GoPro Fusion is available here for $279. Should you buy it? Believe it or not, it’s still relevant in 2022. Here are its pros and cons.
GoPro Fusion (reviewed here) is a 360 camera that was released in 2017 at $699. Today in 2022, it is still available, and the price has gone down to $279. Is it a good deal or would you be wasting money?
When GoPro Fusion was released in 2017, it was considered revolutionary because it offered far better video quality than anything else on the market.
- Video quality is still considered excellent and on par with the best 360 cameras in 2022. When I got the Fusion in 2017, I bought it at the full price of $699, which was far more expensive than any other consumer 360 camera at that time. Yet it was worth it, because of the excellent video quality. Surprisingly, even in 2022, the video quality of the Fusion is still on par with the best 360 cameras.
Can take photos in Raw, which the new GoPro MAX (reviewed here) cannot do. See the sample virtual tour below.
Records video and photo with GPS metadata. If you want to record blue lines for Google Street View, this is one of the cameras that can do it.
Very affordable at $279
*Correction: when I posted this, I wrote that it has a removable lens cover. That was my mistake. There is a 3rd party case with a replaceable lens cover.
Someone shared this sample GoPro Fusion virtual tour on the GoPro Max / Fusion Facebook group. The stitch line is a bit blurred but I love the natural-looking colors. For sample videos, see my review video below.
- Desktop editing is a bit less straightforward. GoPro Fusion is unusual because it has two Micro SD cards. One Micro SD card recorded the front lens and the other recorded the rear lens. Many people complained about the workflow. But the truth is that it’s really simple. Just connect your Fusion to your PC via a USB Type C cable. You’ll be able to read from both cards simultaneously. Copy all the files from each card into the same directory on your hard drive. Then the Fusion Studio desktop app will be able to stitch the videos and photos.
Needs a graphics card. If your PC doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card, stitching the videos from the Fusion will take a very long time. But even a modest graphics card such as a GTX 1050Ti will speed up the stitching dramatically. Please note that this is also true for other 360 cameras such as Insta360.
Can only export 5.7K video in Cineform. If you export at the full resolution, the only available format is Cineform, which is about 9 times larger than an mp4 file.
Unusual Raw workflow. Although GoPro Fusion does take very good quality Raw photos, the Raw workflow is not straightforward. You’ll have to edit the GPR files, making sure to edit both the front lens and rear lens the same way, then export them as JPG with a _GPR suffix in their filename. Here is a tutorial.
Very difficult to connect with phone app. I find it very difficult to successfully establish a wireless connection between the GoPro Fusion and the GoPro phone app. You can pretty much forget about mobile editing.
If you want a convenient 360 camera that you can use for social media, I would not recommend the Fusion. I would get the Insta360 One X2 instead or at least the GoPro MAX, which can connect to the GoPro app a lot more easily. But if you want to have a 360 camera that can shoot high quality 360 video for editing on a desktop, the GoPro Fusion is an amazing deal at $279 and I would still buy it even in 2022.
Here is my original GoPro Fusion review from 2018.