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Too good to be true? Absolute Zero THOR 360 camera captures 8K 2D or 6K 3D 360 at 60fps at an incredible price

Absolute Zero Thor 8K 60fps 360 camera
Absolute Zero Thor 8K 60fps 360 camera

Absolute Zero is a professional 360 camera with 12 lenses and can capture 8K 60fps 360 video, or 6K 3D 360 video, or 9K photos, with specifications, features, and price that seem too good to be true.

Here are the Thor’s specifications:

LensesTwelve 190-degree fisheye lenses
SensorsTwelve 1/3-inch CMOS sensors
Field of viewFully spherical
Video resolution7680 x 3840 (8K) @ 60fps in 2D 360
6K @ 60fps in 3D 360
Photo resolution8910 x 4550 (39mp)
Audiospatial audio
4 directional microphones
B-format AAC 48khz
Video formatmp4 H.265
10-bit color depth
16 mbps bitrate per lens
Minimum shooting distance50 cm
Battery10,000 mah
1.5 hours recording
4 hours timelapse
10 hours standby
Storageremovable Sata SSD (variable size)
ConnectivityWi-i 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
up to 10 mbps (@ 5ghz band) or 2 mbps (@2.4 ghz band)
Dimensions22cm diameter
12 cm height
Weight1.5 kg
Mount1/4-20 top and bottom
Price and availability€2,999 (Q1 2018)

The features include:
– hardware stitching (in-camera stitching???)
– Time lapse (intervals from 1/2 sec to infinity)
– manual controls (exposure, brightness, gamma, saturation, white balance, contrast)
– HDR mode
– adjustable framerate from 60fps to 5fps
– can charge while recording (thus allowing extended recording, limited only by SSD storage capacity
– The app can reportedly show an instant preview with 2D or 3D 360 projection.

These specifications are incredibly ambitious, particularly coming from a startup company.  On top of that, they are offering the Thor for a remarkable price of just €2,999, reportedly available in the first quarter of 2018. In fact, if you preorder it, they are offering a 30% discount at €2,100.

Honestly, the Thor sounds almost too good to be true, even at twice its retail price.  To put its specs into perspective, the Insta360 Pro shoots 8K in 2D 360 @ 30fps (not 60fps), or 6K 3D 360 @ 30fps and costs $3499. The Kandao Obsidian shoots 6K 3D 360 at 50fps and costs $6,999. These are cameras manufactured in China, where labor costs are much lower. I can’t understand how the Thor can undercut Insta360 and Kandao.

UPDATE: it appears that Absolute Zero has a cloud stitching service and will charge for the cost of using that service, which may explain the low price. Thank you very much to Ole Johan Bolstad for sharing that information!

I would love to see the Thor in real life, but I didn’t see them listed as an exhibitor at CES 2018. I will see if I can dig out more information about it from the company. In the meantime,
Absolute Zero has made samples available for download at its website. Thank you very much to the readers who told me about it a while back (there were several of you — I’ll have to hunt down your names…).