Friday, September 23, 2016

VR Systems in a Nutshell: Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive vs. Playstation VR vs. Samsung Gear VR vs. Google Cardboard vs. Google Daydream

If you're interested in getting a VR system, this guide can help simplify the alternatives for you.

THE CONTENDERS
These are the primary VR systems that are out there:
Desktop:
- Oculus Rift
- HTC Vive
- Playstation VR
Mobile:
- Google Cardboard
- Samsung Gear VR
- Google Daydream
Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation VR are desktop VR systems (they need a PC or console) to use.  Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard and Google Daydream are standalone mobile VR systems that don't need a PC or console. 

I'll discuss these one by one.


10/11/16 UPDATE - updated discussion of Oculus Rift based on information from Oculus Connect 3; added new info re Google Cardboard.

Head-to-head comparison of Insta360 Nano and Ricoh Theta S



Here's a head-to-head comparison of the Insta360 Nano and Ricoh Theta S by Life in 360.

Hands-on report on Nikon Keymission 360 action camera at Photokina 2016





Here's a hands-on report on the Nikon Keymission 360 at Photokina 2016 from our correspondent in Germany, Sven Neuhaus, a software developer, writer and VR / 360 video enthusiast.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

DEALS: 20% off Playstation VR launch games


Amazon Prime members who pre-order these Playstation VR launch titles get a 20% discount.  The discounted price appears at checkout.

Eyesir Mini: an affordable fully spherical 360 camera with in-camera stitching

Eyesir Mini is an affordable and lightweight fully spherical 360 camera with in-camera stitching.

Full resolution sample photo from Nikon Keymission 360 shows amazing image quality



The Nikon Keymission 360 is a fully spherical 360 action camera recently launched at Photokina. There have been many sample videos.  Now here's a sample photo, in full resolution (click on the photo below to see the full resolution).

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DEALS: EVE: Gunjack on sale at 50% off (for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift)


EVE: Gunjack is a turret wave shooter in the same EVE universe as Valkyrie.  It's one of my favorite games for the Samsung Gear VR.  It's now been ported to the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.  With the Vive and Rift version, not only do you get positional tracking, but you also have better graphics.

For a limited time, the version on Steam for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is on discount at 50% off (regularly $9.99 now $4.99)!

Check out the 360-degree video trailer:

Oculus inventor Palmer Luckey moved to tears by "incredible" VR experience



One of the ways that VR is so revolutionary is in its ability to generate empathy. 

Nico360 update coming soon, rep says


Nico360 is a fully spherical 360 camera billed as the world's smallest.  It attracted a lot of attention because it is also affordable and has several features desired by photographers and videographers such as being waterproof and having raw capture.

A month ago, it completed its successful Indiegogo campaign, raising almost 6 times its original goal.  Since then, however, the creators have been silent despite many inquiries from backers on its Indiegogo page. 
I contacted Nico360 to inquire and a rep said that an update would be coming 'tomorrow'.  So, hopefully we'll indeed see an update on the progress of Nico360 perhaps tomorrow or within the next few days.

RELATED POSTS:



Z Cam S1 is a professional 360 video camera with 6k 30fps and 4k 60fps



There are now several 360 cameras on the market.  However, there is still a need for 360 cameras with higher quality output.  The Z Cam S1 is a 360-degree camera that can capture 6k at 30fps or 4k at 60 fps.  Check out the samples!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Playstation VR Core System available for preorder at Newegg



The Playstation VR is sold out almost everywhere but Newegg has the core system in stock right now.  The core system doesn't include the camera, PS Move controllers, or the Playstation Worlds game.

4k 360 livestream from anywhere with ALLie Go Battery Pack for ALLie Home camera



You can do a 4k 360 livestream from anywhere with the ALLie Home camera and newly-announced ALLie Go battery pack.  Hit the jump for details.  Plus: a discount code for $100 off and free shipping for the ALLie Home!

Last chance to preorder the Mamut protectors for HTC Vive controllers!


If you haven't preordered the Mamut Skull protector for the HTC Vive controllers, now's your last chance with less than 24 hours left for preordering.




Nikon Keymission 360 comes supplied with several accessories


The Nikon Keymission 360 will come supplied with several accessories.  Here are the accessories you'll receive when you get the Nikon Keymission 360:

Kodak Pixpro 4KVR360 is a fully spherical 360 camera with two different lenses

Kodak Pixpro is adding a new 360 camera to its product line. Called 4KVR360, it is a fully spherical 360 camera that uses two different lenses. One lens has a 235 degree field of view, while the other lens has a 155 field of view. Each lens is paired with a 20-megapixel BSI (backside illuminated) CMOS sensor.

Update: the 4kVR360 has been renamed to the Orbit360.  Here is a preview from CES 2017.

Monday, September 19, 2016

DEALS: Project CARS for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on sale at HumbleBundle


Project CARS by Bandai Namco is a triple-A racing sim for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Regularly $29.99, it is on sale at HumbleBundle for $10.19 for a limited time! https://www.humblebundle.com/store/project-cars

DEALS: Free shipping on Nikon Keymission 360; accessories for Nikon Keymission 360


​ 
You can now preorder the Nikon Keymission 360 from B&H Photo as well.  If you preorder before October 22, you'll also receive the free accessory kit.  The accessory kit includes: a tripod, extension arm (selfie stick / handle), carrying case, and extra battery.



Shipping may be free (for Los Angeles, there's free 2-day shipping - check for your area).

UPDATE: Keymission 360 is also available from Amazon, also with free Prime shipping and with the free accessory pack.  However, you have to select "accessory bundle" (see the link).



B&H is also offering several accessories for the Keymission 360.  Here are some of them:

4k 360 camera comparison: Nikon Keymission 360 vs. Samsung Gear 360 and Kodak SP360 4k Dual Pro Pack

The Nikon Keymission 360 was just officially launched.  With 4k 360 video, it competes head-to-head against the Samsung Gear 360 (reviewed here) and the Kodak SP360 4k Dual Pro Pack (a pair of SP360 4k cameras).  How do the Keymission 360 specifications and video quality compare?

DEALS: Preorder the Nikon Keymission 360 and get a free accessory pack


You can now preorder the Nikon Keymission 360, directly from Nikon.  If you order before October 22, 2016, you will get a free KeyMission Accessory Pack that includes a tripod, extension arm (handle / selfie stick), carrying case, and rechargeable battery.  Here is the link!



Also available from B&H with free 2-day shipping (double-check if free shipping is available where you live) and from Amazon with Free Prime shipping.  Depending on where you live, you might not need to pay a sales tax with one or the other.  I've confirmed with B&H that if you order with them, you'll receive the free accessory pack as well.  For Amazon, I haven't gotten confirmation about the free accessory pack.  I've confirmed that Amazon has the free accessory pack as well but you have to choose the "accessory bundle" (see link above).

At $499, the Keymission 360 is more expensive than the Samsung Gear 360.  However, if you include the value of the Accessory Pack, it decreases the effective cost.

Comment: since the preorder offer is until October 22, 2016, it may mean that the Keymission 360 is not shipping until after October 22.  The release date is October 26, 2016



Several new samples from the Nikon Keymission 360


Here's the official video for the Nikon Keymission 360:


You can also check out other samples on this playlist:

Nikon Keymission 360 officially launched at Photokina; price and specifications announced

Nikon officially launched the Nikon Keymission 360 at Photokina press conference today.  Nikon also launched the Keymission 170 and Keymission 80 action cameras.  Check out the specs!

RUMOR: Nikon Keymission 360 US price and availability leaked on Amazon


The Nikon Keymission 360 will cost $499 and will be available on October 26, 2016 in the US, according to an Amazon listing spotted by NikonRumors!  The listing has since been removed.

UPDATE: This rumor proved to be correct.  The listing is back on Amazon, for $499.95, with an availability of October 26.  It's also available from B&H with a free shipping and a free accessory pack worth $150.  I'm not yet sure if the Amazon preorder includes the accessory pack.

Sunday, September 18, 2016