The waterproof 360-shooter that’s great for travellers with time on their hands (and a laptop)
The GoPro Fusion is a fine camera, and ripe for trips to exotic parts. Truly, it is. It captures everything, and lets you either create virtual reality videos (for those of your with an HTC Vive or Oculas Rift VR headset) or – more likely – edit-down 360 videos into traditional widescreen videos. However, it comes with a few drawbacks.
GoPro Fusion: design
Waterproof to 5m, and with a great build quality, the square-shaped Fusion measures 73x75x23mm and weighs 226g. Inside a flap on its side is a 2,620mAh lithium-ion battery that lasts for about 70 minutes. However, using WiFi and controlling it via its phone app does run down the battery more quickly.
GoPro Fusion: features
Able to record video in 5.2K resolution at 30 frames per second, the Fusion can also film in 3K resolution at 60 frames per second and take still images in 18 megapixels. It’s also got voice control; ‘Fusion, take a photo” and similar barked instructions all work well (there are 12 in total).
GoPro Fusion: over-capture
The key feature is what GoPro calls ‘over-capture’, which lets you re-frame a 360 video as a traditional widescreen shape video. It means being able to focus the camera on, say, a skier after the filming is over. Not only can you focus only on something exciting happening in your 360 video, but you can share it more easily. Over-capture lets you focus on specific objects and people, but you can also change the perspective of the video. Mount the Fusion on a cycling helmet and you can put it in ‘angel view’ mode after the fact, thus following yourself down a mountain, drone-style.
GoPro Fusion: conclusion
With over-capture as its key feature, the Fusion isn’t really about 360 and VR, but never missing a thing. Yes, it lacks resolution, largely because creating the Full HD video it cuts from a 360 wraparound video is pretty lo-res. It may require 8K sensors for this concept to truly impress, but for now, this waterproof 360 camera is a lot of fun to use. However, without a 100fps slo-mo mode – as the Insta360 One X has – and with just 5.2K resolution when its competitors all have 5.7K, the Fusion is a little behind. Its biggest plus is waterproofing, and depending on your next adventure, perhaps that’s as good a reason to chose it as any other.
Price as reviewed: US$699 / UK£560