A hands on look at the new GoPro Fusion - Photo: James Renhard / Mpora

GoPro Fusion 360 camera

The latest GoPro camera has been unveiled, and it promises to take audiences deeper into the action. Although an official release date is as yet unconfirmed, we do know that the GoPro Fusion 360 camera will be with us later on in 2017.

But we didn’t want to wait that long to get a look, so Mpora headed off to a rather damp Berlin to get our hands on GoPro’s newest camera.

Now, there’s not a whole lot of information about the GoPro Fusion, and the team there were quite keen for us not to turn the camera on, or open any of the doors on it. It's like what we can only imagine a lap-dance is like, only with an action camera. We did spend a bit of time playing with the Fusion, however, and got to watch some of GoPro’s very own filmers using it to shoot some top skateboarding talent, including Chris Cole, Sean Malto and Leticia Bufoni.

GoPro Fusion 360 Camera - First Impressions

The first thing we noticed about the new GoPro Fusion is that it’s larger than any GoPro camera that’s come before it. Roughly seven by seven centimetres square, it still fits neatly in the palm of an adult’s hand though. Face on, it actually looks like a black and grey version of the old Instagram logo, before that went all sun-set coloured and flat.

Unlike the Hero5, the GoPro Fusion doesn’t have a screen on the back. In fact, the version we saw only had a small LED screen on the front, harking back to older versions of GoPro Hero range. However, on both faces of the camera is a lens. The Fusion is a 360 camera after all, so needs the two lenses to be able to shoot spherically. In terms of build, the Fusion has also got that nice, solid, rubber-like feel that anybody with a GoPro Hero5 will be familiar with. It's reassuringly sturdy.

Preview of the GoPro Fusion 360 camera - Photo: James Renhard / Mpora

GoPro Fusion 360 camera

GoPro Fusion 360 Camera - Technical Spec

You’re probably wondering what the technical specification of the GoPro Fusion camera is. Well, in all honestly, so are we. GoPro are remaining tight lipped about much of what’s going on under that black and grey shell. However, we can tell you that it’s going to shoot in 5.2K30 resolution. The 5.2k part referring to the 5,200 pixel resolution, and the 30 is presumably frame rate.

This extra pixel rate allows the GoPro Fusion to be able to shoot in 360, capturing a greater range of footage than a typical 4k resolution would allow. If 30 is the frame rate, GoPro will either have to give the option of increasing it to at least 60, or shooting slow motion footage on the Fusion will be tricky.

The attachment mount on the bottom of the GoPro Fusion, or at least the model we tested, was a typical GoPro twin-hole port, which is really handy because it means it’ll be compatible with all of your existing GoPro mounts and other hardware if you’ve been using older GoPro cameras in the past.

GoPro Fusion 360 Camera - The verdict

Although we didn’t get to really put the GoPro Fusion completely through its paces, what we did see, we really liked. Of course, 360 camera are nothing new, but what we like about the GoPro Fusion is that it will make getting that 360 footage really user friendly.

The GoPro filmers using the Fusion were simply holding it on a small grip and shooting, and getting really nice footage. The raw 360 footage, while looking a little odd on a flat screen, will make getting footage for Virtual Reality headsets really simple. However, what we really liked about the GoPro Fusion was the ability to ‘punch out’ regular looking 1080 footage.

Essentially, you can spot something you like in your 360 footage, and use that to make a regular, flat looking 1080 video. The benefit of this? You can mount your Fusion at the heart of the action, and never have to worry about getting anybody in frame again. Shooting a full 360 degrees, you know you’re going to get your shot.

In one edit made from footage shot on the trip we did spot a slight, but still noticeable difference in hue between footage shot with the front lens and the one on the back. However, with what we presume will be a good few months before release, there’s plenty of time for GoPro to work on this.

Other than that, the editing looked very slick and straight forward, and the ability to switch from 360 footage to regular 1080 flat is sure to make for some very exciting edits dropping when the camera gets its full launch.

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