Nikon Enters 360 4K, UHD Camera Market
Nikon is set to step into the 4K 360-degree market with a new range of ruggedised cameras that will retail for significantly less than the $644 360 fly model currently being sold at JB HI Fi.
The new cameras carry the KeyMission branding, and their names correspond to their field of view.
The top of the range is the KeyMission 360.
I first saw the ruggedized KeyMission 360 camera from Nikon at CES 2016, this is the first Nikon camera capable of full 360-degree video in 4K Ultra HD.
The device uses two lenses to capture 360-degree 4K footage. Each of those lenses have f2.0 apertures tied to 20-megapixel CMOS sensors. In total, that’s a 10-megapixel advantage over the Samsung Gear 360 (which uses two 15-megapixel sensors), and as a result the KeyMission 360 can capture better quality images.
The KeyMission 360 also does all the stitching in-camera, instead of leveraging the processing power of a phone like the 360 Fly or the Samsung Gear 360.
And out of the box, the KeyMission 360 is waterproof to 30 metres, shockproof up to half a metre, it can also be operated in temperatures as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit which makes it ideal for skiing.
The new Nikon 360 offerings captures true 360-degree video in 4K Ultra HD at 24p (3,840 by 2,160) or 1080p FullHD (1080p). It also takes 360-degree, 30-megapixel still images.
It has an in-camera stereo microphone for the audio track, while electronic vibration reduction is available to help steady playback.
Nikon’s new SnapBridge 360/170 app for iOS and Android devices allows users to access camera settings, simple editing functions or live view and share content directly.
For more advanced editing functions, new KeyMission 360/170 utility software for PC and Mac allows is included.
Nikon has made a variety of accessories and mounting solutions available including a base mount adapter, two base mounts, a silicone jacket for added grip and protection, two lens protectors and a cardboard-style head mounted display that, alongside a compatible smartphone, allows for fully immersive playback.
The KeyMission 360 uses a standard 0.25-inch tripod socket to which a variety of different mounts and accessories can be used with the included base adapter. It is also compatible with an optional remote control.
Also new is the Nikon KeyMission 170 4K Ultra HD action camera with a wide 170-degree angle-of-view, f/2.8 lens and 8.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, and the KeyMission 80 a wearable HD life-blogging cam that captures FullHD 1080/30p video with a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor and 25mm (80° angle-of-view) f/2.0 lens. It has a secondary front-facing 5-megapixel camera with a 22mm (90-degree angle-of-view), f/2.2 lens for quick selfies.
The 80 is waterproof to 3.2 feet, shock-proof to 6 feet and freeze-proof to 14 degrees F.
The mid-range KeyMission 170 looks like a ruggedized GoPro Hero 4 Silver. It has a rounded rectangular body, with the f2.8 lens offset to the side. There’s an LCD screen on the back, but it’s not a touchscreen — instead, there are three buttons next to the screen for navigating menus and changing settings. The KeyMission 170 has a 170-degree field of view — the same ultra-wide FOV that GoPro’s cameras offer — and its 8.3-megapixel CMOS sensor is capable of capturing 4K UHD footage. The camera is waterproof to 15 metres, shockproof up to half a metre, and can handle temperatures as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
(Nikon will also sell a waterproof housing for protecting the KeyMission 170 to depths of 131 feet.)
The last product Nikon announced was the KeyMission 80. It’s a tiny, lighter-sized device that actually features front- and rear-facing cameras. The front camera uses a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor, an f2.0 lens, and an 80-degree FOV, while the rear camera has a 5-megapixel sensor and an f2.2 lens. The KeyMission 80 also has a 1.75-inch touchscreen LCD.
Nikon sees the KeyMission 80 as something people will clip to a bag strap, keeping it always at the ready and using it over their smartphone’s camera — a big bet in an era when smartphone cameras are really good.