HumanEyes swore up and down that its Vuze virtual reality camera would undercut the price of professional cams by thousands of dollars, and it clearly wasn’t kidding around. The company has started taking pre-orders for its 3D 360-degree camera at a relatively modest $799. That’s significantly less than the under-$1,000 target it set back in January, and a sliver of the cost of high-end alternatives — even GoPro’s upcoming Omni rig is likely to be much more expensive, and only shoots in 2D. You’ll have to wait until the fall to get your unit, though, so don’t count on using the Vuze for a VR vacation documentary.
This isn’t the cheapest or most portable VR camera you can get. Ricoh,Samsung and others are already making smaller 360-degree cameras that cost under $400, and Nikon’s upcoming KeyMission 360 may be similarly affordable, but all these options only shoot in 2D. Vuze’s system packs eight cameras versus two to four on most of these competitors, which is what allows to record in 3D (or 2D at higher resolution). Another advantage of the extra optics, is it doesn’t have to rely on fisheye lenses (and thus compensate for serious distortion) to create its wrap-around 4K picture. As such, this might be the best way to capture VR video on an enthusiast’s budget. You’re theoretically getting the quality of the pro option without the bank-busting cost.