Virtual reality is expensive. High-end headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will run you $599 and $799 — and the cameras required to capture the content runs several times that.
At $799, the VUZE isn’t particularly cheap by most of our standards, but it’s certainly enough to qualify the virtual reality camera as “affordable,” particularly when contrasted with competition like Nokia and Facebook, which run in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Developed by Israeli imagining company HumanEyes, the portable camera features eight cameras, positioned in pairs around the perimeter of its flat, square head. When combined, they’re able to shoot 4K 360-degree virtual reality video.
The low price point is clearly a play at consumers — who have thus far had limited access to comparable technology — as is the camera’s point-and-shoot interface, which promises shooting with a single click.
“This is perfect for novices and experts alike,” the company’s CEO Shahar Bin-Nu told TechCrunch. “If you wanted to refine editing and stitching even further the ability is there to do so if you need the highest quality possible in commercial or professional settings.”
The camera comes bundled with a combo selfie-stick/tripod, carrying case and VUZE Studio, the company’s software suite that stitches together the individual cameras and offers filter and editing capabilities. The $799 VUZE camera officially opens up for pre-order today. It’s set to start shipping in October.
As for who the camera is aimed at, Bin-Nu answers thusly, “VUZE is getting interest from the consumer as well as prosumer maker. In the 2D category we offer the highest quality experience available since we use eight cameras instead of the typical two used by existing 3D cameras. We are giving prosumers 3D VR capabilities without the need for Hollywood know-how or budgets.”