Design and Tech

Nikon Drops an Action Cam Unlike Any We've Seen

It shoots regular and 360-degree 4K video, combining features normally packaged in two different cameras

Nikon Drops an Action Cam Unlike Any We've Seen

Nikon's KeyMission uses two 180-degree lenses that stitch video into a single 360-degree output. Photo: Nikon

Nikon's finally built an action cam. It’s called the KeyMission 360, and as you can guess from its name, it shoots 360-degree video.

That’s nothing new, of course. There are a handful of other companies, including Bubl and 360Fly, offering cameras that capture surround footage. What is new is that instead of using a single, spherical lens to gather all that footage, like the 360Fly, the KeyMission uses two 180-degree lenses that stitch the 4K video into a single, 360-degree output.

Because there are two lenses, this allows the KeyMission to shoot regular, non-360-degree 4K footage, creating yet another action cam competitor to GoPro. Nikon's late to the game, yes, but it seems to have produced a camera that challenges everything on the market by cramming all the most current features—such as the various shooting modes and high-resolution video—into one body.

And speaking of the body, it’s smaller than you’d expect with all that functionality of its competitors and two lenses. It’s about the size of the GoPro Hero4, is waterproof to 100 feet, and shockproof from up to 6.6 feet without the need for an external case. 

It remains to be seen whether 360-degree video really takes off. It’ a growing market, thanks to these new cameras and products like Google Cardboard and YouTube’s #360Video channel, but it's far from ubiquitous and the tech still has a ways to go. That’s why Nikon was smart to package both a normal action cam and a 360-degree one into a single body. 

We haven’t touched the KeyMission yet, but will report back on functionality once we’ve had ample time to play with it. 

Filed To: Cameras, Video Cameras

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