As somebody who has been concerned within the 360 video group for what’s (too) rapidly approaching half a decade, the speed at which the medium has developed in recent times, from each the {hardware} and software program perspective, continues to blow my thoughts, and the Vuze+ is simply another excuse why.

The Vuze+ is an upgraded model of HumanEyes Expertise’s flagship Vuze stereoscopic 3D 360 digicam. For the unfamiliar, the unique Vuze was maybe essentially the most client pleasant entry-level and inexpensive stereoscopic (3D) possibility. The principle distinction between the unique and the Vuze+ are the IP65 as a substitute of IP64 dustproof/waterproof score, the addition of spatial 360 audio, upgraded lenses, and the power to livestream.

Whereas there are a number of features to not like, and I’ll get into these a bit under, these are nearly negated (relying in your supposed use for the digicam) by the features which might be very a lot to love, together with the standard, the construct, and the ease-of-use, particularly on the spectacular worth level. In any case, the unique Vuze was adequate for Nationwide Geographic to movie the primary 3D VR footage in area and Discovery VR used the Vuze+ to seize VR footage for Sharkweek (with the non-compulsory underwater housing case).

Key options:

  • Eight F2.Four fisheye lenses
  • Stereoscopic (3D) at 4K/30p or monoscopic (2D) at 4K/60p
  • 4-microphone spatial audio
  • Livestreaming at full decision
  • IP65 (mud tight, water jet proof)

Design

The Vuze+ could be very well-designed. I used to be instantly stunned by how hefty a chunk of high quality equipment this was, particularly for what is basically a transportable stereoscopic rig.

The digicam has two buttons, one for energy/mode and one to start out/cease seize, in addition to two LED lights to assist point out digicam standing equivalent to photograph, video, and recording. Hidden behind a thick rubber flap between two of the lenses is the slot for the microSD reminiscence card, the mini-USB 2.zero enter/output plug, in addition to a battery cost standing LED and Wi-Fi on/off and standing indicator LED. There’s a commonplace 1/4″ 20 tripod thread on the underside of the unit.

The Vuze+ ships with a small deal with, lens fabric, USB charger and cable, and a fairly reliable thick padded hard-shell case.

Although the battery shouldn’t be swappable, it does present a decent 90-120 minutes of recording energy, and you’ll connect an exterior battery pack if wanted. The inner battery charged from empty to full in slightly beneath 2 hours. The app shows each battery ranges and reminiscence card area remaining.

The included hard-shell case for the Vuze+ is compact and protects the digicam very successfully.

One of many foremost sights of the Vuze+ is its functionality to livestream in full decision to varied platforms that help 360 video together with Fb, YouTube, Periscope and any Actual-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). It needs to be famous that to be able to livestream, the digicam must be related to a pc, which acts because the stitch-box. This additionally lets you save the out-of-camera video whilst you stream. At the moment the livestream function is out there for Home windows PC solely.

Additionally, brownie factors to the producer, HumanEyes, for together with mini VR glasses for a cell phone and a global plug adapter, which as any media skilled shall be fast to inform you is a a lot appreciated contact.

Within the discipline

General, the Vuze+ could be very simple and enjoyable to make use of. The digicam data onto a single microSD card and there’s a companion app for each iOS and Android that provides you management over ISO, shutter pace, and publicity. You even have report setting choices that embrace selecting between 80 or 120Mbps bitrate, 50Hz or 60Hz anti-flicker, and 3D 30fps or 2D 60fps recording. The app additionally has an extremely handy digital bubble degree to make sure an excellent horizon for each shot.

The Vuze app has a really handy digital bubble degree – very useful when establishing a shot.

You even have the choice of adjusting publicity settings for every of the 4 units of lenses independently, a implausible function sometimes reserved for a lot increased finish rigs just like the Insta360 Professional 2. It labored nice for computerized publicity changes however, sadly, as a rule, the app crashed after I tried to manually change the publicity settings on a Samsung Galaxy Be aware 8. It is value noting that others I spoke with didn’t have this drawback.

Publicity might be adjusted independently for every of the 4 units of lenses on the Vuze+, a function sometimes reserved for increased finish VR cameras.

With all that being mentioned, my foremost, and maybe solely, gripes with this digicam lie in two evident omissions within the app’s performance.

One, there is no such thing as a reside view on the app whereas recording. As the character of 360 video is such that you need to be out of view throughout seize, not having an possibility to have the ability to preview what the digicam is recording is borderline mind-boggling.

Two, whilst you can preview nonetheless 360 photographs in your cell machine, the cell app is not going to sew 360 video information, so to be able to preview video footage, you could offload and sew utilizing the pc software program.

General, the Vuze+ could be very simple and enjoyable to make use of.

Whereas the picture high quality is fairly good for a stereoscopic digicam at this worth level, not with the ability to see or preview video captures within the discipline are positive to make for an inefficient video manufacturing. Because of this, I’d be greater than comfy utilizing this as a B-camera on knowledgeable job, however not as my foremost digicam for principal footage.

Lastly, it is value mentioning that the Vuze+ solely data in h.264/mp4 format, and as of this writing, you wouldn’t have entry to the uncooked, uncompressed particular person digicam information. You possibly can nevertheless, output from the supplied HumanEyes VR Studio software program in ProRes.

Publish processing / Desktop app

The Vuze+ workflow is pretty easy: when you join your digicam or offload the footage to your arduous drive, you launch HumanEyes VR Studio software program, which has Three tabs – Import, Preview & Edit, and Render.

The Vuze desktop app, Vuze Studio, is used to course of and sew your footage, and is organized into three fundamental capabilities: Import, Preview & Edit (proven), and Render.

The software program is simple to navigate and presents some fairly useful and efficient options. Anytime you’re employed in stereoscopic 360 you are going to run throughout some stitching points, and Vuze Studio offers you respectable instruments to high-quality tune these stitches. Typically occasions, merely selecting reference frames in elements of the video the place stitches are most obvious produces very acceptable outcomes.

Different occasions, be ready to spend a while refining stitches utilizing the supplied sliders to regulate the 4 sew factors, particularly for transferring topics inside a pair meters (6 toes) of the digicam.

Vuze Studio software program gives some highly effective instruments to high-quality tune stitching between cameras.

Vuze Studio does have one thing referred to as ‘adaptive stitching’ (beta), which works fairly properly because it appears to research the scene and motion and alter its stitching to accommodate for these variables. Nevertheless, you may have to render the video to be able to see the outcomes of this adaptive stitching. Within the samples under, watch the girl strolling within the middle of body to see a brief instance of earlier than & after sew refinements. The second set of movies present how properly it did in each commonplace and adaptive stitching from 3, 5, 7 and 10 toes (1m to 3m) away.

Editor’s observe: For one of the best expertise, we advocate viewing the 360 clips under utilizing both a cell machine or a head mounted show like Google Cardboard.

Samples: commonplace vs. adaptive stitching

The primary video above was created with commonplace stitching, whereas the second was created utilizing adaptive stitching. Watch the girl strolling within the middle of the body to see an instance of ordinary vs. adaptive refinements.

Samples: commonplace vs. adaptive stitching at completely different distances

The 2 movies above present the impact of ordinary vs. adaptive stitching at 3, 5, 7 and 10 toes (1m to 3m) away. The nearer an object within the scene is to the digicam, the more difficult the stitching turns into.

Lastly, if you happen to so want, you at all times have the choice to make use of a confirmed near-perfect optical-flow sew utilizing a 3rd celebration software program like Mistika VR (which has a Vuze+ preset).

One factor to pay attention to is that the on-board mics are fairly delicate to wind noise, so if there is a slight breeze and audio is vital to your shot, I would advocate a spatial recorder just like the Zoom H2N with a windscreen to report audio individually.

Horizon stabilization works fairly properly for static captures. If there may be extreme strolling or motion with out utilizing a gimbal or stabilizer, don’t count on to have the ability to take away all the shake and jello-ing in addition to, say, the GoPro Fusion or the Rylo Digicam, which, to be truthful, have been designed as motion cameras and are simply two-lens monoscopic cameras, making this form of stabilization a lot much less cumbersome. Alternately, as talked about above, you should use third celebration software program like SGO’s Mistika VR for extra superior software program stabilization choices.

Samples: strolling video with out stabilization vs. stabilization with adaptive stitching

The 2 movies above illustrate the digicam’s video stabilization. The primary video has no stabilization and commonplace stitching, whereas the second has stabilization enabled and makes use of adaptive stitching.

Because the digicam already has an inside accelerometer and gyroscope, I wouldn’t be stunned to see future firmware/software program updates treatment these points.

The flexibility to simply add a nadir brand on the underside (in addition to on the highest if desired) is a big plus, as anybody that has needed to format their very own equirectangular brand in a program like PT Gui is aware of it is sometimes an obscenely tedious course of. VR Studio additionally makes it very simple to pick out your middle discipline of view by merely dragging the video to your most well-liked focus earlier than rendering. Moreover, Vuze Studio has a built-in software to crop to 180˚ stereoscopic VR, a format Google is pushing closely to assist additional immersive content material adoption.

Vuze Studio makes it simple to pick out the default middle for the sphere of view, making certain that your viewer shall be initially directed to your really useful standpoint.

Within the superior Mixing software, you’ll be able to select from ‘none,’ ‘low,’ ‘medium,’ and ‘excessive’ to decide on the quantity of mixing utilized between the Four units of lenses. I discovered that ‘medium’ appeared to supply one of the best throughout mix.

Vuze Studio has a sophisticated mixing software that lets you apply completely different ranges of mixing between lenses. I discovered that the medium setting usually supplied one of the best throughout outcomes. The fluctuations seen between lenses on this view are much less noticeable when viewing the content material in 360 format.

Within the superior Coloration Matching software, you have got the selection of ‘none,’ ‘by neighboring lenses,’ or ‘whole sphere.’ All work very properly to tone down the picture in order that there aren’t any extraordinarily noticeable publicity fluctuations, particularly in a headset.

Vuze Studio additionally gives a sophisticated coloration matching software that allows you to specify how coloration matching is carried out between lenses. As with mix modes, the fluctuations seen on this view will not be as noticeable when viewing the content material in 360 format.

You additionally the get the choice to regulate fundamental settings like publicity, highlights, shadows, temperature and saturation.

Lastly, you have got a number of choices for output, together with presets for YouTube, Fb, Google Maps (360 stills), Vimeo and HumanEyes Zone, a proprietary platform to share VR websites by a single web site hyperlink. Moreover, you’ll be able to manually set output parameters, which provides you a alternative of h.264 or ProRes, monoscopic (2D) or stereoscopic (3D), 4K or 2K decision (or customized), spatial or stereo audio, dice map or equirectangular projection, in addition to side ratio and video bitrate.

The picture high quality and dynamic vary is fairly good for a rig this measurement and, particularly, at this worth. The one factor that was obvious in sure situations, particularly in scenes with excessive distinction, say by tree branches or rooftop edges, was chromatic aberration – noticeable purple fringing was launched.

In some scenes with excessive distinction some purple fringing is noticeable.

Conclusion

Whereas it could not match the invoice as a main digicam for {most professional} stereoscopic 360 shooters which might be already accustomed to higher-end 3D rigs, there may be nonetheless a spot for the Vuze+ in lots of 360 shooters’ kits. Coming in at round $1000, apart from the unique Vuze, there is no such thing as a higher deal for a stereoscopic rig. It is easy to make use of, does a really respectable job, and for these both leaping from monoscopic 360 video/photograph to stereoscopic, or people who wish to experiment with stereoscopic, it is a good possibility contemplating the following most cost-effective 3D possibility would run nearly 3x the worth. It is a nice solution to dip your toes in with out breaking the financial institution.

The Vuze+ also can function an incredible B-camera and as an possibility for shooters in specialty markets equivalent to actual property and journalism the place they could forego most of the above points that may plague a extra produced shoot.

Whereas there are a number of drawbacks, between the suitable optics, the software program, and the person expertise, what this provides you, for the worth, is kind of spectacular. Retaining these issues in thoughts, you’ll be able to’t actually go improper with the HumanEyes Vuze+.

What we like

  • Good worth level for a stereoscopic rig
  • Effectively designed, heavy and durable
  • Stay-streaming capabilities
  • Approachable and practical software program
  • Inbuilt optimized presets for Google Maps / YouTube / Fb outputs

What we might prefer to see improved

  • No Stay Preview whereas recording video
  • Cannot preview video information in app – want to dump and sew.
  • No optical-flow stitching
  • Software program stabilization
  • Chromatic Aberration in sure high-contrast situations
  • No uncompressed recording

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