I’ve been eyeing VR-capable cameras for a while now, and the GoPro Fusion seems to blend in the fun of the GoPro with the elements of VR that I’ve wanted to play with.
The package as shipped contains the Fusion camera, the case, a Fusion grip (a.k.a., a selfie stick) with a long thumbscrew, a single rechargeable battery (you may want to stock up on backup batteries, as with any GoPro), mounting fingers, a USB-C charging cable, and one each of the curved and flat adhesive mounts that are standard with the GoPro line.
The Fusion is heavier than the standard GoPro cameras, so make sure any mounts you use are capable of handling the extra weight [you may want to stick with the official GoPro accessories until you are confident of 3rd party accessories].
The camera shoots footage in 360 degrees, giving you an amazing panoramic view of the world you’re passing through. It records up to 5 hrs of footage (assuming you have sufficient storage!) if you have an external power supply to the camera, otherwise the battery lasts approximately 70 to 80 minutes (per the manufacturer’s specs, assuming WiFi is off).
The Fusion also requires two high-performance microSD, microSDHC or microSDXC cards with a Class 10 or UHS-II/III rating or higher. The memory cards are not included, you’ll need to purchase them separately.
You will need to use the GoPro mobile app or the GoPro Fusion Studio app for desktop, and for editing 360 degree videos, you’ll need a 3rd-party app like Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere. Keep in mind that because of the front and back cameras, there is no viewscreen, so literally the only way to view the video is using an app!
Note that this camera is only waterproof up to a depth of 5 meters (16 feet), unlike the older GoPros that could be used at depths of up to 10 meters (32 feet) without a housing. If you’re not looking for the VR capability, you may want to save your money (and expand your underwater range) by going for one of the standard GoPro models.
If you’re wondering “where is the VR?”, like I was: imagine this: you take a 360 video of an experience, say a climb up your local hill late in the day, arriving at the top just in time to take in a spectacular sunset. You’re recording every minute of that view all around you. Back home the next day, you edit the video and send it off to your friend, who uses a VR headset to view it … and sees what you were seeing the night before! That’s almost time travel … and very definitely the core of virtual reality.