360 Camera News and Info

GoPro Max (GoPro Fusion 2) is REAL: 7 FEATURES plus Release Date (updated Sep. 21, 2019)

GoPro Max / Fusion 2 resolution, features, specifications

Here are two leaked videos of the next GoPro Fusion called GoPro Max in action, which confirms several of its features and its resolution!  I’ve been saying for a long time that the next version of the Fusion is real.  Now actual photos and videos of the new version of the GoPro Fusion, called GoPro Max, have leaked!   Here are the leaked videos, new photos, and confirmed resolution and features.

Background

GoPro officially announced that the next GoPro Fusion (aka Fusion 2) is coming.  GoPro made the announcement during its Q1 2019 earnings call during which CEO Nick Woodman disclosed that GoPro will launch a series of products in Q4 2019 at various price levels. Mr. Woodman specifically stated that this would include their next 360 camera, which enthusiasts have dubbed Fusion 2 or Next GoPro Fusion.

Now photos of the next GoPro Fusion have been leaked by PhotoRumors.com.  The photos seem to hint at certain features (see below):

GoPro Max (GoPro Fusion 2 / next GoPro Fusion)
GoPro Max (GoPro Fusion 2 / next GoPro Fusion)

Based on the photos leaked by PhotoRumors, I predicted 7 features of the GoPro Max:

New leaked photos appeared from Winfuture on September 12.  The photos appear to confirm several features that I predicted (see below).  Thanks again to 360 Tips & Tricks for bringing these to my attention!

GoPro Max new photos leaked by WinFuture
GoPro Max new photos leaked by WinFuture

Finally, an anonymous source provided me with videos of the GoPro Max in action, which further confirmed the features I predicted (see below).

GoPro Max (Fusion 2) leaked videos
GoPro Max (Fusion 2) leaked videos confirmed several of my predictions

GoPro has now revealed that it will be announcing its new products on October 1, 2019 (including the Max).

When was Fusion 2 first announced?

Fusion 2 was first announced at the GoPro Q1 2019 earnings call.  Here’s a video about Fusion 2:

There is a lot of excitement about Fusion 2 because the GoPro Fusion (reviewed here) is one of the best 360 cameras.  It raised the bar for other 360 cameras in terms of image quality and stabilization.  Even two years after its release, it still has one of the best image quality among 360 cameras.

GoPro Max: 7 Predicted Features

The GoPro Max looks very similar to the Fusion, with an offset lens design.  The biggest difference is the addition of a large screen.  The question is, why not keep the current screen?  This is because the screen will be a touchscreen, which will make it easier to adjust the settings without being connected to the phone.  9/16/19 UPDATE:  CONFIRMED in the leaked video.

GoPro Fusion Max leaked photo by WinFuture
GoPro Fusion Max leaked photo by WinFuture

Second, the larger screen will be used not just to change settings as in the current Fusion, but will also be able to review photos and videos.  Until now, almost all 360 cameras have not had a preview screen.  But I’ve used a couple of 360 cameras with the preview screen (Acer Holo 360 and Pilot Era) and I think it is very convenient. 9/16/19 UPDATE:  CONFIRMED in the leaked video.  

Third, this implies another feature: realtime stitching or at the very least realtime preview.  This is a feature I’ve been predicting ever since the first Fusion 2 rumors appeared.   Mr. Woodman has previously discussed some of the features of the next GoPro Fusion.  In an interview with PC Magazine, Mr. Woodman said he wants it to be as easy to use as a regular GoPro.   9/16/19 UPDATE:  CONFIRMED in the leaked video.

As I’ve said previously, I believe that the next Fusion may have realtime stitching with stabilization, a feature that has never been seen before in a consumer 360 camera.  There are some 360 cameras with realtime stitching capability for video, but they do not have stabilization unless first processed in an app.  There are a few 360 cameras with realtime stitching with stabilization (Insta360 Pro, Insta360 Pro 2, Pilot Era) but they cost at least $2500.  If Fusion 2 can have realtime stitching with stabilization, it would become the first consumer 360 camera to have that capability.

I believe that the large screen increases the probability that GoPro Max will have realtime stitching capabilities.   Short of that, it might have realtime preview (as in the One X, which does not stitch in realtime, but can show a stitched and stabilized preview of the photo or video in realtime).  9/16/19 UPDATE:  PARTIALLY CONFIRMED in the leaked video.  The leaked video shows it has a stabilized preview.  It remains to be seen whether Max will have actual realtime stabilization (i.e., the video will be stabilized with no postprocessing).

Fourth, Mr. Woodman has hinted that the next Fusion will focus on overcapture rather than 360, and will be designed for ease of use.  I believe that the Max will be able to automatically create overcapture video from a 360 video.  9/16/19 UPDATE:  CONFIRMED in the leaked video.   The leaked video shows that there is a camera mode called “Hero”.  It implies that there are other camera modes, most likely including a 360 mode.

Fifth, another unusual characteristic is that the photos show a somewhat protruding lens.  I believe this means it is a replaceable lens.  This is a feature that many people have been asking for in a 360 camera.  While a few cameras have had it, the ones that had it (Virb 360, Orbit 360, Keymission 360, and to some extent the original Samsung Gear 360, etc.) were plagued by excessive glare.  I think GoPro wouldn’t add a replaceable lens unless they have solved the glare problem.  So I’m optimistic that glare will be well controlled.  9/12/19 UPDATE: the new leaked photos seem to confirm that the lenses are indeed replaceable, or a protective lens can be placed over them.

GoPro Fusion Max leaked photo by WinFuture
GoPro Fusion Max leaked photo by WinFuture

Sixth, there are holes on the front, back, and side of the camera.  I’m not sure what these are.  Since there are three of them, they might be microphones for spatial audio.  They might also be for cooling the camera, but I’m wondering if that wouldn’t compromise the waterproof capability.

Seventh, there is only a single Micro SD card.  This limits the bitrate at which it can record.  I believe this means that the video resolution will not be higher than the Fusion.  As for video quality, the single Micro SD card could become a bottleneck but if the Max uses UHS-II or uses H.265, it may be able to record a higher equivalent bitrate compared to the Fusion.

Those are my predictions for now.  What’s my track record for predictions?  See below.

GoPro Max / Fusion 2 Release Date and Price

On August 1, 2019, during the Q2 earnings call, Mr. Woodman reiterated their excitement for their upcoming product launch and revealed that the launch will be in Fall 2019.  GoPro was so confident about their product launch that they predicted that it would lead to a higher average sales price (ASP) during Q4 2019. During the Q&A portion of the call, an analyst asked whether GoPro’s optimism about their Q4 financials was due to the “refresh of the GoPro Fusion.”  Mr. Woodman was tight-lipped and merely said that “multiple products” would contribute to that increase in ASP.

GoPro said that it would be launching the GoPro Max on October 1, 2019.

As for the price, I am guessing it will be $499 to $699.  I doubt it will cost more than that, or else there will be very few buyers.

What do you think of the GoPro Max / Fusion 2? Let me know in the comments!

360 Rumors Track Record for Predictions

Here’s my track record for predictions so far, if you want to see:

– New GoPro Fusion being launched: correct
– Insta360 One X predictions: 4 out of 6
– Fusion predictions: 5 out of 7
– First Kodak Orbit photos: correct
– Garmin Virb 360 predictions: 7 out of 8
– Insta360 One predictions: 9 out of 10
– Gear 360 predictions: 4 out of 7

About the author

Mic Ty

15 Comments

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  • One X disadvantages:

    I shoot lectures using both Fusion and One X. The Fusion always delivers consistent results. The One X on three successive video files did something different each time. The first shot the z axis wobbled between plus 1 and minus 2, the second shot the image panned around over two dozen times so I had to unscrew the 30 minute shot which took a couple of hours of keying, the third shot was rock steady and perfect, just like every tripod shot I get with the Fusion.

    This makes me want another Fusion for shooting lectures.

    The One X is excellent for all walking shots and even with the extended 3 meter stick which wobbles frightfully yields excellent results. It just doesn’t like tripods.

    I have had these issues with two Insta360 One Xs.

    Each camera has advantages and disadvantages so having both is best.

  • Ummm, maybe you’re using a technical exception, but the footage that comes off the VIRB360 is already stitched and ready to be viewed. It does this in the 4k range as opposed to the 5k range, but still. Because of this, Garmin’s workflow is much easier than GoPro’s. My wishlist in order of priority…

    1) Replaceable Lens
    2) Better camera to content workflow
    3) Better Profile (The Virb360 looks like an action camera, the Fusion looks dumb)
    4) Higher Resolution (and the ability to edit it without bogging down your computer)
    5) Better stitching

    • Thanks Chase yes realtime stitching has been done by several cameras including virb, theta v, etc. To clarify, I mean realtime stitching *with stabilization*. Virb realtime stitching doesn’t have stabilization until you process it afterward. Insta360 Pro, Insta360 Pro 2 and Pilot Era have stabilization straight out of the camera.

    • Thanks Chase yes realtime stitching has been done by several cameras including virb, theta v, etc. To clarify, I mean realtime stitching *with stabilization*. Virb realtime stitching doesn’t have stabilization until you process it afterward. Insta360 Pro, Insta360 Pro 2 and Pilot Era have stabilization straight out of the camera.

  • I wonder if the changable lenses will allow for an underwater camera housing for perfect stitching once the magnification happens due to the water. The Fusion needs an underwater housing for SCUBA diving!

  • Oh I’m betting GoPro Devs Team have been right on track to the competition.

    Brands like insta360 (one X) and Theta (Z) apps can actually (Should) be adapted to the GoPro environment.

    The merging with Quik App is also on the horizon. I’m betting they will release the new camera and also the refreshed and improved Gopro App merged with Quik, just like Dji made with the Mimo App for the Pocket and now with Osmo Mobile 3.

    If GoPro smashes insta 360 One X Specs (I love the fact that they finally decided to have only one sd card as it reduces corrupted files) and presents a epic competitive price then, oh boy we have an amazing tech battle here!

    I’m also betting 2020 Will bring DJI to the 360 cameras equation, that’s just a question of mirroring the osmo action camera and basically using the already available tech installed on their drone Apps thats creates the #djiasteroid.
    Along with the rockseatdy tech, it will be tough to decide between these 3 giants!