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First Experience with Fusion

Just received my Fusion today.  


First, I will openly admit I am a GoPro "fanboy" (I'm actually not entirely sure what the definition of that entails, but if it means I use, support, promote, and defend against what I see as misinformation, then the title fits). I am honest; however, and when I have an issue or problem I don't shy away from stating it.


Having said that little disclaimer, my first impression of the GoPro Fusion after one day of use.


This camera is friggin' amazing!  


I was only able to use the camera briefly to do some recording at my son's judo class but I was absolutely amazed at how good the low light (I consider indoor florescent lighting low light) performance is. Not only that, but within 15 minutes I was able to create and post a 25 second video to facebook.  I was really worried about the editing process and especially the stitch/render time, but it actually went much faster than I had anticipated. The total time to create and post the video would have actually been much faster but it was my first time so there was a little (albeit pretty brief) time messing with the controls in Fusion Studio and then messing with the plug-ins in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.


My editing computer used:

Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming

i7-7700HQ Quad Core (6MB Cache, up to 3.8 GHz)

32GB, 2400MHz, DDR4

128GB Solid State Drive (Boot) + 1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive (I kept all files and program on the SSD)

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050Ti with 4GB GDDR5 


I changed the default GPU to the NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti and set the power consumption to Performance.  The stitch and render settings in Fusion Studio was set to 360, no stabilization (the camera was on tripod), Output: Editing h.264 4K.  The video clip I chose was only 24 seconds because everything I've read and seen stated I should expect somewhere around 10minutes per 1 minute of video.  I didn't have much time (I work nights and had to leave for work) so I figured I better not use too big of a clip.  Well, for me, it zipped through and finished in under 1 minute.  I couldn't believe it and actually sat there figuring it was going to do something else. But no, the video was stitched and ready to edit.


I fired up Adobe Premiere Pro CC and imported the video.  I created a DSL 1080 30 sequence and dropped the file in. After bringing in the GoPro vr effects (after messing with them I realize I really only needed "reframe") I set some key frames, cut a section for slow motion (60% with Optical Flow looked great), dropped in a song and exported as YouTube 4K.  Once done I uploaded the file to FaceBook and done.  All within 15 minutes, including the Facebook upload and render.


Now, as far as the camera performance. 


Video quality:  Granted, this was low light so I'm sure the ISO was hitting the upper limits of 1600 but honestly, it looks really good. To compare it to other GoPro cameras (which I use and own), the closest similar result is to the Hero3 Silver but with better low light, dynamic range, and much better audio.  The results are nearly identical as having six or more Hero3 Silver cameras all filming at once. In many ways it actually looks much better than the Hero3 Silver but I don't want to over hype it until I've done some more testing and comparisons (I'll be putting it up against the Original Hero HD, Hero2, Hero3, Hero3+, both Sessions, Hero4, Hero5, and Hero6 and will post it when I'm done).


Stitch lines:  What stitch lines?  I have to keep emphasizing that I've only had limited experience with this camera, but OMG, absolutely NO STITCH LINES!  Seriously, I spun the perspective 360 degrees and didn't see one stitch line.  The closest subject was perhaps 3 feet away so I'm aware that as things get closer the stitch becomes more apparent, but this was so seamless I couldn't tell where the lenses were facing and where the edges of the camera were.


Audio: This camera has the best audio of any GoPro camera.  Again, this is with limited testing, but with the camera sitting on the center of the judo mat with players grappling all around it and spectators sitting and talking off to the side, I was amazed at the clarity and depth of the audio including the 360 audio ability of this camera.


Ease of use:  The camera is stupid easy. Push button, record.  Push button, stop recording. No problem.  Settings, I used Protune and all camera defaults except I turned off GPS and Voice activation.  I'm very familiar with the GoPro menu system so there were no issues with settings using the front LCD. There isn't much to change so I don't see someone who is new to it having much trouble.


Wi-Fi/App:  When I first started the camera it asked to connect to the app.  I opened the app, selected the (+) add new camera > Fusion, and then acknowledged the few little message banners.  The camera connected quickly to my Samsung Galaxy S7 and I was able to get live preview and access the setting without issues.  I didn't play with it more than that so other than saying it connected quickly and seamlessly, I don't have much more to comment on.


So far I have to say that this camera is probably going to be my primary camera for family outings, exploring, and an excellent add on for filming events.  If I could only have one camera, this would be it.  I don't think I'll be doing much of the vr 360 videos, but as a way to capture everything as if you have several cameras filing at once, this is the camera to get.


Now, I know that most people reading this post will be those who own Fusion, so I'm interested in hearing your experiences and impressions.  I read all of the post in this community and I'm happy that I will now be able to give suggestions and advice for the Fusion (as well as all other GoPro cameras). Most of all, I like to learn from other's experiences and advice so please share as you learn new things.