All 360 cameras have the same, giant problem.
Video, as we know it now, takes the viewer into a scene and shows them the action by pointing the camera at it. 360 cameras also take the viewer to a scene, but then forces them to pan around searching for the action that is usually happening in just one part of the shot.
GoPro has solved this issue with the release of its new “Fusion” camera and “Overcapture” software, and it could be a big breakthrough for the company.
“Don’t look at GoPro’s Fusion camera as a niche high performance 360 capture device,” Andrew Uerkwitz, an analyst at Oppenheimer, said in a note to clients. “That’s what it is today.
“Investors should look at the software instead,” He continued. “In Overcapture—an editing feature for the device—we believe GoPro is highly innovative in both hardware and software.”
Uerkwitz said the new Fusion 360 camera is fine, but it’s just a small component of the 360 revolution GoPro could start. The Overcapture software is the real hero in his mind because it solves the main problem with 360 video. The software allows the content creator to pan and zoom on footage captured by a Fusion camera in order to focus on the most interesting parts of the video, and then export that video as a traditional, non-360 video.
You can see the effect in the GoPro video below. In the first shot, the camera is zoomed out to show the whole scene of a skydiver falling over a mountain range, but then zooms in and slows down time to show the skydiver skimming the top of a mountain ridge. In a traditional 360 video, you might have missed the close call if you didn’t have the video player pointed in the right direction.
“Not only does OverCapture ensure that you always get your shot, it also means you can choose what part of that content is important after you shoot, giving the creator the ultimate freedom in composition,” GoPro said on its website. It’s a way for creators to never miss their shot.
Despite Uerkwitz’ excitement over the new software, he says the camera market is in an irreversible decline. The Fusion camera and Overcapture software will help GoPro, but it won’t change the whole market, Uekwitz said.
Oppenheimer is neutral on the stock based on the expectation of a declining camera market.
GoPro is up 25.91% this year.