The first 180° consumer cameras for the half VR format initiated by Google have now officially launched Yi and Lenovo at CES. Both are small, simple point-and-shoot cameras that will shoot or film in 3D. In the case of Yi Horizon VR180 will output the stereoscopic video in 5.7K at 30fps, the Lenovo Mirage camera seems to dissolve into 4K.
Live streaming is supported by both. Yi relies on an Ambarella H2V95 chipset for the calculations and talks about real-time stitching in the camera, but does not reveal any details about the built-in camera modules. Lenovo, on the other hand, reads two 13MP image sensors with F/2.1 optics in front and an image angle of 180°x180°. If the latter should not refer to the semi-spherical image output, but per camera module, there would be hardly any stitching required. Ultimately, it would be a very wide-angle s3D camera, whose images are now to be viewed in the VR headset à la Google Cardboard, Lenovo Mirage etc. In the end.
While the Lenovo Mirage camera offers a preview image only via smartphone app, Yi has a small 2.2" Retina touch screen (640x360) on the back. The setting options tend towards zero. Both cameras are to be launched in the second quarter at still unknown prices, and a VR180 camera is also to follow fully LG.
By the way, according to Google, Panasonic will also be working on an "add-on" for the GH5 (s) to support the VR180 format.