GoPro Omni Review

Image of the gopro omni 360 camera rig

The GoPro Omni 360 camera is one of the top contenders for creating and distributing amazing 360 immersive virtual content. Due to its multi-camera high resolution output, you can get up to 8k @ 30fps with the six GoPro Hero 4 cameras stitched together.

 

GoPro Omni 360 Camera

The GoPro Omni 360 camera rig is a self contained unit that is a step above the typical multi-camera GoPro custom rigs that you may have seen before like the 360Rize multi-camera rig.   The automatic synchronization, AutoPano software package and the external battery make the GoPro Omni a solid package.

 

Specifications

The multi-camera rig can pack a powerful punch in resolution and quality. Having 6 GoPro Hero 4 black cameras with omni firmware enables capturing great video from all angles. It might scare a few people off because of the multiple stitch lines, large file size and time consuming post production process.

 

General
Price$5,000
BrandGoPro
Release Date08/2016
Product PhaseReleased
Weight1.05kg
CaptureMonoscopic

 

Recording
Lense Type6 x wide angle
FOV180
Resolution & FPS7940 x 3970 @ 30fps
Image Pixels x N Tot Lense
ISO Range500 – 1600
Stitched Photo Resolution
Live Video
StitchingAuto w / software Included
Output formatMP4, JPEG
TimelapseVideo time lapse options

 

Hardware Compatibility
Microphonesyes
Stabilizer
Wirelesswifi, bluetooth
Connection Jack
Power Supply6 x 1160 mAh, External Battery Pack
Capacity6 x MicroSD
Stitching SoftwareWindows, Apple
App Compatibility

 

 

Unboxing and Accessories

Image of GoPro Omni carry case

When purchasing the GoPro Omni package, you get a lot of goodies in the case it comes with. You get everything you need to start recording 360 content.

 

Inside of the case you get a lot of items

  • 6 x Hero4 Black
  • Omni Rig
  • 6 x 32GB microSD Cards
  • 6 x USB microSD Card Readers
  • Smart Remote
  • 7 Port USB Hub
  • GP-S V Mount Plate with clamp for monopods, tripods, light stands
  • GP-LS Single Position Charger
  • Regulation Power Cable for GoPro Omni
  • Waterproof shipping case
  • Plastic Tweezers
  • Microfiber Bag
  • 2.5mm Hex Key
  • 1 Year Warranty

 

 

Design

The GoPro Omni rig is built to be a all in one inclusive package so you no longer have to deal with the typical custom 3D printed GoPro rigs and worry about each of the GoPro cameras because the Omni rig has synchronization software and hardware.

The Rig itself is very strong aluminum, I myself have made a few spills and it holds up very well. Depending on how you drop it or roll it, the cameras should be safe in most situations.

Image of GoPro Omni with scuff marks on the enclosure

 

Powering the Rig

Image of GoPro omni with battery back on the tripod

To set the GoPro rig up you need to first to choose which way you are going to power the rig, you can either power the GoPros using their own individual batteries or you can hook up the battery pack. I typically choose the battery pack because it lasts a very long time. You can easily attach it to a monopod or tripod so it isn’t in the way of the shot. If you do not upgrade the SD cards (you get a 32GB SD card per Hero 4 that is included in the package) you will most likely run out of space from recording video before you run out of power from the battery pack. Please do be aware that if you try to change from one power to another you might cause errors in the synchronization array in the files and filenames on the SD cards, I have had this happen once or twice.

 

It takes about 4 hours to fully recharge the battery pack when it is at 0% by plugging it into any normal household outlet.

Image of gopro omni external battery recharging

 

When using the battery pack, you will fill up the 32 GB SD Cards with about 90 min of video before you run out of juice from the external battery pack. But when you don’t use the external battery pack and instead rely on the individual batteries in each GoPro Hero 4, then you will get about 60min of video before one of the GoPro Hero 4 batteries goes to 0%.

You can also recharge all the GoPro Hero 4 batteries just by plugging in the external battery, this usually takes about one hour for the combination of all GoPro Hero 4s to go from 0% to 100% and only uses about 25% of the external battery packs charge.  

 

Remote Access

This is a must have functionality for me, being able to remotely control the video recordings, change the settings and taking pictures from a distance or hiding behind something is very important. This typically works really well, the only time I have issues is if I have the Omni on a RC car or on a Drone, the connection will occasionally disconnect if it gets too far away or if the Omni is constantly moving. Once it gets closer to you, it will re-establish the remote connection and you can use the remote again.

 

Software

Along with everything that comes in the waterproof case, you also get free Kolor Autopano software packages. I personally think they are one of the best stitching and editing software packages out there.

Image of Kolor software company 360 video software autopano giga and autopano pro.

If you need help with the workflow there are a ton of tutorials and walkthroughs on the Kolor website. They also have a few forums specifically for the GoPro Omni users, so you can ask any question you want and someone will respond pretty quickly.

 

Setup & Workflow

  1. First, you need to make sure to place a SD card into each of the GoPro Cameras.
  2. Make sure to either hook up the external battery pack to the Omni or you can rely on the batteries from each GoPro Hero 4.
  3. Remotely connect to the Omni rig and setup the shooting mode that you want to be in.
  4. Record your content, either video or photos.
  5. Export the images and video onto your PC
  6. Use the Omni Importer to automatically match up the files from each SD Card into the AutoPano software.
  7. Choose your export options in AutoPano and see the results.
  8. You can import it into your favorite post production and editing software or you are now ready to upload the files to your favorite 360 content platform.

Recommendations

Remote Control

Make sure to charge the remote control after every use, you don’t want to be left out in the field having to manually press the record button on the master GoPro camera to start and stop the video.

Image of gopro omni remote control

 

 

Hard drive space

After every video shoot make sure to export all data to an external hard drive or your main hard drive.  You don’t want to be in the middle of shooting video and get an error on it because one camera ran out of space.

Recording at 2.7k @ 30 fps will get you about 90 min of video and fill up each 32 GB SD card. If you want to record more, I would upgrade from 32 GB to 64GB or 128GB per camera. With one 90 min video at 32GB x 6 cameras you need around 192 GB space to import from the Omni onto your computer. I would also recommend having an external hard drive or two to store the raw video data.

 

 

Computer Specs

I would definitely recommend having a big beefy computer for post production processing, importing, exporting and uploading videos.

 

I use a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)

Processor : 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7

Memory : 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

Graphics : AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2048 MB

 

Array Errors

Occasionally you will run across some ‘array errors’ on the master GoPro in the rig. One of the cameras usually displays the cause of the error to help you debug the problem.  But sometimes there will not be an error description and you will have to figure it out yourself. In these situations I usually delete everything on each SD card and start over. I also always make sure to charge up the GoPro batteries to full power before going out in the field.  

Image of the gopro omni rig with an array error displaying on the main gopro screen

If deleting all the data and re-charging the batteries doesn’t work, you can always try updating the omni-firmware. The steps to do this are on the GoPro website. You will also need to sign up and log into the GoPro Omni forum. You can also watch my walkthrough for how to update the go omni firmware.

 

Example Data

I have a public Google Drive folder that has a combination of videos and photos from many consumer, professional and cinematic 360 camera systems.  You can view the GoPro Omni folder here.

Overview

I have enjoyed using the GoPro Omni, it makes it easy for you to get very high quality content. You also get probably one of the best stitching software platforms out there, Kolor AutoPano. Like most professional multi camera rigs, you will need a ton of storage available for videos. Because you are recording high quality content on 6 cameras, each cameras video takes up a lot of memory. The workflow of stitching, exporting, and uploading to YouTube can also take a long time. The workflow is time consuming, but worth the quality you get compared to most 360 cameras.

Once I buy a few more professional 360 cameras like the Insta360 Pro or the Kandao Obsidian, then I will have a better understanding of whether the GoPro Omni it is one of the better systems out there. To compare the Omni with other professional cameras, check out the professional 360 camera list.

If you have any questions about the GoPro Omni, send me a message on any one of our social channels.