Nikon Enters POV Camera Space With the KeyMission 360

Posted by on January 5, 2016

Nikon KeyMission 360 POV Camera Press Conference

Nikon introduced their first POV / action camera at CES in Las Vegas, today.

In a surprise announcement at CES in Las Vegas today, Nikon revealed they are getting into the POV camera business. Their first offering is the Nikon KeyMission 360, a rugged action camera with two lenses that captures 360-degree 4k UHD video.

Nikon KeyMission 360 POV Camera

Nikon enters the POV / action camera market with the KeyMission 360 virtual reality camera.

Professional outdoor adventure photographer Corey Rich showed the audience a short video (below) he made with the KeyMission 360. The video was also available for virtual reality viewing in a hands-on session after the presentation. It featured kayakers, mountain bikers and climbers in action. Corey called the KeyMission 360 a “game-changer” because it gives the viewer the choice to watch the main action, or turn around to see what’s going on behind the camera.

This was my first experience with 360-degree video and it really is a different experience. I’m honestly not quite sure how I’d use it. Obvious practical applications are tours, event coverage and technical demonstrations. But for traditional video makers, it may offer more challenges than benefits.

Nikon KeyMission 360 Virtual Reality Video

Member of the press at CES watching a virtual reality video made with Nikon’s new KeyMission 360 POV camera.

Nikon says there will be a whole line of POV / action cameras and accessories. The KeyMission 360 is just the start. So if a 360-degree virtual reality camera seems like overkill, there should be more traditional Nikon POV camera options, as well. No price has been announced yet and the 360-degree capture feature makes it’s hard to make an educated guess about the price. However, the GoPro and Sony 4k POV cameras list for $500 and I’m guessing the KeyMission 360 will be priced to compete with those cameras. Stay tuned for more information.

2 Responses to Nikon Enters POV Camera Space With the KeyMission 360

  1. Photo Dad January 6, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    I’m not sure I understand how this works in practical terms. The camera gives you a 360 degree view, but a video presentation must choose a viewpoint, which would be done in the editing. Since the camera has two lens directions, I assume there are two video outputs you choose from. I guess you have to crop the images from those two views and combine them to get a final video. Can you also stitch together images taken at the periphery of the two lenses? It must take a lot of work to turn a raw video into something that makes sense to the viewer. Or is it all done entirely differently?

    • John Shafer January 9, 2016 at 9:33 AM

      Maybe I didn’t describe it well enough. For a regular video you watch on a regular screen, it is a flat video with one view. But if you watch it on a virtual reality device (as seen in one of the photos, above), you can look up down and turn around to see any view in a 360-degree sphere. I’m not sure how the software works but I was told that the video I watched was actually on YouTube and 360-degree VR video is already supported there. I am definitely curious about learning more about the backend workings of 360-degree cameras and video.


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