We review the Lenovo Mirage, our choice for best camera for making VR movies and taking VR photos, for when simply being a VR participant isn’t enough. Now you can easily create and share your own immersive virtual reality content.
Lenovo lets you get in on creating your own content with their Mirage Camera – about $275.
The Mirage shoots in 3D VR180 format, which gives an accurate forward-facing world view when translated to VR. Videos and Photos taken in this format aren’t limited to viewing in a VR headset. You can also browse then in 180-degrees on your phone, or export into a square shot image, similar to what you’d get from a DSLR fish-eye lens.
It’s pretty amazing that a camera under $300 shoots in 4K UHD (ultra high definition), using two 13 MegaPixel (MP) stereoscopic fish-eye cameras for a180-degree field-of-capture. This means images are taken from the perspective of your space, so that viewers see your scenes as if they were seeing them through your eyes.
A first glance, you may think the plain back without any display or viewfinder would be an issue. But change your frame of reference from smartphone cameras and DSLR to VR immersion. Realize that now, EVERYTHING in front of you is in the capture frame. This is great for many of us, since it’s literally impossible to miss a capturing whatever you are seeing (just make sure the camera is on!).
If you are still wanting to see the framing, you can pair it with your smartphone via Wi-Fi Direct and Google’s VR180 app to make your phone’s screen act as a viewfinder. Best of all worlds!
The wireless features also extend to uploading your footage to Google Photos and YouTube. It’s also capable of “Livestreaming” your content either 4K, 1440p, or 1080p (depending on your WiFi bandwidth) at 30 FPS.
We would have liked be able to capture better quality audio, but the dual microphones do a decent job. And this is really about the visuals, so we can’t be too picky especially at this price. Lenovo built-in a single speaker for any play-back, which is a nice touch.
The 2200 mAh, Li-ion polymer, should last for about 2 hours of typical usage. We like that it’s removable and Lenovo gives you a second back-up battery as well. Recharge with the included USB Type-C wall adapter at 5 V / 1 A.
Built-in storage is 16 GB of eMMC (embedded Multi-Media Controller) Flash. We like that there is a microSD card slot that recognizes up to an additional 128 GB of storage, although we would have preferred 256 GB. If you aren’t doing a WiFi upload, we highly recommend adding in the 128 GB microSD.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 mobile processor provides a lot of compute power, and excellent power savings.
Size / Weight
At just over 4″ long and 2″ tall (4.1 x 2.2 x 0.9), and weighing less than 5 ounces, it’s similar to older generation iPhones. So you can easily slip it into your pocket, purse or carry-bag and take it anywhere you go.
We like that it’s both compact enough and highly durable, making it great for day trips and travel excursions.
Point, Shoot. Yes it is that Simple. It’s a great price for 3D VR180 capture. But it may take you a little while to get used to filming in this new mode, so we recommend taking a lot of practice video as soon as you get the Mirage. But once you get the hang of the 180-angle, you’ll really be amazed at what you see.
Order one from Amazon today Mirage Camera and start creating!