Picture of the Day: YI HALO next-gen Jump 3D-360 camera

YI HALO makes production easier than ever for VR filmmakers. The product's hefty price tag may scare away some creators, but Google wants to get its latest toy in the hands of its creative community.

Google also announced Jump Start project, which will give these Jump cameras and the free use of Jump Assembler to VR film creators. "When new Yi Halo unit camera hardware is released, simply replace the existing unit camera to upgrade the Yi Halo", the company says on its website.

While pro-level VR rigs tend to be heavy and restrictive, Yi says the Halo is created to shoot from anywhere. The Yi 360 VR uses a pair of overlapping 220-degree lenses, two 12-megapixel Sony IMX377 sensors, and an Ambarella processing chip to stitch the footage together in-camera.

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The new hardware was announced by Google on April 24, about a week after Facebook unveiled its plans for a pair of VR cameras.

Of course, any comparison between this beastly system and Samsung's New Gear 360 is unfair and frankly absurd, since you're in fact getting not one, not two, but 17 (!) 4K unit cams with the YI Technology-developed immersive experience production solution.

The very big camera setup is capable of shooting 8K stereoscopic video at 30 frames per second (fps) or 5.8K at 60 frames per second. The extra camera on the HALO sits on top, which captures footage from overhead.

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With built-in 5GHz Wi-Fi and control via an Android app or a built-in LCD touch screen control panel, the YI HALO supports advanced image quality settings such as ISO, WB, and EV (8K x 30fps, 5K x 60fps).

Having worked originally with GoPro to design the "Odyssey" camera for Jump, this time it's Yi Technology who have worked with Google to create the Yi Halo, which the companies are calling the "next-generation" of Jump cameras. They'll be given access to a free Jump camera as well as the Jump Assembler to help kick off more virtual reality content. Applications are open today and run until May 22nd. At less than 8 pounds, the YI HALO can be transported anywhere, and doesn't limit them when they're trying to capture a tricky shot.

The Yi Halo will cost $16,999 and will hit the United States first before Yi's home country of China.

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  • Gina Adkins