Nikon made a surprise announcement this week at CES in Las Vegas, unveiling plans for a portable camera that offers 360-degree immersive perspective.
The initial specs on the Key Mission 360 indicates Nikon has pulled out all the stops for the first in a line of future action camera products.
The action or point-of-view camera market continues to grow on a pace to reach 9 million units sold by 2018, according to Futuresource Consulting, and several companies have made cameras (even Apple is reportedly working on one) to take on industry leader GoPro.
Nikon’s announcement caught the photo world off guard because the longtime maker of film and digital SLR cameras and lenses gave no indication it intended to enter the POV camera space.
It does so quite competitively with a device featuring 4K UHD video, water and shockproof housing and Wi-Fi connectivity so that a smartphone with some sort of companion app can be used as a remote viewfinder.
The marquee features, though, are the lenses mounted on both sides to offer 360-degree video and stills, a bet that the current excitement in Virtual Reality content is more than a fad. In most cases, shooting 360 involves a super expensive camera or the use of a mount for multiple cameras and some post-production stitching.
Nikon has not announced the price on the Key Mission 360, which is scheduled to hit stores this spring.