Samsung Enters the 360 Degree Camera Market With the Samsung Gear 360. Mark Zuckerberg Supports

Feb 22, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Samsung Enters the 360 Degree Camera Market With the Samsung Gear 360. Mark Zuckerberg Supports

Feb 22, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Looking more like a giant eyeball than a camera, Samsung have today entered into the 360 degree arena with the announcement of the Samsung Gear 360 camera.

Two lenses seems to be becoming the standard when it comes to 360 degree cameras, as opposed to bolting half a dozen cameras on a rig, and we’ve seen this already in cameras like the Ricoh Theta S.

This camera also conforms to that new standard with a pair of f/2.0 lenses, each covering an extremely wide 195 degree field of view for full 360 degree total coverage.

The mostly featureless exterior hides a microSD card slot supporting cards up to 128GB, and a swappable battery via a small door.  The top of the unit sports a small monochrome PMOLED display with power, record and other buttons darted about the top & side.

Seemingly aimed more at the consumer VR market than the adrenaline junkie action cam market, the Gear 360 is described as being “splash-proof” and dust resistant.

I wouldn’t expect it to take the same kind of punishment that some of us have come to expect from the likes of GoPro, or the hotly anticipated Nikon Keymission 360, but it still offers a lot for those whose 360 degree requirements are a little more relaxed.

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As with most 360 degree cameras and rigs, you’ll need to pull the files off the Gear 360 and use another application to perform the stitching.  As of this moment, the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the only two phones that can do this with the Gear 360, but Samsung have stated that the camera will be compatible with “select Samsung smartphones”.

They haven’t yet said which smartphones those will be, or whether the Gear 360 will ever work with phones other than Samsung’s own, but you will be able to download a PC-only application to handle the stitching (Sorry, Mac users!).

The folks over at The Verge had a bit of a hands on with the Gear 360 at MWC2016 in Barcelona.  Here’s what they had to say.

YouTube video

With video resolution a tad smaller than 4K, at 3840×1920, and spherical photos weighing in at 30MP, it’s not going to be competing with any professional rigs, but with 360 degree video slowly creeping more and more onto sites like YouTube and Facebook, this could be a good way to start your 360 degree journey.

We know that this is going to be big because Mark Zuckerberg is giving them some back.

No news yet on an exact release date, nor price, nor a complete list of compatible devices, but they hope to release sometime in 2016 Q2, with the other details coming forth around the same time.

[via The Verge]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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5 responses to “Samsung Enters the 360 Degree Camera Market With the Samsung Gear 360. Mark Zuckerberg Supports”

  1. Ezzy Avatar
    Ezzy

    Zuckerberg*

  2. Riccardo Maria Mantero Avatar
    Riccardo Maria Mantero

    This is perfect

  3. Ghislain Côté Avatar
    Ghislain Côté

    It looks way too much like Wheatley, from Portal 2.

    1. Jarret O'Shea Avatar
      Jarret O’Shea

      Now I want someone to make an external battery for it that looks like a GladOS potato.

  4. Patrick Shipstad Avatar
    Patrick Shipstad

    I’m so sorry I invested $300 in the Giroptic 360 camera kickstarter.. they are literally YEARS late on their promised delivery and every example I’ve seen is completely sub-par to anything coming out now.