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Samsung Gear 360 Camera - White (UK Version)
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- The front and rear lenses each capture 180 degrees horizontally and vertically, creating a seamless and complete 360-degrees field of view
- Pair up your Galaxy smartphone via Bluetooth, then use Wi-Fi Direct to transform its large screen into a very handy remote viewfinder and to transfer files in one simple move
- Time-lapse recording, loop recording, 360 degrees spherical capture, mountable
- Remote control via mobile devices, remote live view, wireless image transfer
- Compatible devices: Galaxy Note5, S7, S7 edge, S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ with the Samsung Gear 360 Manager app
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Style Name: Gear 360
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The World Through Dual Lens
The front and rear lenses each capture 180 degrees horizontally and vertically, creating a seamless and complete 360 degrees field of view.
Single Lens Mode
Sometimes a concentrated view of the world is enough to tell the full story. Use just one of the two lenses to capture a striking wide-angled view either in video or stills.
High Resolution Details
Whether you are celebrating your best friend's birthday or breaking out some new moves, every single experience is recorded in 3840x1920 high resolution video and 25.9 MP photos.
Create 360 Content
Shoot in live view mode, stitch 360 video footage with ease and trim it to your liking. Easy integration with your Galaxy smartphone means you can go from recording to sharing in no time.
Compact and Adventure Proof
The dust and splash resistant. Gear 360 is compact and durable, making it the suitable companion for your future adventure.
Relive Your Favourite Moments
Capture high-resolution images (up to 30 MP) and video in 360-degrees. You can record directly from the Gear 360 or remotely, using your Galaxy smartphone.
- Capture high-resolution images (up to 30 MP) and video in 360 degrees. You can record directly from the Gear 360 or remotely, using your Galaxy smartphone
- Shoot in live view mode, stitch 360 video footage with ease and trim it to your liking. Easy integration with your Galaxy smartphone means you can go from recording to sharing in no time
- Compatible devices: Galaxy Note 5, S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ with the Samsung Gear 360 Manager app
- Included: 1 x gear 360, 1 x pouch, 1 x strap, 1 x micro 5-pin cable, 1 x battery, 1 x tripod, 1 x microfibre cloth, 1 x simple user manual (in Korean)
- The microSD memory card is not included in the package (microSD card is required for shooting).
* Original Samsung Korea Product Retail Packaging * Ships from South Korea *Genuine Quality QuarantinedSee all Product description
From the manufacturer
Rethink what a phone can do
Capture some of the best times of your life with Gear 360 and relive the moments through your Gear VR and Galaxy smartphone.
360 degree Camera
Capture all your special memories and experiences and watch them back from every angle.
Never miss a moment
With the options for additional battery life and larger memory up to 256 GB* you can keep on capturing.
*Extra batteries and microSD cards sold separately.
Amazing detail in low light
Take crisp and clear photos and video in low light conditions with the F2.0 lens.
Take it wherever life takes you
Be action ready with dust and splash resistance rated to IP53*
*Protection from dust and spraying water at any angle up to 60degress from the vertical.
With the Gear 360 manager app, you can connect to your Gear 360 and use the live viewfinder to see and control everything through your Galaxy smartphone*
*Compatible with Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+ as of October 2016.
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Build quality is very good; it has a nice wight to it and feels sturdy. The business end is 2x 15MP sensors with 2x 195 degree f2.0 fisheye lenses... at around the price of a low end GoPro! Worth noting that the newer 2017 Gear 360 has 8.4MP sensors with f2.2. lenses, so clearly the 2015 version has physically better optics!
I don’t have a Samsung phone (I use an ageing OnePlus One), and purchased with the intention of using the Gear 360 through desktop PC only.
If you are in the same boat, you will have to faff around quite a bit… or read the rest of the review to save yourself some time!
The latest version of the Desktop Software (Google 'Action Director version 2 and Gear 360 Manager' to get to the download link) is at version 2, but that is for the 2017 version of the 360 camera. Samsung seem to be hiding it from us 2016 version purchasers and will direct you to version 1 (which can create a black dot in the centre of the view, causing you to scratch your head changing settings as you try to fix the issue and/or assume it’s a hardware fault in the camera, which it is not).
There is also a hacked Android apk that will work on non-Samsung phones. On my phone it does connect to the camera but crashes on live view, so its camera only for me. There is also a version that has settings only (so you can set things like ISO and HDR mode or use your phone as a remote, but there is no live view). Not too big a deal; the only thing you really use with no phone is manual exposure compensation, and you don’t really have to do much framing on a 360 degree camera, so lack of live view is not a biggie! As for remote control, you can instead use an in-camera self timer.
You have to use the supplied cable to connect the 360 to your PC. Although its a standard phone USB cable, Most other cables are not shaped correctly to fit (its not the electrical connector that causes issue, its the surrounding plastic that will foul the tight space) , plus the 360 might not be recognised. Don’t lose the included USB, and don’t be tempted to use another one (you need the camera to be recognised by your PC to use ActionDirector version 2; without it being recognised you are stuck with version 1 of the desktop software, as all you have to fall back on is an included serial key for *version 1* of the desktop application).
Here's the worst bit; Samsung do not provide a desktop 360 degree video/image viewer (they expect you to use a Samsung phone or a special VR goggle set, or upload straight to Youtube/social media).
Even worse, Windows Media Player nor VLC work with the Gear 360 files. Took a bit of digging around to fix, but luckily GoPro VR player works (it’s a free download) and works very well with.
After all that, is it worth the effort?
The 360 degree 4k video is very nice, but even 4k wrapped around a 360 view can look a little soft because you are always zoomed in when viewing a spherical video, so you are trading some image quality for a 360 interactive view.
Although you get wide f2.0 lenses, the low light quality is not great (its a bit better than a standard GoPro Action camera, but their low light ability is dire!). Fine if you want to show off some 360 degree clubbing via a downscaled 720p facebook video, but its not high quality if you are viewing at full resolution on a 4k screen.
Converting the raw video footage to spherical video is quite CPU intensive; I have a i7-980X, a GTX1080 and 24GB of fast RAM, and it is not quick; count on a 5 minute 4k video taking 3-5 minutes to ingest for editing and at least as long to output for final render unless you have a good GPU for hardware acceleration (via openCL).
The 360 degree stills are very nice though. Quick and easy!
4k files are huge in filesize (4k bitrate is a decent 50Mbit/s, which gives you a 1GB file within minutes), so you will also need a 64GB SD card to add to your costs (you can drop the capture resolution or record 180 degree video though).
When considering the 2016 version vs the 2017 version, I'd say the 2016 version is probably a bit over engineered (better optics and build, which is a good thing for the user!) but the newer version has better support from Samsung. Although both work with the same software, Samsung does not seem to want you to use the 2017 software with the 2016 camera. As noted elsewhere, the fix for this is easy; if you know the updated software exists, its easy to find!
One hardware feature the 2017 version has going for it is that the two lenses are closer together, so stitching of the spherical view is better for close objects. The 2016 version has noticeable stitch joins for objects closer than about a metre, but better optical quality. For me, better optical quality always wins!
Overall though, its worth the effort if you are a photography nut like myself who loves to play with new technology, because this camera is pretty unique (and very cheap at the moment so a nice gift to yourself if you enjoy a challenge).
If you do not have a Samsung phone and are not prepared to dabble, you might want to give it a miss, because Samsung are not going out of their way to support non-Samsung phone users. At the very least, make sure you can find the software I list before you buy… otherwise you will be on Google for an evening sorting out the issues like I was!
Edit: forget the value accessories; you already get a little mini tripod, and the camera has a standard screw thread at the bottom if you already have photographic gear.
The only thing you really need is a cover for the two large lenses: have a look at Holaca Silicone Protective Lens Cap for Samsung gear 360 Sports Camera. With this on the 360 it becomes pocketable without danger of damaging the lenses, so great for a bit of 360 degree imagery on a scenic walk, which is what this camera is really all about!
The Gear 360 from Samsung is an amazing little gadget as headlined above. For those of you who have been amazed by the pictures seen in google street view look no further! you can now capture the same footage with this little gadget which sometimes looks like a monstrous eye or if you are like me from the days of desktop PCs then you will be reminded of the web cam produced by Logitech except that this has dual lenses one at 180 degrees to each other thus spanning the entire 360-degree field of vision. (to be honest it is very difficult to hide from this camera once it’s started recording.
It comes in a nice clean package from Samsung and the first impression one gets after opening the package is the solidity of the build. Coloured pearly white it is like a smooth golf ball with precise cut-outs on one side for the battery and the microSD card slot. the cover has a rubber gasket making the gadget weatherproof. the other end has the two buttons along with the action switch with a tiny PMOLED screen on top. also provided is a neat little tripod which complements the flat bottom of the almost sphere like construction of the Gear360. I must say that the tripod is essential if you want to keep the Gear 360 from rolling away or getting its lenses dirty. The tripod also functions as a grip to hold the device although it may be a bit fiddly for large hands. The downside of the spherical shape and the button placement is that it is hard to hold the device and operate without getting the lenses smudged, but one learns with practice to handle it perfectly.
In the package is also a USB cable with a micro USB end to connect to any USB charger. There is a nice pouch with microfibre interior to keep it clean along with a wrist strap. Also, included in the package is the passcode for the software SAMSUNG GEAR360 director which helps to stich the 360 videos on the PC. Of course, the gear360 can seamlessly connect with the Samsung galaxy smartphones and the 360 pictures come live with the gear VR!
The gadget ideally must be used in conjunction with the smart phone to get the full effects which might be a bit tricky and cumbersome as both the hands are then involved. Of course, if one is not bothered to look at what he or she is capturing as the gadget captures everything around it then it’s a matter of just keeping it in the centre of action and pressing the action button. The basic controls can be cycled through with the two buttons on the body of the camera i.e. photo, video, time-lapse and loop video. If one is only interested in a panoramic view spanning 180 degrees, then one camera can be selectively switched off.
The pictures are 15 megapixels each which are great when viewed in a smartphone especially in SAMSUNG’s super AMOLED display. When blown up fully then the pics lose their sharpness and one can’t compare with a DSLR. However, one must realise that this little device takes a complete all round view which is a completely new experience be it in a gathering or at outdoors scenic beauty! It gives us a complete different perspective to what we have been normally used to. I must also add that dark light photography is not great with this device given that there is no option for a 360degree flash!! The battery life depends on the length of videos taken.
It takes some time getting used to but once mastered it’s a great device to use and capture images with a complete different perspective. It is worth investing in a neat carry case and a good monopod /tripod. A smartphone holder in the monopod or tripod would be a boon as it frees up the hands. I am happy with this device and still exploring the various amazing possibilities with it. I sincerely thank the insidersuk for providing the device at a discounted price. I am attaching some photographs taken with the GEAR360
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