Facebook is placing a big emphasis on live video, and today the company took the next step by announcing the Livestream Mevo, the first broadcast camera that officially support Facebook Live. Not only is the Mevo the only camera approved by Zuckerberg & Co., but the live broadcaster allows users to edit as they stream by tapping on automatically generated targets.
The Livestream Mevo is available for pre-order today for $299, which is discounted from its $399 final retail price. At 1.1 inches tall and 2 inches wide, the 1.8-ounce Mevo is an ultra-portable camera that you can keep on you at all times.
The Mevo requires an iPhone 5s or later running iOS 9 or higher, which you'll use as its editing bay while streaming. The camera automatically detects faces and moving bodies, and you can set it to jump from one subject by tapping the targets its placed over subjects.
While the Mevo is limited to only 150 degrees of movement, it performs these cuts so smoothly that audiences could be fooled into thinking the stream is being shot by a series of cameras, and not just one. The camera captures video at 4K, which it then breaks down into seperate 1080p live feeds. Its recorded video is limited to 720p at up to 30fps.
The Mevo can also edit for you, changing its focal point and zooming as it senses movement and sound. This way if you're more of a performer than a director, you don't need another crew member. Just be aware that you're not guaranteed any perfect edits when you hand over creative control to your hardware.
The combination of subject-tracking capability and seamless editing will be a big step up for anyone who's currently streaming on Facebook Live, as they've been limited to the lenses on the front and back of their smartphones. Mevo streamers can also perform manual controls like pinch to zoom in and out and drag to pan.
While the Mevo only has enough juice for an hour of streaming, you can extend its life to up to 10 hours with the external battery sold in the Pro bundle. The combination costs $549 in pre-orders, as opposed to the $649 final retail price.
Each Mevo comes with a 16GB microSD card for storing recorded footage, and you can also share video to Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo. If you'd rather record and publish later, the Mevo also works as a standard video camera.
Business Insider is reporting that Facebook will not charge a fee for users to stream video through its Live service, though Livestream used to charge $9 per month to stream on its platform.
The social network also announced a more elaborate camera, the Facebook Surround 360, which records -- you guessed it -- 360-degree video. The company plans to release the plans for this 17-camera rig on GitHub as an open-source project.
The Surround 360 will record and export immersive video in resolutions up to 8K that can be viewed on devices including the Gear VR and Oculus hardware. The rig will have 14 wide-angle cameras on its rim, one fish-eye lens camera on its top and two more on its underside.