Z3X - The new Standard 360 video system

Z3X kit set

Meet the new standard 360 video mount. Seamless 360 video with three mini 185 lenses shall give you more freedom to shoot your next 360 master pieces. Being 50% lighter than 6-cam setup, the minimized parallax issue shall help making better panoramic video with shorter working radius. Water housing and a better omni-directional mic shall be a very helpful to bring the user experience to the next level. The output resolution from three 1440p video is about 2800x1400@30fps, able to reach 4K@30fps with 2.7k mode, and photo size at 5800x2900 pixel. With our custom firmware to overclock the Gopro, the output video size can be boosted to the same size as in Photo mode, ie 6K in 360.

This kit set includes everything you need to convert three of your gopro camera into a tri-lens 360 video system. The Z3X kit set shall come with three 185 fisheye lens + the Z3X mount + omni-directional mic with 3.5mm jack adapter for Gopro. Introductory price at $899 during pre-sales period. We shall restore to $999 after the official launch in Oct.

Sample 360 video goes here.

Retail price: $999

Feb 2015 Update: We are having major upgrade to the product. It shall have more rigid mounting & better optics, shall get the stitching work more easily done and be more streaming friendly. Stay tuned.

Z3X - the FAQ

What to know more about the details of the Z3X system? Just feel free to contact us by email :)

1) What is the benefit of using Z3X?

A: The Z3X was designed for addressing the daily problems of professional 360 video producers who may need to take 360 video in compact space. Usually they have to set the video system on a very long pole in order to get the seamless stitching result, however sometimes it's just not possible due to physical limitation of the space or it's unable to balance while shooting, such as filming 360 on a surf board.

By having excessive overlapping between cameras, we have more forgiving margin to work with and we can have much shorter working radius, shrinking from traditionally 2m down to 0.5m with the Z3X. With Z3X, 360 producers can now take indoor seamless full spherical 360 video without broken images everywhere. Without using a long pole, we can make the 360 video at a much normal first person perspective, which shall make the 360 more immersive as viewer shall no longer peeking a virtual scene from a remote spot, as they can BE at the center of the scene.

2) Which stitching software could be used?

A: we provide a stitching template made with PTGui. Users can use the template for easier stitching once the video was synchronized. When the reference panorama was aligned, users can render the video using PTGui via batch jobs, or done more quickly with VideoStitch or Kolor Autopano Video.

3) Is it difficult to change the lens by myself?

A: the lens of hero3+/4 black can be removed very easily with a simple piping wrench with the following steps.

Please check the full tutorial here.


4) Which Gopro model are compatible? Does it work with Gopro Hero4?

A: We designed the system with Gopro Hero 3 Black and Hero3+ Black editions. we are still waiting for our hero4 testing unit for confirmation. From what we hear from the media, our system is likely work with Hero4.

5) What is the output resolution of the Z3X system?

A: The Z3X can work with 16:9 4k/2.7k mode, as well as taking full circular image with 4:3 modes.

- Usually with three 2.7k input video, the size of output video is 4K@30fps;

- The new 4k@30 mode of hero4 is likely supported, making 6k output;

- With Photo mode, the output resolution is 5800x2900 pixel.

- With our firmware hack on the hero3/3+ Black, which force the camera to keep taking high res photo at high frame rate & record as video file, the output resolution can reach 5800x2400@24fps. We shall test if the firmware mod is working on hero4 black.

6) How to display 360 on Oculus Rift, view on Internet and smartphones?

A: Currently there are many free players can play 3D360 media nicely on desktop such as VRplayer, Kolor Eyes player, and Totalcinema360. Select the media source as 2D spherical format and track with Oculus Rift DK2, users shall able to see the panoramic video with head tracking. Users can also view the 360 immersively on smartphone HMD adaptors like Durovis Dive, Google Cardboard or the up coming Samsung Gear VR with 360 video playback apps, such as Kolor Eyes player (iOS/android) or VRplayer (android). Users can still track the 360 and display them nicely with full screen without the HMD adapter.


7) Is it taking full spherical coverage?

Yes, it's full spherical. The zenith spot is well covered if the ceiling is more than 2m away from the camera.

8) Can we use other lens with the Z3X mount?

A: Users can get full spherical pano if the full 180x180x180 field of view was captured by the cameras. However, most mini fisheye lenses available in the market was not making sharp & nice color at the rim zone of the circular image, making the stitching work very difficult and down grade the output quality. We tested over 30 mini lens from the market before making our very own one. We designed our own lens to maximize the fov on the 3000 vertical pixels of hero3/3+/4 and produce sharp image at the edge, enabling sharp panorama at all regions.