Nikon enters the 360 degree action camera market with KeyMission
Nikon is returning to the action camera market with the surprise announcement at CES of a lineup of new action cameras that build on Nikon’s technical excellence in optical and image-processing technologies.
The first in this lineup is the KeyMission 360 – a wearable action camera capable of recording true 360° video in 4K UHD. Bringing these different streams of highly relevant technology together in one camera brings an important and timely step-change to the market, which has had limitations in achieving true 360° video recording and making this widely available to consumers.
The Nikon KeyMission 360 has a lens and sensor on two opposite sides of the camera, with the images from each combined in-camera to create a single realistic, high-definition, 360° image.
The camera is waterproof to depths of 30 m without a separate housing, and is also very tough, standing up well to dust, shocks and low temperatures.
In post-production electronic vibration reduction is enabled via applications during playback, reducing the effects of camera shake, producing sharp and crisp movie quality. It has been designed for a variety of challenging conditions typical of the action camera market, while ensuring maximum ease of use and freedom of movement to facilitate a wide spectrum of outdoor sporting and leisure activities.
The original Nikons 1 (L) and the final Nikonos RS AF were the go to action cameras in the film days
Nikonos 1963 - 2001
Nikon is no stranger to action cameras as I remember from my sailboat racing days. All the marine photographers carried the Nikonos all-weather cameras when the weather was too rough to risk a normal camera in the corrosive salt spray.
The Nikonos was launched in 1962 after a tie-up with SPIROTECHNIQUE, a French offshore machinery development company, who had developed a new type of 135-format watertight camera, the Calypso. The Nikonos cameras were 35mm still film cameras with focal plane shutters and interchangeable lenses. The cameras were waterproof to 50m (100m for the RS AF). The cameras were used just as much underwater as chasing sailboats. After six iterations up to the Nikonos RS AF, the product line was discontinued, with marine photographers preferring waterproof housings for regular cameras. These are inevitably large, and the new action-camera market shows that users are looking for smaller cameras for their sports photography.
The KeyMission 360 – the first of Nikon’s range of action cameras – along with a variety of dedicated accessories, will be released spring, 2016.
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