Presented next to the Galaxy S8 and S8 + we have finally been able to test the new 360 video camera from Samsung. A renewal of the model launched last year that slightly improves video quality. However, the highlights are its changes in design issues.
If you are interested in the subject of video recording in 360 degrees and you are looking for a camera that allows you to do it without having to spend a significant amount of money, here begins our review of the Samsung Gear 360 (2017).
Samsung Gear 360 (2017), technical characteristics
|CHARACTERISTICS||GEAR 360 (2017)||GEAR 360 (2016)|
|Dimensions and weight||100.6 x 46.3 x 45.1 mm 130gr||66.7 x 56.3 x 60.1 mm 152gr|
|Sensors||2 opposite sensors, 1 / 2.3″ CMOS 8.4 Mpx, Lenses 180º aperture f / 2.2, ISO max 1,600||2 opposite sensors, 1 / 2.3″ CMOS 15 Mpx, lenses 180º aperture f / 2.0, ISO max 1,600|
|Resolution||Video max 4K (4096 x 2048) at 24fps, Photo at 15MP||Processed video: max 4K (3840×2160) at 24fps, processed photo: 360º 25.9 Mpx|
|Autonomy||Battery not removable 1160 mAh||Removable battery 1350 mAh|
|Storage||Micro SD||Micro SD|
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 / 5GHz), WiFi Direct, Bluetooth® v4.1||WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 / 5GHz), WiFi Direct, Bluetooth® v4.1, NFC, microHDMI|
|Connection||USB C 2.0||MicroUSB 2.0|
|Apps||Galaxy S8, S8 +, S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge +, S6, S6 edge, A5 (2017), A7 (2017) Android 5.0 or higher / iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE iOS or any device with 10.0 or higher and PC||Android (only available for Samsung) and PC|
|Price||$249 on Amazon||$199 on Amazon|
A more comfortable design
The design of the previous Gear 360 was curious and, to some extent, accurate but there were also details that made it not so comfortable to handle with one hand. If we wanted to hold it and, for example, interact with the record button, it was already expensive at the top.
Now, in the 2017 version, the new Gear 360 solves certain usability problems and improves grip thanks to that added body, the relocation of buttons and some other changes that make the experience better. It is true that we lose something interesting as the removable battery but we understand that it compensates, although there will be someone who thinks otherwise.
Regarding construction materials, the quality is identical to that of last year. Maybe now transmit a little more robustness but in general still using plastic for the construction of the body that seems to withstand the passage of time.
For the rest, the new Gear 360 (2017) is everything you see. A 360º video camera that still maintains a tripod thread, weighs little (130gr) and whose only protection is IP53 (dust and liquid splashes).
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Improving (slightly) the quality of videos and photos in 360 degrees
The new Gear 360 (2017) offers a slight improvement in the quality of videos and photos in 360 degrees. I can not show you a direct comparison, with photos and videos taken in the same place, but there is a better performance in the processing and the sensors themselves. However, do not expect an abysmal jump of quality because you will not find it.
Separating both capabilities, that of recording video and taking photos, in 360 video recording the biggest drawback is the lack of light. We know that despite recording video at 4K resolution -exactly at 4096×2048 (the 2016 model records at 3840×2160) – when converting that flat clip into a spherical one, we lose detail and the effective resolution we see is lower. But that’s not so much a problem as the noise generated when the brightness of the scene goes down a bit.
In photographs it is different. The problem is still present but, being a static image and not having processed video, the results are better. In addition, options such as HDR mode allow saving somewhat more complicated scenes. The latter added to the new capture modes make this a more interesting camera with respect to its predecessor for the theme photos 360.
However, this is a camera for the domestic market. That starting already implies certain limitations and should make us lower expectations. If you want a higher quality, the real alternatives go through cameras like the Nokia OZO.
Finally, the sound captured is not bad at all. As always, this is not a professional camera and if you want to collect audio with more detail in 360 degrees there are recorders oriented to it like the Zoom H2n. Equally the quality offered by the Gear 360 is good for recording events or moments where we have no option or need to do so with a dedicated team.
Compatible with some Samsung Galaxy and iPhone
Knowing what quality the Gear 360 offers us the immediate question is what are the requirements to use the camera. A priori, nothing is needed. The camera can be used independently through its small screen you can access the different modes it offers, configuration options, etc. Although we must recognize that together with the mobile application is very convenient to use. In addition to having options like the remote control or a clearer look at all the settings.
Mobile apps are also necessary to generate spherical content. If we could not use them, because they are only compatible with a list of certain Galaxy devices as well as iOS devices with version 10.0 or higher, then we would have to resort to desktop versions of Gear 360 for Windows or Mac, which also allows live streaming.
Yes, the mobile app is compatible with iOS but not with all Android terminals even with version 5.0 or higher. And it does not matter if it’s high-end. Anyway there is an unofficial version, or better said modified, Gear 360 for Android that can be run in other terminals.
From the creation process I do not think it is necessary to give explanations. The applications do it without having to do anything other than selecting the content. But if you want to know more, you have an article that we publish where we talk about creating, editing and sharing 360 video.