Nikon’s project Helix 360 at CES 2016

Nikon's-project-Helix-360-at-CES-2016
I am catching up on few stories from last week: at the 2016 CES show Nikon had 96 D750 cameras with a 20mm lens setup in a circle for taking 360°, holographic or slo-motion photos (Project Helix 360):

Picture credit: Nikon USA

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  • T.I.M

    The hundreds cameras for 360° video look cool.
    Nikon found a way to stock all D500 that will not sale…

    • Aldo

      I wanna say that you are dead wrong… but I just don’t know if the casual shooter… the one camera owner… the person upgrading to a better slr will choose this instead a full frame.

      • …if they’d produce some fast, short primes they might do better.

      • Patrick O’Connor

        Of course most of them won’t but that’s not the target audience anyway.

        • Aldo

          The d300 had all sorts of users… casual… event photographers… sports photogs etc… With the many current options available today… the market for the d500 is much… much narrower than it was for the d300.

          • Patrick O’Connor

            Agreed. My point would be that they probably have a good idea what numbers to expect, better than any of us, and planned accordingly.

          • captaindash

            Fair enough. It comes down to the salespeople at the shops. If they are FF snobs then the D500 could spit gold and they’d still turn their noses up. They basically need to tell people that the D500 is one of those desert race rally cars whereas a D750 is more like a good SUV. Different purposes. I know for a fact that Nikon will sell at least one D500 though ;-P

    • Eno

      Are you afraid it will outperform all Canon cameras or what?

  • Andrew

    Well, it is good to see Nikon having a lot of fun with their high-end cameras. My initial thought is that these types of setup may appeal to movie producers who want to create some “real-life” special visual effects.

    It would be interesting to see these cameras spaced at larger distances from each other maybe at a movie location where special towers are built to hold each camera. The towers may simply be long poles.

  • Gerdy

    T.I.M – I already ordered 2 D500 camera’s
    I think the D500 one of Nikon best dx ever made .

    • T.I.M

      It is but only for special purpose like sport.

      • Virindi

        Yes because if you try shooting anything else than sport it just won’t work.

        • T.I.M

          I can shoot the Grand Canyon with my AF-I 400mm f/2.8, just not very practical compared to my AF-D 18mm f/2.8

          • Patrick O’Connor

            Especially since you’ll be shooting a model, in front of the canyon, at f/2.8 and nobody will know what that brownish background is! 🙂

            • T.I.M

              My wife (PC-E 24mm f/3.5)

            • Patrick O’Connor

              I never think about putting people in my landscape photos. My wife will say, ‘Do you want me in the photo?’ and I’ll reply ‘but I won’t be able to see the Grand Canyon!’
              I sleep on the couch a lot. 😉

            • T.I.M

              I always take 2, one without anybody (not easy at the Grand Canyon, bunch of tourists)

            • Always loved Yosemite.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              Unfortunately, I’ve never been there. Did you get to see Sam?

            • Oh, I saw Sam…Uncle Sam

            • Eric Calabros

              That’s the wife easily accepts your requests for purchasing lenses? I should have known she is from Macao

            • T.I.M

              My best portrait lens AF-S 200mm f/2.0 VR

            • Patrick O’Connor

              Why doesn’t she look particularly happy?

            • T.I.M

              Because I used the AF-I 400mm f/2.8 for her sister’s portraits…
              (you know women, more expensive always means better…)

            • Patrick O’Connor

              I know a few photographers like that too. 🙂

          • Virindi

            But you can stich several photos at 400 F2.8 of the grand canyon to make a giant photo with super awesome perspective

        • stormwatch

          Yes, Nikon installed a “situation recognition” software in the camera, and D500 would officialy support activities other than sport only in the case if you pay for the upgrades which will unlock the camera.
          Otherwise, if you wish to shoot anything other than sport you won’t be able to do that. Reasons for this are on the first place that there is no pop up flash on the camera, and second, you would have to bring a sportsman/woman with you all the time on the shootings of other kind, because “situation recognition” allows D500 to shoot/record only when it has recognised the typical sportists anatomy (paper cut outs won’t do the work thanx to the silent 3D focus which is always on #*#(*$#*_@#*$@*#!!!!!).

          • You replied to Virindi instead of T I M.

            • stormwatch

              I’m sure they will both read it.

          • T.I.M

            Go ahead, give them ideas…..

            • stormwatch

              Hmm..you’re right, maybe I should send them some very good ideas for future products….

  • Doug Laurent

    It would be interesting if Nikon or anyone could explain how they do trigger that many cameras at exactly the same 1/1000th second. I once bought 16 Canon 600D, but several ways did not bring the ultimate sync result. Nikon could sell a lot of cameras to a few people or organizations if they explain the whole workflow behind it.

    • Spy Black

      You bought 16 cameras to try an effect like this without researching whether it could be done with the hardware?

      • Doug Laurent

        Did check all alternatives that theoretically could have worked, and they did work, just not perfectly. Didn’t hurt to buy that many as they were not that expensive and didn’t lose all of their value, also have been and will be used for other purposes like timelapses from different angles. Still I would buy 16-32 Nikon, Sony or Canon cameras, if a) sync definitely works and b) sync also works exactly for video and the start of video frames.

        • Fadil Polisi

          Time is money 😉

      • Patrick O’Connor

        I want to know where he works and if they’re hiring! 🙂

    • Fadil Polisi

      Time is money my friend 😉

      • T.I.M

        Yes, I found that out the day I lost my Rolex…

    • akkual

      Those are not triggered exactly the same time. They are triggered one after another, like a mexican wave. Remember, D750 is 7fps, it wouldn’t produce slow motion video by just hammering the shutter down. And sync shooting is quite easy. Just buy some Arduino and connect that to camera’s remote shutter release, you’d be limited to 8 cameras at the exact same time (size of I/O bank), but difference between two banks of 8 would be about 10-20ns.

      • Doug Laurent

        For a perfect result, there is no other way than having all (not just 8) cameras at the exact 1/1000 second, which is very difficult. If the Nikon experiment was based on photos, telling each camera to release exactly 1/50 second later than the camera before would be even more difficult and needs dedicated programming.

        If just one of the cameras is off, this can’t be fixed like with stabilizing or denoising tools – once the perspective is off, it all falls apart.

        I personally would prefer to do this with 4K video as with 25 fps a second you are much more flexible. But making the videos of cameras start in 100% sync is even more difficult. It’s possible to come very close, but it needs 100% perfection. Most of the matrix rig effect shots didn’t look to smooth as well, Nikon’s experiment is one of the best so far.

        • Michiel953

          As Nikon’s service dept woud undoubtedly tell you: They were all within spec.

  • Why? For what reason? This is like duct taping 20 cars together and calling it a bus. Doesn’t Key Mission accomplish the same task? Shouldn’t they be showcasing Key Mission instead of this several years old hack to show how much you can spend of DSLR’s because you make them?

    • Spy Black

      I’m at a bit of a loss myself why they’re trying to re-popularize an effect that had it’s day in the 1999 film The Matrix.

      • whisky

        I AM THE MATRIX

        it looks like the attendees had fun. fun is good.

        • Spy Black

          …but not imaginative, or forward-looking.

          • Patrick O’Connor

            Fun is its own reason and reward.

      • captaindash

        There is no spoon.

    • Totally agree. I’ll look at this once and feel or think…what? One way to dispose of some back inventory.

  • Gael C.

    It was already in Paris back in november. They used D800 as cameras. I tried it with friends (they allowed a few together) and the movie is a fun souvenir.

  • Marko Drazic

    Nice array !

  • Blagoya D.

    Back in 1999 this was feasible, nowadays, one double rail with a motorized mounting plate that has a camera attached can do the same. If not one, 2-3 cameras will suffice, depending on the speed of the motor. The camera mounted will shoot in 14 FPS since it will be focus/exposure locked.

  • On the other, hand the piece (no pun intended) about the VR is amusing…

  • NikonUSA is now advertising refurbished D750 for $1665.96

    The big question, when will the D71xx range get the nice, deep grip that the D750 (and D500) has ???

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