Samsung Gear 360 | Review
Samsung Gear 360 is one of the best mobile 360 degree cameras you can get, but how good is that? Well, here is the answer.
Content production and the consumption are rapidly changing with the developing technologies. With increased access to virtual reality devices, 360-degree content has become more popular. Samsung’s 360-degree camera, Gear 360, is preparing to be a part of this competition.
With the easy access of virtual reality devices, especially on mobile, the curiosity of 360-degree content has increased as never before. In this way, companies behind the cameras that can shoot 360 degree videos, both excites enthusiastic people in this area and increases accessibility. One of them is Samsung. Let’s take a closer look at Samsung’s camera, which allows you to create 360-degree content with the Gear 360 camera, a member of the Gear series.
First let’s talk about the box content of Gear 360. In a box with a circular design according to its name, apart from the Gear 360 camera and mini tripod, there is a very thick fabric carrying case, microUSB cable for charging, hanging cord to allow you to keep the camera more comfortable, battery and cleaning cloth. The carrying case is especially welcomed because the lenses of the Gear 360 are unprotected and it is unlikely to carry them without a special bag. You can also be sure to use the cleaning cloth frequently as well.
Let’s come to the design of the Gear 360. Gear 360, which has a spherical design, is a little smaller than a tennis ball. Obviously, the camera that we find a little bit heavy comes with a mini tripod. We are serious when we say mini; If you want to grab the Gear 360 in your hand, you will have a hard time using this tripod. Because the tripod is so small that it does not offer a comfortable grip. But of course, it is possible to take off the tripod. You can also get a monopod for handheld shots.
Offering two lenses, one on the front and one on the rear, the design of the Gear 360 makes it hard to keep the lenses clean. It is also worth mentioning that they are somewhat vulnerable in the same way. On the camera, there is a button that functions as a selection and registration key. Just below this key is a mini display. It is possible to select the shooting modes and make simple settings on this screen. On the side of the camera is a Bluetooth / Menu and Back keys, while on the other side there is a closed compartment where you can insert the battery and microSD. Just below the lens is a mini LED lamp. The purpose of the these LEDs is to tell the user if the camera is shooting with a single lens or with a double lens. The LED is being activated on the lens that is being used. Gear 360 looks really cute when we look at the design overall. But it is not possible to say that it has a perfect design with a mini tripod beneath the giant body. I remind you that it’s a bit heavy.
Expectations and Experience
The Samsung Gear 360 is unfortunately not equipped with a screen that you can watch your recording. However, you can choose the size of the video and photos you take from the small screen above. The camera features a dual CMOS sensor with 15 MP resolution. Each lens, which are fisheye, offers f2.0 aperture. Both lenses have a 180 degree field of view. With dual camcorders, you can shoot at 60 fps (2560 × 1280 pixels) with some compromise on the resolution of the regular mode that shoots at 3840 × 1920 pixels at 30 fps. The camera, which captures 30 MP resolution photos, offers four different shooting modes in total. It is possible to use video, photo, time skipping and video rotation modes.
When we look at the paper, Gear 360 is very successful. On the experience side, the expectants will be pulled down a little bit. The resolution of the videos we shot with Gear 360 was far below than our expectations, unfortunately. In other words, the device you are looking for is not the Gear 360, if you are planning to shoot immaculate 4K videos. Is that enough for the entry level? Well, we can say that it is enough. You can use Gear 360 to have fun with your friends and to shoot enjoyable videos. If you are professional, we suggest you go for a different alternatives. Another problem with the Gear 360 is the microphone. First let me say that the microphone records pretty good; Especially if you’re shooting in the indoor space. Unfortunately, however, there are some difficulties in getting the voices clean. This problem, which we feel more dominant outside, can be missed at times. On the other hand, the quality of the Gear 360 is quite successful, so let’s not miss it. The Gear 360 is ideal for capturing impressive 360 degree photos.
One of the biggest problems with the device is the processing time of the contents. If you are transferring from the phone, you need to save 360 degrees content to the phone first. As a result, the size of these contents increases the processing time. This wait period, which you will not feel much with short videos, is increasing proportionally according to the length of the video. On the other hand, we recommend using a computer for editing. Currently, its application does not offer enough options, but you are somewhat stuck with its app to transfer your videos.
Shooting without seeing what you’re shooting with Gear 360 is not so easy. So it is your right to connect this device to your smartphone via Bluetooth and see what you are doing with its compatible application. In this case you have good news and bad news. The good news is, yes, this is an option. The bad news is that the device is “officially” only compatible with certain Samsung phones. Isn’t that great? Obviously for us, this is a big minus. Gear 360 application works with Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 and S7 devices afterwards. In short, if you are not using Samsung’s current generation devices, but if you want to use Gear 360, you can not use the official application.
The Gear 360 camera application makes the job a lot easier. It is also possible to adjust the shooting view in this application, which offers an interface similar to the classic camera interface. You can choose a view whether it’s a panoramic view, a circular, or if you want the image of each camera to appear on the screen. It is also possible to make settings such as HDR, white balance and exposure for shooting. We can say for sure that the application providing the detailed settings facilitates the shooting. Likewise, the Gear 360 application offers the option of editing. But it is so limited that we are not sure if you will use it. Because you can only crop on the video you shoot. In this case, it would be more logical to transfer those videos to your computer and edit them. There is no special option for editing in the application. You can share directly. In the meantime, you may want to take photos through the application as well, but remember that a large part of your hand will enter the cradle when you take it directly from the camera. Remote control for photo lovers is a must. The Samsung Gear 360 is a very nice device in terms of design but we believe its use is somewhat narrow. Although it offers the right environment, it is both “sensitive” and “heavy”. It can be preferred to produce more calm and impressive content.
• 15 MP x 2
• 30 MP (Dual lens), 5 MP (Single lens)
• Maximum resolution of 7776 × 3888 pixels
• 360 degrees / 180 degree wide angle
• 3840 × 1920 (dual lens, 30 fps), 2560 × 1440 (Single lens, 30 fps)
• Built-in microphone
• Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 / 5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, NFC
• 1 GB RAM
• microSD card (up to 200 GB)
• 1.350 mAh
• 66.7 x 56.3 x 60.1 mm
• 152 grams (including battery)
Why / Why not ?
Why: Box content, round design, easy to use
Why not: Audio and video performance could be better, limited compatibility