Samsung have jumped into the 360 degree camera game with the Gear 360. An eyeball look-a-like 360 degree camera. We are super excited about this as it brings another big player into the game. How does it look?
What we know
The Gear 360 Camera specs look a little like this:
- The price is just $99! This is staggeringly cheap for a 360 degree camera and throws the game wide open. It’s worth noting that this price has since being removed from the Samsung website. We have asked for a comment from Samsung on this.
- Dual Lenses each capture a 195 degree image for stitching into 360 degree spheres (overlap of 15 degrees on each lens helps with the stitching process). This is much like the Kodak Pix Pro 360 cameras when you buy two and put them back to back.
- Video is recorded in 3820 x 1920 resolution at 30fps. Let’s be careful though, we have seen ‘recorded in’ and ‘output at’ coming out very differently. It remains to be seen whether we can actually view at that resolution.
- Photos can be taken at 30mp (15mp per lens).
- Stitching and editing is designed to be done on your phone. Capture on the camera, stitch, edit, share. Amazingly simple. It looks like a game changer for the average consumer capturing VR footage.
So what’s the snag?
Compatibility is the key word once again here. Not got a Samsung phone? Then you won’t be able to use this. It looks like initially it will only work with the S7 smart phones and then later with ‘select Samsung devices’. This is what we have seen with the Gear VR Headsets of course and Samsung is hoping to suck people into its premium handsets with VR.
What will the software be like? This is the key thing for us – if the software that supports this device is easy to use and creates output files at 3820 x 1920 then we will have a great device on our hands. If it doesn’t, then we’ll have frustration and poor quality. The one thing that samsung has in its favour is that the footage is clearly designed to be viewed on phones and as such the quality can be lower before you notice it as an issue. We’ve seen this with many cameras in the past.
See the example footage of the Gear 360 below from Samsung