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What’s the Samsung Gear 360 (2017)?
Samsung has overhauled its Samsung Gear 360 camera for 2017, adding some useful features, reducing the majority and adding iPhone compatibility.
Altogether, the Samsung Gear 360 offers an even more refined experience than its predecessor, and for substantially less money. It offers the very best experience from a consumer-oriented 360-degree camera without breaking the lender.
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Samsung Gear 360 (2017) – Design and controls
The first Samsung Gear 360 had a sizable spherical condition to it, with a set of tripod legs that screwed in to the bottom. For the reason that sense it looked nearly the same as the DokiCam I reviewed recently. Because of its second-gen model, Samsung has truly gone back again to the drawing board and delivered a device that incorporates an all natural handgrip.
It makes for a more compact design, providing a thing that will a lot more easily put on a pocket compared to the bulbous first-gen model. As you’d expect, its design is dominated by a set of large lenses made to capture the world from opposing viewpoints.
The Gear 360 comes with an almost all-white design, and it looks great. It’s lighter compared to the original, weighing around 130g. It includes a plastic body that feels reasonably rugged but it’s not at all something you’ll want to throw around with impunity; this is simply not an action camera. It can at least have IP53 dust- and water-resistance, however.
On the trunk – and there’s a back – you’ll find a tiny LCD display and a shutter button within easy reach. The display will let you know what mode you’re in, and just how much footage or just how many still images you can capture, together with remaining battery life. It’s better to seem sensible of than a great many other 360 cameras I’ve tested that only have basic LED indicators.
One annoyance, however, was that the display doesn’t inform you if you’re set to single or dual lenses, or at least doesn’t make it clear at a glance. Using one occasion I thought I was capturing the world in glorious 360-degrees nonetheless it was set to only 1 of the cameras – that was a massive disappointment.
The most notable of the lenses includes a couple of LEDs that glow green when the camera is in standby and red when it’s shooting video. They’re pretty simple to see which means you know the camera is recording. Handily, there’s also another blue LED privately that tells you whenever a smartphone is linked to the camera.
Along the edge of the handgrip you’ll discover a microSD slot hidden away and an exposed USB-C charging point. On another edge, between your two lenses, is a power button and menu button that can be utilised for toggling modes.
The bottom of the handgrip is flat, meaning you can stand the camera through to a set surface without needing other things. A strap accessory that also offers a rubber hoop is roofed with the camera. It’s made for you to put the camera in to the centre of the ring, adding some extra stability so that it won’t get knocked over so easily.
The problem is, being truly a hoop, it too must be positioned on a fairly flat and even surface to be of any real use. Then, you additionally have the string obvious in the frame of your 360-degree shots in the event that you pan down, which is in fairness a thing that happens with most 360 cameras. It’s a annoyance but I came across the camera strap pseudo-tripod accessory rather inelegant.
There reaches least a typical tripod thread on underneath, to help you attach your own tripod accessory or mount. I often found myself by using a GorillaPod for extra stability and the capability to dangle the camera ugly.
Samsung Gear 360 (2017) – App
The companion app, which is on iOS or Android (only appropriate for Galaxy phones) is smartly designed and simple to navigate. The camera pairs together with your phone through a Wi-Fi connection, which is stable and reliable.
You’re then in a position to use the iphone app as a live view of the camera’s sensors and will flip between different view modes on the fly, such as for example Standard or Round, which is comparable to the Tiny Planet setting you’ll find on other cameras. You may also decide on a split view, providing you separate perspectives from each lens or only capturing in one lens. In this latter mode the apparatus 360 operates like any other camera but with the slightly wider field of view such as a GoPro.
The application enables you to easily switch between video, photo, timelapse, video looping and landscape HDR modes and afterward you have control over more granular settings like exposure compensation and white balance.
You can also utilize the Gear 360 software to transfer over your video and images, and the software will automatically stitch your articles together. It will enable you to save it in several viewing modes including the aforementioned round or split views. This helps it be really simple to share your articles somewhere like Google Photos, YouTube or Facebook where it’s automatically recognised as 360-compatible.
Samsung Gear 360 (2017) – Video and image quality
For a far more budget-friendly 360 camera, the updated Gear 360 has better image quality than most despite the fact that it’s had an answer decrease from the initial Gear 360 from 15MP to 8.4MP for each and every sensor.
The Gear 360 enables you to toggle between a high resolution of 4096 x 2048 at 24fps in dual lens mode, right down to 2880 x 1440 if you wish 30fps or 2560 x 1280 if you wish 60fps. If you’re ready to sacrifice a lot more resolution you can go only 1440 x 720 for 120fps however the results aren’t great. In single lens mode you can perform up to 1920 x 1080 at 60fps.
As may be the case with most 360 cameras, everything looks much sharper and crisper when viewing your articles on your own phone screen when using your fingers to swipe around to see the world out of every angle. Strap your phone right into a VR headset or upload to YouTube and it doesn’t quite endure as well.
You will see 360-degree images in Google Photos without the user input or you can save versions in several formats such as for example Round (below).
Still, overall, the apparatus 360 (2017) is merely about the very best 360 camera I’ve seen for this price. You’ll find better image quality from something similar to the Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K but it’s drastically more money and a lot more involved. For something this small and convenient, the reduction in image quality is understandable.
If you hook up the camera to a computer, you may also livestream in 360 video using the bundled software, that may also enable you to edit your video together. That’s useful assuming you have an event you wish to share with persons who couldn’t attend.
Samsung Gear 360 (2017) – Battery life
Battery life from the 1160mAh cell is pretty unremarkable. You’ll get shy of one hour recording at the entire resolution from both cameras, whereas recording from just one single lens at 1080p are certain to get you about double that. Fortunately, you can just hook up a lightweight battery power if you want extra stamina.
Related: Best action cameras
Should I choose the Samsung Gear 360 (2017)?
If you eventually have a compatible phone, namely among the Galaxy phone or an iPhone 6 onwards running iOS 10, it’s worth taking into consideration the updated Gear 360 if you wish to dabble in 360-degree content. It creates recording videos and capturing images incredibly straightforward and approachable and the email address details are respectable, if not amazing.
There are several minor annoyances just like the makeshift tripod when the old chunky tripod was sufficient, and a battery that’s smaller than its predecessor, but otherwise the charming new design feels great. THE APPARATUS 360’s enticing package is then all tied together by a lower price.
The Samsung Gear is the first one to be i 360-degree content