It looks like Nikon could be launching another 360 camera. Whether you’re a content creator, a filmmaker or a lover of action sports, these cameras with a 360° view provide a fun way of capturing your footage and creating an effect that you simply can’t reproduce any other way. They work by using two or more cameras to capture every angle of the environment around you and cleverly stitch them together to create a single, coherent image.
Despite the fact its first attempt, 2016's Nikon KeyMission 360, was far from the best 360 camera (opens in new tab), looks like Nikon is determined to try again. Once upon a time, 360 cams were expensive bits of kit. Since the release of the Ricoh Theta S and the Insta360 Go (opens in new tab), though, the price has dropped and they're more aimed at consumers, with the GoPro Hero Max (opens in new tab) getting in on the action and the Kandao QooCam 8K 360° (opens in new tab) bringing 8K to the party.
We don’t know all that much yet about Nikon’s 360 camera, or if it will ever in fact materialize, but Nikon has applied for a patent in Japan for technology related to the lens protection mechanism of a 360 camera according to Digital Camera Info (opens in new tab).
One of the issues Nikon wants to address is how to protect the bulbous elements that protrude from the camera when they're not being used. The diagrams included in the patent application (opens in new tab) show several different ways in which a protection cap could be fitted, which include a sliding protection panel, a twist-out lens and a complicated-looking series of panels that flip out.
This is still in the very early stages and there has been no official word from Nikon about whether it is working on a 360 camera – but nobody goes to the trouble of researching, designing and developing something that they have no interest in.