Top 8 VR Cameras for Professionals and Enthusiasts
Similar to the flat content made by traditional media tools, VR content varies greatly in length, consistency, definition, and overall quality for different purposes. As we see higher expectations of premium-quality content from VR consumers with their better headsets, we are glad to witness in recent two years, many great professional-level cameras are emerging into the market, driving the production of quality VR content to a higher level.
There are no absolute criteria that defines a ‘professional VR camera;’ High-costs, multi-units, and high key-specs are not the only factors that separate a professional camera from a consumer level camera. As you will see a wide range of professional cameras that differ much in prices and strengths, this blog summarizes for you the best options considered by both professionals and enthusiasts at different price ranges.
1. GoPro Fusion $599
Keywords: 5.2K, High-value
This one is priced well below $1,000 and has only 2 camera units. But there are good reasons why we consider GoPro Fusion one of the professional choices for shooting VR contents. It’s able to shoot 5.2K 360 videos with high quality lenses that can capture many details. It has excellent performances under low light settings with great dynamic ranges. And thus, although GoPro Fusion is not the camera to shoot the so-called “VR blockbusters in 3D”, nor can it do live 360 streaming, if you would like to go beyond producing hobbyist-level contents, GoPro Fusion is the practical, portable, and high-value option for you or your business.
Here’s a sample footage shot by the GoPro Fusion:
2. Vuze Plus, $1,200
Keywords: Affordable 3D VR
Vuze Plus, priced at $1,200, has 8 units; the brand is a well-known pioneer dedicated to bring the cost of 3D 360 content production down to an affordable rate. It can shoot 4K footage and is very user-friendly. Check out VeeR’s whole unboxing review of Vuze+ here.
3. Z-cam S1, $2,499
Key words: High-Value, 6K, 3-hour Battery Life, live-streaming
Sold at $2,499, Z-cam S1 is considered one of the most budget-friendly options among the ‘professional level’ cameras. It can shoot 4K at 60 fps and 6K at 30 fps; it can do live-streaming; it has a 3-hour running time per full charge, and it has in-camera stitching functionality. If you are looking for one camera that satisfies almost all the basic requirements of professional VR content production that doesn’t cost many thousand dollars, Z-cam S1 is a safe choice.
4. Insta360 Pro, $3,499
Keywords: Slow motion, 8K, live-streaming, all-in-one
Like GoPro, Insta360 is one of the most popular and trusted brands among amatuer and professional VR content producers. Equipped with 6 lenses, Insta360 Pro can capture 4K footages at 100 fps and 8K at 30 fps. It can do live streaming in 4K, capable for capturing 8K 3D photos and videos, and 360 audio with its 4 built-in microphones. Never failed at impressing VR/360 creators with probably the most functionalities loved by the market, Insta360 Pro is accredited as “the first affordable all-in-one VR camera,” or a “jack of all trades.”
5. GoPro Omni, Rig Alone: $1,500, Full kits: $5,000
Keywords: 6 GoPro Hero Cameras, Manual Stitching, high quality and consistency, 8K
As you can see from the appearance, GoPro Omni is basically 6 single-unit GoPro Hero Cameras bundled together by a rig which turns the whole kit into a VR camera that captures scenes in all angles. When it comes to GoPro Omni, the first thing that comes to many professional creators’ mind is that the users need to stitch footages/photos from the 6 cameras by hand. While that’s with no doubt a pain in the post-production process, the quality and consistency of work produced with GoPro Omni is unrivaled and well worth of the price and efforts. It can shoot 8K at 25~30 fps, and has a maximum frame rate at 120 fps, which decreases footage quality but allows for slow-motion production.
6. Gopro Odyssey, $15,000
Key words: in-camera stitching
The rig consists of 16 GoPro 04 Black Edition cameras, but different from the Omni mentioned above, this is a system that syncs all the 16 units together (including their internal microphones) to make sure they function all as one, and thus there’s no need for manual stitching in the post-production process. Though it is very high-end with 16 units, it’s actually a pretty light and portable option, ready to get mounted on cars or backpacks.
7. Jaunt One VR, $95,000
Key words: durability and multi-functionality
Jaunt One VR was previously reserved only for professionals and just became available on the public market last year. It’s a round camera that combines 24 units that’s capable of shooting 8K 360 footages for 20 continuous hours, even in harsh and extreme weathers. Other features include built-in media storage, 18-stop exposure control, a global shutter, 10 stops of dynamic range, and 120fps capture.
8. Eye Camera, $135,000–$155,000
Key words: 42 units, Hollywood performance level
This is the camera that stands at the top of the mount of professional VR cameras with a Hollywood-performance level. This 360 camera combines 42 linked black magic micro-cinema cameras.
Now we see the hardcore VR technologies are experiencing explosive growth while there is greater demand for easier and better distribution and accessibility of high-quality VR contents, VeeR aims to become the go-to platform for both quality content creators and consumers globally. We look forward to sharing the best professional VR experiences by creative talents to the mass!
Have fun creators!