GoPro Unveils 360 Degree Omni Virtual Reality Camera And VR Video Tools Suite At NAB 2016

The competition is heating up in the virtual reality arena, not just on the consumer side with headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but for content creators as well with an increasing number of hardware options. GoPro seems particularly interested in the category as it expands its VR lineup to include the Omni, a six-camera rig for recording 360-degree video.

Priced at $5,000 for an all-inclusive setup, the Omni isn't cheap, but it's more accessible than GoPro's $15,000 Odyssey package or Facebook's $30,000 Surround 360 platform. It's also a much more compact system than either of those solutions—the cube-shaped device is just big enough to hold half a dozen HERO4 Black cameras and proprietary hardware to enable synchronized recording among them.

GoPro Omni Skiing

That $5,000 price tag gets buyers the whole kit and caboodle consisting of the Omni rig, six HERO4 Black cameras (with batteries), GoPro's Kolor stitching software license, a smart remote, and a compact shipping case. GoPro also bundles in six mini USB cables, 32GB microSD cards, and card readers, one for each of the included HERO4 Black cameras.

Synchronization is key here, as it is for an VR recording setup. GoPro says its Omni rig has special hardware that offers precise, pixel-level synchronization to make stitching in post-production easier and more exact. That means being able to spend more time in the field and less time behind a PC putting it all together.

GoPro Omni

For content creators who might already own a HERO4 Black camera (or six), GoPro will sell its Omni rig by itself for $1,500. If going that route, buyers will have to supply their own HERO4 Black cameras and install Omni-specific firmware on them.

Either way, GoPro is providing a way to create VR content in up to 8K resolution for prosumers who don't have the budget to invest in a $15,000 or $30,000 setup. Home consumers are still left out of the mix, but this opens the door to amateur outfits and content creators on smaller budgets.

GoPro is currently showing off its Omni rig at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas and will begin accepting pre-orders on its website later today.