The South Korean company Samsung was the first to jump on the bandwagon of virtual reality with Gear VR with content 360 to do, play virtual reality games or enjoy the entire experience offered by technology Oculus.
It was a logical step lanzasen expect a device for the user to be able to create their own content 360. Here’s how it reaches the market Gear chamber 360, one of the most complete in the domestic category 360 cameras. Gear 360 is positioned as a direct competitor of LG Cam 360 and Ricoh Theta S among others, see how it performs in quality and its various features.
Spherical design and compact
If anything is clear in this segment of chambers 360 in which we move we are that manufacturers are betting on the most basic setup to create this type of content. Two sensors on opposite sides each covering 180 degrees of visual field.
Samsung’s proposal differs in a matter of design other solutions with being a very compact model, shaped like a sphere of about 6 centimeters in diameter. A size between a golf ball and a tennis ball, so to speak. In terms of weight, 152 grams, more than other cameras segment.
|SAMSUNG GEAR 360|
|DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT||66.7 x 56.3 x 60.1 mm
|AUTONOMY||1,350 mAh removable battery|
|CONNECTIVITY||Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 / 5GHz)
|APPS||Android (available only for Samsung)
While the first impression is that it has a very content size, use every day is complicated because the pockets, backpacks and most places of transport objects are not intended for devices that volume. This point is also important when using and that is why Samsung offers together with the camera a carrying bag and a mini tripod that acts as selfie mini to record videos and do not cover any of the two goals.
The camera Samsung Gear 360 is ready to work so both autonomous and connected to a smartphone. However but not to any terminal any, is only compatible with smartphones Galaxy latest generation of Galaxy S6 on.
For standalone operation, the camera has a P-OLED screen on top and three buttons, the shooting off the screen and two others with which we can navigate menus, change tinkering and take pictures or videos.
The lower part is how little separates Gear 360 of a sphere, is a flat part to serve as a natural support for it when you leave on any surface. In this area we have a standard tripod mount or selfie.
On the opposite side to the buttons we have a cover that hides the battery slot and the microSD slot and microUSB charging connector. This cap has a rubbery sealing edges for certain. Gear 360 is certified IP53, i.e. resistance to water splashes, not submersible, and also protection against dust entry.
By having spherical shape, the distance between lenses and sensors is higher than in other cameras 360 market and is something that is noted in the final result as it is more difficult to make the union of both images, as discussed in the quality section.
What can we do with Gear 360?
This camera allows you to capture videos in resolution 360 that reaches 4K ,photographs of 25.9 Mpx , timelapses with definable time between images and even a continuous recording mode that allows us to save the last 5 minutes of recording to save space card.
As we can see it is a very interesting camera and we’ll see point by point what is capable. We started by the photographic field, usually in the highest quality that offer this type of cameras. Samsung Gear 360 mounting two 15 Megapixel CMOS sensors with individual fisheye lens 180 f/2.0, more remarkable openness.
As a result you can get pictures 180 degrees (using only one sensor) 15 MPx photographs or high as 25.9 Mpx if both sensors are used in 360 format. This feature is unique in this type of cameras, most allow only record video with Samsung Gear 360 and 360 could take advantage of its compact format to be used as a traditional camera action. Very interesting is the mobile application that provides access to manual controls, offers the possibility to take pictures HDR or vary exposure, among others.
Paragraph video is covered by various recording modes that reach 360 4k at 30fpsand has a recording mode 60 fps at 2,560 x 1,280 px. In addition, the rest of resolutions recorded at 30 fps are: 2,880 x 1.440px also 1.280px 2,560 x 1,920 x 960 px and. All this can be adjusted from the camera using small 0.5-inch screen and integrated buttons. To access manual controls and adjustments have to resort to mobile.
The timelapse mode has ability to generate videos 4k resolution (3,840 x 1.920px), 2,560 x 1,920 x 1.280px and 960 px. You can also choose the time between image capture although this parameter and exposure, ISO, and other settings can only be set from the mobile application.
It has a continuous recording mode they have christened Video looping. It offers a very smart way to save space on the memory card recording only what you really want. It works this way, the camera fills a buffer for 5 minutes and thereafter begins to overwrite the initial minutes. So always you have at hand always the last 5 minutes of footage that was saved again by pressing the capture button.
This type of recording is interesting for cars or recording processes or monotonous situations where we want to save what is out of the ordinary. In this way we avoid having very long duration videos that deplete the available memory on the microSD card using the camera.
As you can see, Gear 360 is a camera that promises to be very versatile autonomously and really complete when used with a smartphone. It is here that we encounter the first wall of the solution, not just any smartphone, not even any smartphone Samsung. A Galaxy S6 or S7 smartphone is needed in any of its variants.
Samsung unnecessary limitations
We have already seen in the world of technology how a company avoids interoperability with other or, rather, full compatibility with devices of the same product category. Apple is a clear example betting on proprietary connectors instead of standard derivatives on iPads and iPhones USB, for example.
Samsung has left us a glimpse of that is following a very similar line as we have seen with the arrival of its first smartwatches or with Galaxy Gear VR glasses. With the arrival of the clock Gear S2 support the company promised Android smartphones without any restriction if they met minimum hardware requirements.
What seemed a change in company policy has been seen in only a hint that return to the same course with his new Gear 360. The eponymous application camera control is distributed via the Samsung Apps application platform and not it is it only works with Samsung smartphones, but only does so with smartphones Samsung’s high – end , families Galaxy S6 and S7 Galaxy.
The company wields a word in his favor in this field is that due to the weight of image processing and 360 videos a powerful GPU is required only in those terminals Samsung.
Movies are recorded with the camera as a double image, one from each sensor, and is the smartphone has to process and convert the spherical format. If you do not own a smartphone such features, Samsung has reached an agreement with Cyberlink to provide a license Action Manager to process, edit and assemble 360 videos. That is, in the pack of the camera have a license of that program.
Gear 360 Action Manager is very easy to use. It has a drag operation by the block timeline and lets you create transitions and titles to videos. However, here we have another limitation: only available for Windows.
Was it really necessary to tie users to a high-end Samsung smartphone to take full advantage of the camera? Surely yes for processing needed at least if we have not a high-end smartphone and do not want in that task. But we also want to comment that’s probably not the case of using the phone as a remote control and adjust the controls manually.
In short, if you do not have a smartphone of families or Galaxy Galaxy S6 S7 you cannot access all the features of the camera. Also, if you have a Windows PC Samsung not provides you a way to process and recorded videos will have to find life with other editing programs. Apart is the issue of having to then inject the spatial metadata for online platforms understand that we speak material 360.
You may also like to read another article on improtecinc: Insta360 Nano: Record and stream live video at 360 degrees from the iPhone
Using the camera, child’s play
Samsung has created a device easy to use because with only three buttons can access all of its features. The P-Grind 0.5 inch screen helps you see how you have chosen and even the recording time available or in use as are recording or not.
In this way we can go with the camera without smartphone, place it on a tripod or wherever we want and start recording or take pictures without much problem.
For more advanced user who wants to check the exposure level, ISO or HDR mode shots and adjust to your liking using the mobile application Gear 360. To do this we need to connect the camera via Bluetooth is necessary.
Once done, we open the application and see an interface that shows simple, with the same aesthetic as the camera application from Samsung. That is when we do all kinds of manual adjustments in both video and photography or even modify the timelapse seconds between shots, among others ..
While it is not necessary to carry out all such adjustments if it is advisable to avoid overexposed or very dark areas in the recording. Failure to use the smartphone, all settings are made automatically and, although the results are good, Gear 360 not always right.
360 superb photos, videos … not so much
Samsung’s bet is very similar to others that we tested. Two lenses, two sensors and a good resolution for photos, but something short to cover the entire space 360 in video.
Samsung to capture photos of a very high resolution, this means that even after the ball format offer a lot of details. We have two sensors that capture still images of 16 Mpx each and, once assembled, the end result to be displayed in 360 gives an image of almost 26 Mpx.
This will well cover all the space around the camera and resolution even have to zoom into the image and view small details clearly not begin to notice pixelation.There is a big difference between what can be achieved photographically with this camera and you can get video.
The Samsung camera is the most versatile they have seen the light in the domestic market 360. It offers possibilities beyond 360 photo automatically, and you can change various settings such as ISO, exposure or white balance for capture are looking for. We can also create timelapse from the camera choosing the time between shots and the camera generated inside a reproducible smooth video.
Added to this is the ability to choose the configuration we want from the two sensors for any mode, ie, we can use the front, rear or use both (form 360).
If you choose only one sensor, you automatically become the Gear 360 in a camera that offers similar to those of a sports video camera with an angle of almost 180 degrees. The quality is very decent recorded in this mode both video and photography.
Delving into the video section, we have a camera that offers the ability to record two cameras 360 format and offering a final file, after stitching the two images with a resolution 360 4K.
Within the large consumer segment 360 Gear racing, among others, the model LG Cam and Ricoh Theta Sthat have already tested and which is better image quality provides video 360.
This is because the video 360 is generated when selecting the highest quality has a native 4K resolution after joining the images of both sensors. Here we have to sin double standards: if it is of the best quality provides video 360 of which have tested objectively, there is still a long way to go to say you have enough quality to go beyond the sensation itself immersion 360 / VR.
The quality difference we have between videos captured by current mobile and professional recordings is very small compared to the 360 recording quality of this generation of cameras and professional recording demos we’ve seen in VR.
Sewing / stitching making the application Gear 360 is not bad, the area where the images of both sensors are attached is very sneaky as you can see in the videos.However, yes there is a little problem in adjusting exposures of both shots, no degraded none between them and the change of light is what really exposes the sewing area between the images of both sensors.
We have quite liked the array of microphones integrated as it makes a very intelligent volume adjustment according to the situation where we are. In our tests it has been able to pick up audio live concerts and rehearsals where the sound pressure is very high and other cameras capture distortion / audio burned.
Finally we want to emphasize again that although it is far from alternatives that offer higher recording quality as Omni GoPro or other solutions to a professional use, the result Gear 360 offers is the best in the market for devices “domestic “/ for the general public.
Gear 360, good device for even something green technology
If we have to give our conclusions test 360 Gear we can only translators that bittersweet taste with which we were. We will try to raise our opinion from various viewpoints.
Gear 360 as content creation device VR is a good gadget. It has compact dimensions and is easy to use. We could really say that we have a camera point-and-shoot 360 and not adding much mistaken we have the option to change some settings such as exposure or ISO from the mobile application.
The problems come when we face the process going after the catch. The share content if we create a video from several fragments or cutting becomes a long and tortuous process . Requires passing through a computer, PC with Windows as the software offered by Samsung, and long enough to render the video you want.
Once the video with your application generated we can upload it to the platform YouTube or Facebook. This is where you will get another re-compression so the end result will lower the quality of the content even more. Samsung promises 4K content generation but it is true that to cover the entire space 360 is far from what our eye is accustomed to seeing in HD via streaming.
That is, they generated videos accuse a certain degree of fuzziness. This point can be checked by comparing photographs taken 360 videos where we can even expand and observe details of the image without any problems, razor sharp, without pixelation.
It is clear that this is the first step in this direction content creation 360. In this generation of cameras have two sensors makes capturing details remain something just for the whole environment 360. The limitation in the case of going Gear 360 even beyond, it is given that on occasion when we tried to record content with the highest resolution possible we occasionally with temperature problems.
We are sure that in the next iterations of recording products 360 quality video image will point to improve by all manufacturers. However, because not everything is negative, we also want to make clear that the sense of immersion itself that is here, in this generation models. You can use the phone with glasses to view the contents or use a web browser or mobile player and click and drag to feel within the scene recorded.
Now we compared with 360 cameras that have passed through our hands: LG Cam and Ricoh Theta S. The model Gear 360 provides, in shaping higher resolution (4K) A greater level of detail in the videos generated. When taking pictures the resolution when zooming to the same Ricoh against the model but no so obvious a difference.
According to quality testing, viewing and comparing the captured videos, we can say that Samsung is leading in terms of video quality.
Buy or not it depends a camera 360 and each user. We recommend whether the quality offered by these cameras is enough or not enough to meet our expectations. If we see videos and does not convince us, we have to wait or yes to the next generation of cameras 360.Tags: Samsung Gear 360