Facebook & RED Build 'Manifold', A 360-Degree VR Camera

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In short: Facebook and RED debuted their new 360-degree, VR camera at Oculus Connect 5 yesterday. This camera sports 16 of RED's Helium 8K sensors. This allows for full 360-degree, 6DoF (six degrees of freedom) to make it really feel like you are there. RED also says that all 16 cameras can run at 8K resolution with 60 frames-per-second and record raw footage simultaneously. What that means is that you are essentially going to get some of the most crisp footage you've ever seen on a camera, or in VR. It also sports custom Schneider 8mm, F/4.0, 180-degree fish-eye lenses, so that it can get the full 360-degree video.

Background: Facebook and RED actually announced this partnership last year. The two companies wanted to create a camera that was capable of taking virtual reality videos, and that's where Manifold came in. Now the 16 Helium 8K sensors here definitely sounds like overkill, but when it comes to 360-degree and virtual reality video, the higher the resolution, the better experience it is going to be. Remember that with virtual reality, the screen is much closer to your eyes than a smartphone or a TV, so you can really see each pixel. This is why a Full HD or even a 4K video doesn't look as good in VR as it does on a TV.

Impact: This camera is not made for the regular YouTubers out there, or those that want to make some home videos in 360-degrees. Manifold is meant for filmmakers, like those in Hollywood. And that's because this is perhaps the best VR camera out there, and the price tag definitely shows that. Now there is no price announced just yet on this VR camera, but it wouldn't be surprising to see the price hit six figures here. Considering one RED Helium 8K sensor (which is on the Epic-W 8K) is priced at around $49,500 right now. So when you factor in the fact that there are 16 of those here, it's going to be crazy expensive.

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