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Nikon KeyMission 360 - Nikon's first action cam is for VR

Seth Barton
6 Jan 2016
Nikon Keymission 360
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A 360-degree action cam, from Nikon, for shooting VR footage, that really is a surprise

Every year CES turns up a few unexpected releases from otherwise predictable but worthy manufacturers. A contender for this year’s most-unexpected award has to be Nikon’s announcement of not only its first action cam, but a 360-degree action cam at that. The usually straight-laced DSLR maker has therefore leaped into the virtual reality market with the Nikon KeyMission 360.

360-degree video is set to become a big deal over the next few years as VR headsets start to proliferate - from the high-end Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to more mainstream offerings such as the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. Extreme sports look to be a key benefactor of such a move and at present 360-degree rigs are either bulky (the numerous multiple GoPro mounts) or unsuited for action sports, as with the Ricoh Theta S.

Nikon Keymission 360

The KeyMission 360 is closer to the latter, shooting 360-degree video via two sensors with fisheye lenses. It has a 4K resolution, and although this won’t be pinsharp after it’s been processed for viewing in 360-degrees, it’s a big step up over other all-in-one 360-degree devices. There’s electronic stabilisation for smoother footage too. At present we dont’ have any detailed specs concerning sensor size.

The KeyMission 360 is tough too with waterproofing to 30m without a separate housing, along with dust and shock proofing, up to a 2m drop. It has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, so we can expect easy pairing with a smartphone and easy control over shooting.

The KeyMission 360 is apparently the first in a lineup of action cameras from Nikon. It doesn’t have a price yet, but it’s certainly a serious looking device with an impressive-looking spec. Action cams now range from consumer toys to pretty serious bits of kit used as part of many professional shoots, so it’s hard to guess at a price. It’s presence in the market is pretty exciting though and it’ll be interesting to see what comes next.

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