updated 12:07 pm EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Three 8MP cameras capture the action all around users
At CES, French company Geonaute (which roughly translates to "adventurer") showed off its upcoming action-adventure camera. It uses three eight-megapixel cameras mounted in a turret-like arrangement to capture a 360-degree videos in up to 2048x1024 resolution.
The camera unit itself is fairly heavy (about half a pound) compared to more traditional devices in the class and, due to its nature, needs to be mounted on top of objects rather than beside them. This pretty much relegates it just the tops of helmets and vehicles, so as not to obstruct the 360-degree range.
Other than the 25fps video, the camera can also be set up to take a single, burst, or time-lapse photos in resolutions up to 4096x2048. Android and iOS apps let users upload, share, and watch their videos, as well as those of others for a social component. Watching the videos can be done in two ways: the flat mode combines a carpeted, ultrawide view of each of the camera's feeds stitched together side-by-side, though this is not very natural-looking. Moving the mobile device around one's head while watching also moves the video, as if the shooter/rider is simply looking around, which makes for a more immersive replay of a ride. Users can also choose to save the "best angles" from a recording session into a more conventional video.
The 3,000mAh battery is said to be good for up to two hours of recording, which is somewhat lower than the lifespan from the (admittedly single-lens) competitors. Images or H.264-encoded MP4 recordings are saved onto microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity. The Geonaute camera is also IPX7-rated for water resistance.
The camera will be released in European markets soon, though a US launch hasn't yet been detailed, though a fall debut is expected.