Cost: $499.95 for the rig
6 GoPros - Approximately $2999.94 for Hero4 Black
6 sd cards (at least) - $479.94 for 64Gb sd extreme
Power pack - $194.95 See below for details
$4174.75 plus tax and shipping
Most VR professionals have used or are using the Freedom360 mount. It was the first commercially available, full spherical rig. It's sort of the work horse of the space right now and you'll understand why after reading further.
Among 360 professionals, Freedom360 has a stellar reputation for all things 360. From the gear they sell, to great production practices from their daughter company Koncept Vr, these guys and gals really know the space, and are happy to share their vast knowledge. Beyond their expertise, the founders, Joergen Geerds and Uli Futschik are super cool and friendly, which is all the more reason to go with them.
Their rigs are the strongest, made from nylon/polyamide instead of some of the other various plastics used and there's actually a great video from somebody who was shooting from the top of a car in Vegas and dropped the camera on the road, then a car ran over it, dragging it another 100 feet or so and the rig was still completely functional! To see that video click here. It's entertaining if nothing else, but don't watch it in a VR headset unless you want a huge headache.
Aside from the Freedom360, they also make the F360 broadcaster, which doesn't shoot full spherical video, but is optimized for broadcasting. They even have a way to snake all the cords so you have a nice, neat camera setup when you need it.
They also make a rig called the F360 explorer, which is waterproof and for your off the beaten path excursions.
Reputable company, sturdy construction, great support. Their f360 broadcaster is probably one of the best solutions if you are going to live stream high quality, it even has a place to snake your wires so they are organized and out of the way.
Because the rig is aluminum and well designed, the cameras stay very tight in the enclosure and if you have severe vibrations (like if you're mounted to the hood of a race car), they will vibrate TOGETHER. This may not sound important, but with any of the plastic solutions, the cameras will vibrate independent of each other and can cause big problems when you're trying to stabilize or view this footage.
Also, it's very important to note that of all the other 6+ GoPro rigs out there, these have the least amount of parallax, and that is a very important thing to consider, even after reading the cons.
Slanted orientation of cameras. Basically instead of the cameras being perpendicular to the ground, the are slanted at a 45 degree angle which is problematic to stitch because most architecture is made of vertical and horizontal lines. Also, let's say you are shooting with a host who moves from one camera to the next. You can easily have issues with his or her head or feet being chopped off which unless you are doing horror, is not a good thing.
Also, part of their design is that you screw in the camera to the housing. This creates a lot of the pros above, however if you need to switch out the batteries, it will take you several minutes at least to swap them out, and let's hope you don't forget your screw driver or lose any of the screws. That last part is on the user, but still it's something to keep in mind. Freedom360's solution is an external power pack, which you should consider regardless of whether or not you get their rigs.
You can't really go wrong with this rig if you can afford it. Read the rest of this article to see if another rig might suit you better though.