Snap Verdict of the GoPro Fusion

The GoPro Fusion is a beautiful, well-built, easy-to-use action-360 camera hybrid that produces stunning images and video with nice colour and exceptional clarity and detail, as well as impressive audio. But the rendering times are immense. The software is still figuring itself out, and is much slower to process videos than competing 360 cameras and their companion software.

GoPro added OverCapture earlier this year and has made some much-needed performance enhancements via firmware updates, but it still feels a little unfinished. Largely because we’re still waiting for the GoPro app for Android to support the Fusion on a wider range of phones than the Pixel and recent Samsung offerings.

But the Fusion does feel very exciting. It’s a quality product that’s my go-to 360 camera because of its awesome image and video quality, despite the processing times.

Is the Fusion the game-changer we all thought it could be? Not yet. But it has all the potential to, given its solid foundations and pedigree. So place an asterisk next to this score. It’s not etched in stone, and we will keep updating this review as the camera evolves.

What is the GoPro Fusion?

The Fusion is GoPro’s first 360 camera, which can record spherical video at up to 5.7K resolution and capture 18-megapixel still images.

But it’s more than just a 360 camera. Being waterproof and compatible with all of GoPro’s many mounts, the Fusion is a go-anywhere 360-degree action camera that wants to be the camera that makes 360 mainstream.

What’s more, it offers (or, it will when they are added via firmware in early 2018) novel features like OverCapture and Angel View that aim to let users produce truly unique videos.

Features

  • Video resolution: 5.2K @ 30fps or 60fps @ 3K (3008 x 1504)
  • Photo resolution: 18 megapixels
  • Burst mode for still images up to 30fps
  • Raw format for still images
  • ISO (photos): 100 to 800
  • ISO (videos): 100 to 6400
  • Shutter speed: up to 30 seconds
  • 5.2K30 and 3K60 Spherical Video
  • 18MP Spherical Photo
  • 360 Audio

The GoPro Fusion inherits a lot of the features that have made the Hero Black cameras so brilliant to use, such as ProTune, QuikStories, Time Lapse, GPS and more.

And in early 2018 GoPro is promising to add via firmware update some of the Fusion’s bespoke features like Overcapture, which allows you to record a scene in spherical 360 video, then choose any perspective from within that footage to follow and export as a standard-format HD video.

The OverCapture mode will enable users to make traditional 16:9 videos in 1080p resolution from their 360 videos, with full control of the perspective. This is something we saw introduced with the Insta360 ONE, so we’ll be very keen to see GoPro’s version of the feature when it’s added in 2018.

Update

GoPro rolled out OverCapture in January 2018, but only for iOS devices. A few weeks later GoPro updated its Android app to support the Fusion, but only a handful of Android devices are currently supported.

The big selling point, of course, is that the GoPro Fusion records spherical video in 5.2K (5228×2624) resolution at 30/25p, or spherical video in 3K (3000×1504) resolution at 60/50p.

By recording at 5.2K resolution, GoPro makes its leap into the 360 camera market jumping ahead of a lot of the competition. Only the Garmin VIRB 360 and YI 360 VR offer a higher resolution at 5.7K.

The GoPro Fusion captures still images in 18-megapixel resolution.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
GoPro Fusion
Author Rating
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