Four large sensors, live-stitching software, 6K resolution, and 10-bit RAW is what it takes to make a 360-camera beast — make that Beast, with a capital B. The Sphericam Beast is the third 360 camera released from the two-year-old startup and a solid list of technical specifications aims to live up to the camera’s hefty name.
Announced this morning, the Beast uses four one-inch sensors — a size common in advanced compacts like the Sony RX100 V — to capture a complete 360 perspective. Each sensor has a 4K resolution, and stitched together, the camera offers 5,780 x 2,890 footage.
The Beast’s software stitches the images together fast enough to support live feeds for internet streaming or VR headsets. While the sensors on their own are capable of capturing RAW footage at 60fps, the automatically stitched video only hits the 30fps mark.
Sphericam says the 360 camera produces a 10-bit color depth RAW file, which combined with the larger sensors produces enhanced color and low light performance.
Sphericam / Instagram
The camera is capable of transferring image data as fast as 2.8 gigabytes per second to internal storage, thanks to four built-in solid state drives. The company says the battery offers about two hours of continuous use.
While the specs appear to live up to the camera’s name, the camera’s design does too, as it’s not much of a beauty — the Beast more closely resembles an external hard drive than a camera, and looks like a small black tower with four cameras at the top. The camera does include four preview screens to see what each sensor is about to capture, however, as well as on-camera controls for shutter speed, ISO, digital gain, and white balance.
Along with the Beast, Sphericam offers a camera that goes simply by the company’s name, and that has a sphere-shaped body with 4K 360 capture. The company says the Beast is designed more for professional users than the previous consumer option. The New York company was officially founded in 2014 after successfully launching its Sphericam 1 on Kickstarter in 2012.
The Sphericam Beast will be on display at today’s NAB Show in New York. The 360 camera’s price has not yet been announced, but the professional grade Beast will likely sell for more than the consumer Sphericam 2’s $2,499 launch price.