The LucidCam is the very first consumer camera that delivers stereoscopic 3D true vision for the viewer. Stereoscopic makes the viewer feel like they are actually there because of the 3D vision compared to the typical 2d video of normal video cameras.
Imagine experiencing a world in 3D wherever you go, well now you can with the LucidCam! Share you experiences with others by recording amazing shows, festivals or where ever you go.
LucidCam vr180 3D Camera
The LucidCam is an Indiegogo campaign which was completely funded in December 2015. It has been a very long road for the LucidCam company, but they finally have released their product to all of the backers. They also timed the product pretty well with Goolges VR180 YouTube platform which will be active shortly in the near future.
Before I get into the hands on review of the LucidCam, I just wanted to go over everything in the Indiegogo campaign to understand what they advertised then compare it with the hands on review and see if we got exactly what the backers paid for.
Indiegogo Campaign Info
LucidCam s a stereoscopic 3D camera which captures the world as you see and hear it. The 180° wide-angle lenses enable an active view, and spacial audio enhances every experience.
The LucidCam design is built to be a slim camera that you can take anywhere. The slim design fits right into any pocket, wear it, mount it or carry it. The size is about the same as any smart phone. The camera sensors are spaced apart perfectly to reflect the natural way that humans eyes would view a scene. This gives it the ability in 3D to make it as realistic as possible, almost as if you were there yourself!
LucidCam captures 180 degree footage for all VR headsets to make any content creator look like a rockstar. Go anywhere and record everything, once you upload all the videos you can re-experience them with a VR Headset.
LucidCam has a mobile app that enables you to share your experiences that you have recorded. Share and become an expert content creator, or just enjoy the 3D experiences that others have shared through the mobile app. The Lucid VR App is available both on iTunes as well as Google Play.
Description on Google Play Store
Relive special moments, stay at the first row of a concert, see through the perspective of a quarterback – anything is possible with Lucid VR. This app turns your iPhone into a powerful VR headset and immerse you within seconds.
Experience TRUE Virtual Reality with immersive 3D images and videos. Feel the depth, move within a first-person perspective and control your LucidCam from your phone.
Do you have a Google Cardboard or VR headset? Slide your smartphone in it and experience the ultimate immersion!
Are you a VR content creator? Learn how to do pre-production with LucidCam and host on the app to share them with the world; visit http://lucidcam.com/
• True 3D VR playback with depth
• Play your own VR videos stored on your smartphone uploaded to Facebook/YouTube
• VR mode: split the screen to watch the videos in your Google Cardboard or VR headset
• Head tracking: move your iPhone in any direction to navigate into the 3D video
• Rendering up to 60 fps on the latest devices
• Stream public 3D videos from your LucidCam
• Pixel-precise projection
Indiegogo Video Samples
So those were the basic information, videos, mobile app info that was provided to all of the backers. Now lets get a hands on review of the final product and see if it is as good as they advertised it as.
LucidCam vr180 3d Camera Review
In this hands on review of the LucidCam I will be going over as much as possible in detail. First we will take a look at the packaging of the product and unbox it. Next I will take a look at all of the contents included with the purchase. After that I will do some battery tests and storage tests to see how much video we can record before draining the battery to 0%. I will then go over the design and features of the LucidCam and see how well it is built. Then I will take many photos and videos to compare it with other well known 360 cameras. Lastly we will go over any Mobile Apps and software that are included.
The LucidCam vr180 3d camera got shipped in a very small package, but the design is pretty good with the two lenses peeking out like they are looking through a VR headset. Overall pretty simple packaging and easy to unbox and open up. Lets go ahead and open it up to see what we get inside.
As we open up the LucidCam vr180 3d camera, we can see that it doesn’t come with very many extra goodies or items. The camera itself is pretty simple and we get a tiny compartment below it for a carrying case and something inside of it.
Opening up the carrying case, we see that we get a charging cable included in the package. This package is pretty simple without a ton of extra goodies like other 360 consumer cameras. At least with other more expensive 360 cameras we get a small tripod, maybe a micro SD card and fancy post production software. So far, this looks like a very expensive $500 camera for what is included in the package.
At the top of the LucidCam vr180 3d camera are many buttons and lights. Each one has a specific function for the LucidCam camera and I will be going over each one.
In the middle of the LucidCam vr180 3d camera you will see a physical slider bar with three options: Picture, Power and Video. When the slider bar is moved to the left then it will be in the Picture mode for taking photographs in vr180 3d quality. If the slider bar is moved to the right then it will be in the Video mode for taking video in vr180 3d quality. Lastly, the third option for the slider bar is directly in the middle, this is for turning off the LucidCam vr180 3d camera.
On the right side of the LucidCam vr180 3d camera you will see two buttons, one is larger than the other. The smaller button has a WiFi icon above if which describes to us that it is for WiFi pairing of our smart phone to the vr180 3d camera. The larger button to the right of the WiFi button is for taking photos or starting videos, which is the shutter button. When clicking the shutter button you will see an LCD light response from the LucidCam on the left side of the camera.
Over on the left side of the LucidCam vr180 3d camera we have a LCD light with the text Record above it, this lets us know that we took a photo or are currently recording video. Beside the Record light indicator we have the storage LCD light which tells us when we are running out of internal storage or external storage from a micro SD card. To the left of the storage light indicator is the Power light, this will change colors from Green to Yellow and to Red to display the amount of battery life left. Finally, farthest to the left we have the WiFi light indicator, which will be blinking blue when trying to pair with a smart phone device or it will be a solid blue light when it has already been paired up to your phone.
On the bottom of LucidCam, we have all the available ports and micro SD card slot. On the far left we have the micro SD card slot, which expands the storage from 32GB internally to as much as you would like. The mini USB port in the center is for recharging the battery as well as transfering files onto your computer. The mini HDMI can be used to preview a live stream using a computer. Lastly in the back center we have the tripod mount so we can place it on a tripod or any attachment that uses the standard 1/4 mount.
One thing that is nice about the LucidCam is that it has 32GB of internal storage, so if you do not have a micro SD card you could probably get away with it for a while before upgrading. The storage included is pretty helpful if you plan on taking a lot of photographs and video recordings.
LucidCam Battery Life
The battery life of the LucidCam is pretty good, it can last up to 1 hour 30 min of continuous shooting. It takes anywhere between 1.5 – 3 hours to recharge the battery to full, depending on what type of charger you are using. While charging the LucidCam with the mini USB and an outlet charger you will see that the power led light will be orange until it is fully to 100%, which it then will turn to bright green.
LucidCam Photo Quality
Every 360 camera that I test, I make sure to run it through many different photo quality tests. For all of my tests I do not change any settings or configurations, it is all directly out of the box. First I test low light photos with various amounts of lighting (low, medium, high). Then I go to a local park to test a few other specific locations to get as many different lighting, colors and scenery to compare with.
When the LucidCam first came out, it was only 2K resolution per lens, but after it has been own for a while there is a new firmware update that enables 4K per camera lens. So the quality displayed below is 4K but I also have 2K resolution for LucidCam on Kuula if you want to see that as well.
Low Light Photos
Other Test Photos
LucidCam Video Quality
Similar to the photographs, I will be taking low light video tests as well as other video tests to compare with the other 360 camera competition.
Low Light Video
Test Video 1
Test Video 2
Test Video 3
In my opinion the LucidCam low light videos are not that great. With the first low light video test you can barely see anything in the video, the second with more light was slightly better. The last video is about what a normal light scenario might be, so it looks pretty decent.
Other Test Video
I also record a few videos at the local park to get a few tests to compare with all the other 360 cameras that I review. I typically do an indoor shot and an outdoor shot of a building or architecture. I have these videos available for each 360 camera to compare with all the other 360 cameras.
Video Test 1
Video Test 2
LucidCam Mobile App
The LucidCam vr180 3d camera has a Mobile App available on both Android Google Play Store and the iOS iPhone iTunes App Store. I have an Android phone, so I will be going over everything the App has to offer.
Once you open up the LucidCam Lucid VR Mobile App, you have five main tabs listed at the bottom of the screen. These are the global gallery, home gallery, connect to camera, info and the profile.
So the default tab that you will see when you enter the LucidCam Lucid VR Mobile App is the global gallery tab. Here you can search for any video shared on Lucid’s social network of photos and video. You can experience all sorts of interesting media that was shot with the LucidCam camera. If you enjoy watching interesting stuff, this is a great spot to hangout at and search over.
Moving onto the next tab, we have the home gallery. This will have all of the media that you have captured and moved onto your device. The only media that will show here is after you move the photos and video from the LucidCam internal storage to your own device. Here you can preview your own media.
While we are here we can go ahead and see what happens when we want to preview our media on the Mobile App. Lets go ahead and click on one of the gallery items to see our options.
So now that we are in the preview window, we have a few options available for us here. Obviously we can click on the middle of the image and it will start playing our video in a 360 video viewer so we can drag around and view the 180 degrees that we have filmed in 3D quality. At the bottom right corner we have some additional options available to us, lets go ahead and click that to see what we can do.
After clicking the three dots in the bottom right corner, we get some additional options. Listed are Delete, Save to Gallery, Save to GearVR and cancel. So the delete option will remove the selected media from our smartphone but will still remain in the LucidCam internal storage. Remember the media that appears in this gallery is the ones we have already transferred over from the LucidCam internal storage. Saving to gallery will transfer the photo from the Lucid VR App into a folder on your smartphone called Lucid VR Media. If you have a Android phone, you should be able to access it through the Google Photos application. Once there, you can go to Albums and find the Lucid VR Media folder, which will have all of your photos and videos. This is typically what I do when I want to share the media to something other than Facebook. Lastly the option Save to GearVR moves the media files into a GearVR folder which you can then view using a GearVR headset device if you have one. Lets cancel out of this and back out.
Moving onto the next item in our tabs at the bottom of the app we can see that the middle is a button with the LucidCam icon on it. This will enable us to connect with our LucidCam and start taking photos and videos. Lets click on this and see what we get.
Now we get the option of connecting the LucidCam.
Before we can actually connect to the LucidCam camera we have to do is first turn on the WiFi on the camera by clicking on the WiFi button next to the shutter button. Wait for the WiFi to turn on and find it on our Smart Phone in the WiFi available to connect to. Once you do, write down the last 8 numbers of the LucidCam WiFi name, because those numbers are the password to connect to the LucidCam WiFi. Once you have done that, you should be good to go. Go back into the Lucid VR App and we should see a new screen on the app.
We are now on the pre-capture screen and get to see exactly what the LucidCam is currently seeing through its camera lenses. The middle button is the shutter button, to switch from photography and video we have to manually change the switch on the LucidCam itself for it to update correctly. The button to the right of the shutter button is the live vr preview of what the LucidCam lenses are currently looking at.
If we back out of the live VR view screen, we can then go to the next button on the right of the live VR view button which is the settings options. Lets go ahead and click on that and see what type of additional settings we can change. Here we can see more additional settings, white balance, EV, and ISO options. Lets go ahead and see what we can do with the white balance.
For the white balance settings, we have a variety of different options to choose from. We have auto, incandescent, fluorescent, warm-fluorescent, daylight and cloudy-daylight. Unless you want adjust the specific pre-production settings of the LucidCam before taking photos and video I always choose Auto. Auto is always the standard default with most 360 cameras. Lets take a look at some of the other settings.
Next we will take a look at the EV setting options. Here we have a control that enables us to scroll threw multiple values and decide on what works best for us. Next I will take a look at what options we have for ISO.
The ISO settings are like most 360 cameras and similar to the control for the EV settings. We have a scrolling control that enables us to choose what exactly we would want for our pre-production settings for capture photos and video. I always choose auto just to be safe and not mess up any potential media that I took. Lastly I will go to the additional settings option to see what else we can do for the pre-production settings of the LucidCam.
Here in the additional settings window, we mostly get to see addition information that we can’t set. Displayed is the amount of battery level that is left in the LucidCam before it needs to be re-charged. The flash capacity internal storage is displayed for us as well as the SD card capacity if you added a micro SD card into the LucidCam. Additional information displayed is the firmware version, band and app version. Two additional options which can be changed are the Sound and the Projection type. Projection type is very important, if you want to share videos on YouTube or share photographs onto the multiple online social sites you need to change this to Equirectangular. Make sure it is Equirectangular otherwise you will have to do additional post production editing to change the spherical media into equirectangular which takes additional time, which is never fun. So make sure to do that now.
Going back to the pre-capture screen we can see a button on the far left side of the screen. This is to view all the captured video and photos that we have taken that are currently on the internal storage or the micro SD card of the LucidCam. Lets go ahead and click on that and see what is displayed.
Once we go inside of the internal gallery, we can see at the top there are two tabs available : Camera and Phone. This will give us the opportunity to see what files are currently on either one of them. If we click on the Camera tab which is automatically the default, we can see all of the media files on our LucidCam that we might want to transfer over to our Phone for uploading and sharing to social websites. Lets go ahead and transfer a file from camera to the phone. Click or press and hold on one of the items you want to move.
We can now see that we have selected a file and we get additional options available for us at the bottom of the screen. The available options are : Delete and download or transfer the file to our smart phone that is currently connected to the LucidCam via WiFi. Clicking on that button will transfer the file over to the Phone tab.
Once you transfer all the files from your Camera to the Phone, you will see all of the media displayed in the gallery here as well as on the main screen of the mobile app.
From either the gallery on the main window of the LucidCam Mobile App Lucid VR or from the phone gallery seen above, we can actually share our media. If you are using an Android phone, then you are limited to Facebook and Facebook only. Obviously this is pretty stupid that you can only share through one social media site on the Mobile App so hopefully they are smart enough to upgrade the sharing feature in future versions of the LucidCam Mobile App.
That concludes pretty much everything that you can do on the LucidCam Mobile App Lucid VR app. If you want to share your photos and video through another social site there is a process to do so. I will be going over it below.
Sharing LucidCam Photos and Video
Using an Android phone means that you can only share all of your media files through Facebook. This isn’t that great of an option if you want to share to YouTube and other sites. I will be going over my workflow on how to do so.
First step is to connect to your LucidCam and go to the internal gallery screen which you can access through the pre-capture window.
Select and transfer all the media files that you want from the LucidCam internal storage over to your phone storage.
Once you have moved all the photos and video onto your phone we can go back to the main window of the LucidCam Lucid VR mobile app to the gallery window.
Here we can view the media files and share them internally to Google Photos Gallery so we can then take the next steps to share them to online websites. Click on the individual files and click on the 3 dotted button on the right side of the screen.
Then select save to Gallery.
On my Android Phone I can now go into Google Photos and find the Lucid VR Media directory.
Here is where I will share all the photos and video to either my google drive cloud storage or you can directly plug in your smart phone into your computer and transfer the files over. The photos are now avaiable to share directly online to any social website. See all my Kuula photos above in the photo samples to see what they will look like in a 360 viewer. The videos however are not ready to be shared to YouTube, you have to do more steps to prepare them to upload to YouTube. I will detail that process below.
First we need to download some software from LucidCam company for preparation for YouTube. You have to first install the LucidCam conversion tool software. Which is only available for Windows by the way, so Mac OS users will have to wait until they create a one stop solution for them. You can also do the steps manually using an Adobe AE Project File and the MetaData Injector tool.
Once we have installed the Conversion Tool Setup on your Windows PC, we will see an icon on your desktop named YouTubeConverter with the Lucid icon. Open that program up and we will see the steps to take to continue the process.
So you first need to select one of the videos that you have exported from your smart phone. Select a video and click on the convert button.
Once it is done converting, you will see another file that it created. It will add a _YT to the name of the file, letting you know it is almost YouTube ready.
We still need to do the next step and inject the MetaData. So click on the Add MetaData button which opens up the tool, click open and select the _YT file.
Make sure to select the ‘My video is spherical (360)’ and the ‘My video is stereoscopic 3D’ options.
Once it is done injecting the MetaData into the video file it will now add more text to the newest file. It should now have _YT_Injected appended to the filename. Now you know which files you can upload to video that will look correctly in 360 degree viewer.
You now can upload and share LucidCam media Photographs as well as Video to the social websites that you want. You can see what the final results look like by visiting my sample YouTube video clips above in the photo and video quality section.
LucidCam VR180 3d Camera Review – My Thoughts
To the untrained eye, most people probably won’t be able to tell the difference between a 3D video, especially since it only records 180 x 180 degrees. If you purchased three LucidCams and created a full 360 x 360 experience, then it might be immersive and entertaining to the viewer. I would like to see an example video of three LucidCams stitched together to see if the resulting video can compete with any 360 3D cameras out in the marketplace.
Now that recent news came out about VR180 by Google, this might be a good choice to participate in that program and VR platform. I actually purchased a LucidCam just for the purpose of testing out the VR180 platform for YouTube. Google is betting big on VR180 and hopes it will bridge the gap for creators and viewers to understand and watch Virtual Reality 180 and 360 content.
One huge issue I have with the LucidCam Mobile App Lucid VR for Android phones is that you can’t directly share your photos and video through anything but Facebook. This is a huge disappointment and expect changes to be made in future versions of the Mobile App. Also, another problem
In my opinion the LucidCam video quality is not that great when you compare it with other 360 cameras. In my test videos YouTube says you can select 4k and 8k 3D video, but the quality looks average. I am not sure if this is some setting that I need to change or need to update the firmware or Mobile App to get a better result. If you want to create VR180 3D quality content on YouTube and potentially other media sharing sites, I would wait until Google and their hardware partners come out with specific 180VR 3D cameras for Googles platform.
If you do get the LucidCam 3D camera, make sure to update the firmware to the latest because you can get 4K resolution per lens. When the original camera was sent out to the backers the resolution was limited to 2K, so make sure to update everything before you go out and shoot. The quality has upgraded massively from 2K to 4K per camera lens, but in my opinion isn’t that great of quality for 3D video.
|Price||IndieGoGo $399 / Retail $500 – 600|
|Release Date||Successful campaign Dec 26 2015|
|Product Phase||Released, only 50% shipped to backers so far (June 2017)|
|Lense Type||2 x fisheye|
|FOV||180 x 180|
|Resolution & FPS||4k 30fps|
|Image Pixels x N Tot Lense|
|Stitched Photo Resolution||4k Image|
|Microphones||2 x mics with stereo audio|
|Connection Jack||HDMI, Micro USB, Micro SD|
|Capacity||32GB Internal Storage|
|App Compatibility||Android, iOS|