Kodak's 360-degree camera takes a big step up with the addition of a second lens

Hillary Grigonis

The Kodak-branded 360-degree camera may have just gotten twice as good. At Photokina on Tuesday, JK Imaging, the company licensing the Kodak name, announced the Kodak Pixpro 360 4KVR360, a camera that ups the ante by moving from a single- to a dual-lens setup.

While both the original Kodak Pixpro 360 and the first Pixpro SP360 4K camera were well-received for theirsimplicity, image quality was just mediocre, largely due to the fact that a single lens and sensor captured an expansive 360-degree view. The Pixpro 4KVR360 not only jumps to 4K resolution, but uses a more efficient dual-lens setup.

Related: Don’t want to be in your 360 footage? There’s a robot for that.

Using two lenses and two 20 megapixel sensors, the new Pixpro captures 360-degree video and stills. While the 4K term is loosely applied as the eight megapixel 1:1 aspect ratio and not the standard 4K, the double set of lenses and sensors should bring a dramatic quality increase over the previous single-lens model.

kodak_4kvr360_side_button_pathb
kodak_4kvr360_side_button_pathb

Kodak / JK Imaging

Like the camera’s predecessors, the 4KVR360 will also include Wi-Fi for connecting and sharing footage through the Pixpro app. The latest version will also use Bluetooth to connect to a remote control, sold separately for consumers who don’t want to use their smartphone to control the camera remotely.

While 360 is rapidly increasing in popularity, there are still relatively few options on the market — at least compared to the number of options for traditional cameras. The original 360 Pixpro, introduced two years ago, was one of the first options oriented toward consumers, rather than professional producers. The Kodak 360 line faces some competition from single-lens cameras like 360Fly, as well as dual-lens setups such as the Samsung Gear 360 and Nikon Keymission 360, now expected to be available in October.

To date, JK Imaging hasn’t yet shared a list price for the Pixpro 4KVR360, which could be the determining factor in where the camera ends up in the overall consumer market. The camera is expected to be available in January, 2017.