounds (including a battery and antennae), making it easy to carry on remote shoots or send up on a drone.
It sports four built-in mics for 360 audio, plus a pair of USB and 3.5mm audio inputs on its top and bottom — allowing creators to add a custom audio setup or other add-ons as their shoots demand.
There’s a drawback to creating a beautiful, high-res VR project: You have to figure out how to deliver it to an audience — most of whom are going to be using either a smartphone or a popular headset like the Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR, both of which max out at 4K.
Using Insta360’s proprietary CrystalView technology, Pro 2 content can be quickly converted into a format that’s ready to play back — at full 8K quality — on any mainstream smartphone or headset.
Preorders for the Insta360 Pro 2 are open now via Insta360 Store, B&H Photo Video, and select retailers worldwide. It’s priced at $5,000, which includes the Farsight transmitter system plus one battery.