When my GoPro Omni rig arrived in Washington, D.C. I was so excited to test out the “official” 360 rig of GoPro I even did a Facebook Live video of the unboxing to answer questions from my fellow filmmakers.
Unfortunately, while the rig-only option came with what was expected — the Omni rig without GoPro cameras or external power — since most 360 filmmakers already have 6, 12 or more GoPros, it did not come with a key component.
After much searching on GoPro’s support website and hitting conflicting instructions from customer support this is the manual GoPro should have included.
Step 1: Prepare
- Update all of your GoPro Hero 4 Black cameras to the latest software (version 3.00.00 released July, 2015) here: https://gopro.com/update/hero4
- Create a GoPro Community Support Hub Account here: https://community.gopro.com/
- Register your GoPro Omni here: https://community.gopro.com/t5/Omni-Registration/ct-p/OmniRegistration
- Download Firmware for GoPro Cameras here: https://community.gopro.com/t5/Omni/ct-p/Omni
- Label your cameras 1–6
- Copy Primary Camera firmware file to Camera 1
- Copy Secondary Camera firmare file to Cameras 2–6
Step 2: Installing Cameras
- Carefully loosen but do not remove hex screws (one of mine came pre-stripped and GoPro is sending me a new one, I foresee this being an issue)
- Install the GoPros through the 30-pin connector on the back (Cameras numbers must match slot numbers)
Step 3: Firmware Updates / Remote
- Update firmware to Primary camera on GoPro 1
- Update firmware to Secondary camera on GoPro 2–6
- Sync Camera 1 to the GoPro Remote
Step 4: Shooting 360 Video
- Use the GoPro remote to start/stop video recording
- Camera 1 will control Cameras 2–6
- See my guides to shooting 360 video here and here.
Step 5: Importing 360 Video
- Download the latest beta version of AutoPano Video Pro in order to have access to the Omni Importer here: http://www.kolor.com/autopano-video/download/#beta
- Remove MicroSD cards from GoPros with tweezers
- Connect all six MicroSD cards to computer with USB hub and readers
- Open GoPro Omni App
Other Thoughts and Questions
The GoPro Omni is leaps and bounds more rugged, polished and easier to use than other six-camera GoPro rigs. It took much longer than expected to get up and running with the Omni. GoPro did not provide ample documentation, steps for product registration, fast approval of access to Omni software/firmware and did not specify the need to download the beta version of AutoPano Video Pro.
What about sound? Well, here it is straight from GoPro Omni FAQ page.
When you render you stitched sequence in Autopano Video Pro, you will have the opportunity to choose what camera provides the sound that will be included in your file. Additionally you can still use the GoPro USB-Jack 3.5 mm adapter when the cameras are in the rig to potentially capture better audio.
The Omni currently does not support spacial audio.
External Power? If you bought the all inclusive Omni rig, then this is not an issue. If you bought the rig only Omni, then you did not get the external power accessories.
Here is a list of the Omni external power that comes with the all inclusive rig (some items not available until mid-September:
- Core SWX Hypercore-98S Battery (B&H — $317.00)
- Core SWX GP-S V-mount battery plate with integrated mounting clamp (not available until mid-September)
- Core SWX GP-LS Battery Charger (B&H — $325.46)
- Core SWX XP-DV-5GPR 12V to 5V DC converter cable (PowerTap to 2.5 x 5.5mm) (not available until mid-September)
If you would like to be notified of the new Core SWX product availibliies email them here: email@example.com
Can I charge GoPros in Omni? Yes. The GoPro USB cords, and right-angle USB cords will fit inside the Omni when the GoPros are attached.
Things I would like to test
- GoPro 3.5mm Mic Adapter with the rig for improved audio (not spacial audio)
- Overheating of rig when recording for long periods of time
- Removing batteries for external power to shoot for longer periods of time
- Time lapse photography (confirmed by GoPro not a feature right now for Omni)
- Photography settings (confirmed by GoPro that you cannot change shutter speed of camera)
- Stitching errors — how close can you get to the rig and move around it too see stitch lines in 360 video
Recommendations and Final Thoughts
The GoPro Omni seems to be a very good out of the box solution for many newsrooms, small production houses and prosumers to get into shooting, stitching and editing 360 video. It’s all inclusive rig has everything you need to get off the ground with 360 production.
GoPro has a lot to improve on when it comes to customer service, reliability of cameras and ease of use for importing. I’m hoping the firmware will help with reliability and that an Omni Version II has an option for one cord to import from all cameras.
Overall, I look forward to getting out and shooting with the Omni Rig and providing more feedback.
Helpful GoPro Support Links
- Product Registration / Software Updates: https://gopro.com/help/articles/Question_Answer/GoPro-Omni-Product-Registration-and-Software-Updates
- Firmware Instructions (PDF): https://community.gopro.com/html/assets/GoProOmniFirmwareUpdateInstuctions_072216.pdf?version=preview
- Omni Importer: https://gopro.com/help/articles/How_To/How-To-Import-Footage-With-Omni-Importer
- Omni FAQ Page: https://gopro.com/help/articles/Question_Answer/GoPro-Omni-FAQ