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Sightseer
Posts: 1

Potential fusion buyer

As the title says, i am considering getting a fusion to mount on my motorcycles handlebars. A few questions befor i pull the trigger.

1 Is it worth it or should i wait for the second camera?

2 Will gopro still support the fusion even after the release of a new one?

3 What do you hate?love about it?

4What did you wish you know about a 360 camera before buying? 

5 Is the software really as bad as ive read or is it a case of operator error? 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions

Explorer
Posts: 11,206

Re: Potential fusion buyer

1 Is it worth it or should i wait for the second camera?

You can find Fusion for as low as $299.  At that price it's more than worth it.  The next camera will undoubtedly be better, but will also cost considerably more no doubt.

2 Will gopro still support the fusion even after the release of a new one?

What do you mean by support?  Will the software continue to be developed? If the new 360 camera utilizes the same software, then yes.  The mobile app will continue to be supported for sure.  Future updates to the camera? Maybe one more.

3 What do you hate?love about it?

I don't really "Hate" anything about it.  I dislike the exposed lens and no official GoPro Fusion housing.  The camera is sturdy and after a year of use, including in and on the ocean, the lens are still fine.  But I would like some extra protection.  GoPro Plus helps to ease my concerns since I can get up to two camera replacements per year. I dislike that since the Fusion takes such large video files it takes longer to process them than traditional video.

I love the photos that Fusion takes.  I love not having to worry about where the camera is pointed.  I love being able to take one shot and make several videos from different angles.

4What did you wish you know about a 360 camera before buying?

I looked into the computer specs and mobile devices that where supported, so there hasn't been a lot of, "I wish i would have known", but this is certainly a big problem for most people.  Phone edits are nice with short clips (10-15 seconds) and photos, and you can combine them into Quik Stories on your mobile devic. But, to really get the most from Fusion you need a strong computer (i7 or i9 processor, 16-32GB RAM minimum, NVIDIA GTX 1050 ti or better GPU (GTX 1080 ti or RTX 2080 preferably, and a SSD storage drive (7200 rmp hard drive minimum). And you should enjoy editing video.

 

The other thing I learned is how little people, including myself, are interested in watching 360 vr video.  Overcapture is where it's at, and for this, Fusion is very good at producing 1080p video from unlimited perspectives.

5 Is the software really as bad as ive read or is it a case of operator error?

The software isn't bad at all.  The "user error" comes from people not taking into account the size of the files and how taxing video editing is on a computer.  Many people aren't able to edit 4K footage, much less 5.6K.  Drop the resolution to 3K and it's much faster, but the quality drops as well. On a mobile device, it takes about 50 seconds to download 10 seconds of video.  it's another 50 seconds to process that into an Overcapture video.  Desktop performance really depends on your system. The other issues are generally user error.  One of the most common is when the user makes an Overcapture video (1080p punch out video) in Fusion Studio but then wants to use and manipulate that video as 360.  A quick tip for you if you do decide to get the Fusion: Always export from Fusion Studio with the highest resolution and in 360.  From there, you can do what you want with the video in Adobe premiere Pro.

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions

Nomad
Posts: 885

Re: Potential fusion buyer

I'll throw in my two cents on this one:

 

1 Is it worth it or should i wait for the second camera?

With a new camera on the horizon, it may be worth the wait, however there is no exact release date or even specs as to what the camera will be like.  So if you have a bit of patience, waiting might be the best thing you can do.  However $299 for a GoPro Fusion is a pretty good price for what the camera offers.

 

2 Will gopro still support the fusion even after the release of a new one?

It really depends.  As danielr15 rightly said, "If the new 360 camera utilizes the same software, then yes."    However, if the newer model camera does it's stitching "in camera" and doesn't rely on GoPro Fusion Studio, then they may not offer any more support for this program beyond what is currently available.  The camera itself had a "Beta" Firmware update last January, but nothing since then.  GoPro will still support the camera as per warranty, technical support etc.  Stitching done in camera would mean that GoPro could save a lot of money, time and resources in aftermarket support, updating software for PCS, The phone app also wouldn't have to deal with stitching and just offer an overcapture mode.  It would also make the camera more appealing to buyers by speeding up the workflow with them no longer having to include the stitching step themselves, they could also knock down the memory card requirements to just one card.  So there's a lot to be gained for GoPro by offering that in a newer model.  However without seeing any specs or knowing just what a new camera will offer, this is just all speculation.

 

3 What do you hate?love about it?

I love shooting in 360, it's great to be able to shoot video, not worry abour framing, and then do post pans and zooms afterwards.  With the more traditional GoPro setup, you'd have to have at least 4 cameras to get the same coverage (front, back, left, right).  With a Fusion 360, one camera does all of that. 

However.. with a traditional GoPro shooting in 4K, you can zoom in and still have a great picture as you're only shooting a certain area in 4K.  With the Fusion, you're shooting a whole 360 in 5.6K (max), this means that when you zoom in, you start to lose quality pretty quickly.  There's also a very noticable amount of prism effect sometimes visible in zoomed in footage.  So while this may not matter in close up footage, if you're shooting from an airplane and want to crop out the wing by doing a zoom, you see a noticable drop in visual quality.  So it's a tradeoff in a way, but one I can currently live with.

The worst part is the software, GoPro Fusion Studio can tend to be unreliable and subject to crashing.  I've found some workarounds to improve reliability, but at the cost of rendering time.  There's also the limitations of the software.  You can either export 360 footage or static overcapture shots ( so no active panning, zooms, tilt shots).  If you want active (moving) shots, then you have to use a 3rd party bit of editing software such as Adobe Premier which will set you back $24 per month.

The GoPro App can also be problematic and doesn't support GPS stickers or the 5.6K resolution ( on a Samsung s7 or s8).  If you want to use GPS info from your camera, you have to invest in another piece of software like Dashware or Racerender.

I also don't like the fact that with the app, you cannot export 360 files to your phone.  This means you cannot upload 360 photo's directly from your phone to Google maps or Google Street view.  Again, if you want to do something like that, you're going to have to stitch the files on your PC and upload from there or use a 3rd party app like TrailBlazer.  

 

4What did you wish you know about a 360 camera before buying? 

Like danielr15 said, I also researched the specs before buying so nothing came as a surprise.  However there are a few things you should know.  If you're going to be shooting short clips, render times will be fine.  However if you're going to shoot extended clips (lets say an hour and half), then even with a fast PC, you could be looking at hours and hours of rendering time (this will depend on your hardware, SSD speed, and rendering output).  You'll need to look up the minimum specs for GoPro Fusion Studio and make sure your PC meets them, otherwise you won't be doing anything.  I dropped about $1800 on a PC upgrade specifically for rendering footage.  

 

5 Is the software really as bad as ive read or is it a case of operator error?

It's not bad... it's just very basic and can be unreliable (such as refusing to stitch files, or crashing during a stitch).  In most cases, there is a work around.  I'd say that most problems I've seen are more picnic issues than software issues (Problem in chair not in computer).  However as danielr15 pointed out, the file sizes can be huge, especially if you're exporting at the highest quality possible.  So you'll need hefty hardware for stitching and storing files.  If you want to do more advanced work and really get some great footage, you're also going to have to invest in a 3rd party video editor. 

 

Final thought, For me, the GoPro Fusion gives back exactly what you put into it.  If you buy it and want to invest $0 aftewards, then you'll get a camera that you can do some pretty basic shots with.  If you buy it and put a good few $ into it, plus time, plus resources, then you're going to get some amazing footage that you just can get with a traditional non spherical camera.  I've been using my 2 GoPro Fusions for over a year now and although I love them, I still realize that there are jobs they are suited to and jobs they are not suited to.  So I'll use a Fusion for some shots, other shots I may end up using a GoPro Hero 4 or GoPro Hero 6, simply because they can do things that a Fusion can't (and vice versa).

Explorer
Posts: 11,206

Re: Potential fusion buyer

All great points.
Sorry to hear the Samsung phones don't work with the 5.6K. It does work on my LG v30, so it must be phone specific.
Nomad
Posts: 885

Re: Potential fusion buyer

[ Edited ]

Could be, at 5.6K it just doesn't work.  I've also had an issue with chaptered video.  With my Samsung, I can download a 33 second video, export photo's from the video in the 1st chapter only.  However if there's more than one chapter, I cannot download any video excerpt or grab a photo from the video.  It goes through all the actions, but when you hit the "next" button, instead of downloading, it just bumps you back to the video selection/trim screen.

 

Have you seen the leaked photo's of the GP8 and 360 Max?  IF they are real, looks like the new 360 camera is only using 1 SD card.  USBC, battery, SD card slot now moved to same cover on side of camera.  This could mean the 360 max may need a frame or have a protective case.  There is also a small color LCD screen visible, so the camera may have the option of being used as a more traditional style GoPro also.  Hopefully we'll find out in September.

Explorer
Posts: 11,206

Re: Potential fusion buyer

I've seen them. I think Max is going to be centered around grabbing a 1080p Overcapture punch out and the screen is to allow you to swipe and frame the shot. I have no knowledge about this, but the full 360 vr video interest has died considerably. Most people use 360 cameras for traditional video or 360 photo. I won't be surprised if this is what Max is focused on.