Facebook 360 and RED reveal VR camera "Manifold"

While the Ricoh Theta V has become the workhorse for on-set HDR capture (another story to be told in a later blog post), it does sit squarely in the consumer segment of this rapidly expanding universe of VR cameras. The professional high-end segment, however, just got a new champion.

Behold the Manifold

This behemoth is the result of a collaboration between Facebook 360 and RED, and was unveiled yesterday at the Oculus Connect 5 conference. The Manifold contains 16 RED Helium 8K sensors, each behind custom Schneider 8 mm f/4.0 180-degree fisheye lenses. No price or release date has been announced yet.

With these specs there so much overlap between all 16 lenses, that it can technically qualify as light field capture device. And that is exactly what it's aiming at. It's labelled 6DoF VR camera and promises a fully stereoscopic VR immersion, including positional parallax changes within the volume of the capture sphere. What that means for post-production professionals is that you can extract a depth channel, point clouds, and insert all kinds of CG mayhem with minimal effort.

Here is a glimpse at the footage:

I'm sure we will hear much more from this camera in the future, and I can't wait to see what creative filmmakers will do with it. Hey RED - if you're looking for someone to give this baby a thorough VFX test drive, you know where to find me... ;)

First Look at the Prototype

In the meantime, Hugh Hou shared with us the very first look at the prototype, just as it is currently on display at the conference. Hugh runs the excellent YouTube channel CreatorUp, has tested pretty much all VR cameras on the market, and he's extremely giddy about this new toy!

Source: Announcement on Facebook 360 Blog

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