Will 360 be the future of Kodak's 180?
Kodak built its brand on putting cameras in the hands of "everyday" people. Though it nearly went bankrupt after inventing (but failing to capitalize on) previous investments, the company is still standing, primarily through brand licensing agreements and recent camera releases. It now seems committed to the user-friendly creation and sharing of immersive photos and videos. Will this be Kodak's path toward continued profitability?
The market for consumer 360 cameras is crowded, but Kodak is confident in its Pixpro line, and they were onsite at CES to debut its latest iteration, the Pixpro ORBIT360 4K.
In addition to showing off its new consumer 360 camera, it also showcased two prototype 360 cameras that it hopes to release toward the end of 2018. With technology continuing to facilitate streamlined and friction-free workflows, Kodak remains bullish on the future of immersive photography, citing a belief in increased consumer adoption moving forward.
Pixpro ORBIT360 4K
The latest iteration in their Pixpro line of 360 cameras, this features a dual-lens design that allows the creation of spherical 360 photos and video without having to set up 2 separate cameras back-to-back (as was the case with their previous model). This dual lens design also allows for three different shooting modes: 360 Spherical/VR, 197 degree 4k Ultra Wide Mode, and 235 degree Dome Mode.
According to VP of Kodak Pixpro Paul Meyhoefer, the Pixpro 360 is "the next generation of 360 cameras." As he explains, one of the main selling features of the Pixpro ORBIT360 4K is processing done in-camera, saving you the time it previously took to manually import, stitch, and render your recorded footage.
Pixpro ORBIT360 4K users have the ability to live-stream their 360 footage to YouTube and Facebook (as well as save their recorded footage to an internal memory card). Similar to many of its competitors, footage recorded on the Pixpro 360 can be previewed and uploaded after a recording or and can be downloaded from the camera to your smart device by connecting and using the dedicated app to interface with the camera.
Prototype 360 Cameras (Coming Soon)
In addition to the Pixpro Orbit360 4k, Kodak also displayed prototype cameras it will release by the conclusion of 2018. One prototype acts as both a 360 camera much like the Pixpro Orbit360 4k, but this one allows you reconfigure the camera on-the-fly to point both lenses in the same direction (as opposed to opposite directions for 360 use), in effect creating stereoscopic 3D images. Kodak believes this will appeal to consumers looking to more actively create immersive content.
Another forthcoming product is a prosumer 360 camera utilizing three higher-quality lenses that create spherical 360 content producing images with larger files and higher resolution. Meyhoefer says that this prosumer camera will "potentially be available later this year".
Tech Specs for Pixpro ORBIT360 4K
- Dual 20MP CMOS Sensors
- Three Multi-View Angles: - 360° Spherical / VR Mode - 197° 4K Ultra Wide Mode - 235° Dome Mode
- FACEBOOK™ and YOUTUBE™ 360° Photos & Videos
- Supports Micro SD Card Up to 256GB (Class 10 or Higher Required)
- Full Tech Specs Here