Nokia's $60,000 360-degree camera isn't for you, but you might benefit from it

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Let's face it, you're not going to spend the better half of $100,000 on a camera that looks like a less fun version of BB-8 from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". But somebody might stump up the cash -- someone with a professional video production company, for instance.

And that's when you reap the rewards. This professional-grade camera shoots 360-degree video, which is perfect for viewing with a virtual reality headset, of the kind about to go on sale from Sony, Facebook-owned Oculus and HTC. We've seen the kind of video it's capable of capturing, so read on for everything you need to know.

Give us something to look at

While plenty of major tech companies are pumping cash into the (only slightly dystopian) VR future, the fledgling market will be doomed unless there's plenty of great 360-degree video around. Selling face-masking headsets is one half of the equation, and ensuring that media-makers have the tools they need to create great, immersive experiences is the other.

Nokia's $60,000 Ozo camera records stereoscopic 3D video, captured through eight synchronised video sensors. It'll capture audio coming from all directions too, and records 45 minutes of 360-degree footage onto proprietary storage, at 30 frames per second.

How footage looks

At a London launch event, we got our eyes on footage shot using Nokia's Ozo camera, using Oculus and Samsung Gear VR headsets, including a demo that put us on a balcony in the middle of a band's performance, at which point the multidirection audio really came into play. The experience with the headset was very smooth and immersive, though it isn't vastly different to previous 360-degree video experiences I've had. But the Ozo's potential isn't in revolutionising the way the video looks, but making it easier for professionals to create and push out to the masses.

Outlook

Like 4K and 3D before it, if VR and 360-degree video want to really change the world, the key is producing more video that people actually want to watch. The Ozo does carry a hefty price tag, so we'll be interested to see if it tempts production professionals to embrace it.

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Where to Buy

Nokia Ozo

Part Number: OP100UCGR120

Visit manufacturer site for details.