Review of the Samsung Gear 360

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Pardon the fingerprints (not mine!)

360 photos and videos could be the future of photography and videography but is that future now?

You may have seen it in the stores and may have watched Casey Neistat holding it while hanging onto a helicopter because when it comes to the 360 cameras, it is hard for anyone to miss the Samsung Gear 360, the gadget that the innovative company has come up with to answer to the growing trend of 360 demand.

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Specifications

The Samsung Gear 360 features a dual CMOS 15 MP Sensor with a dual f/2.0 Fisheye lens. With the dual cameras, it can record video resolutions of up to 3840 x 1920 at 30 fps and up to 2560 x 1440 at 30 fps. Note this. If you are filming someone running or making quick movements, don’t bother taking anything with 30 fps. It’ll look stuttery.

When capturing still images, it can shoot up to 7776 x 3888 resolution at 30MP (dual cam) and up to 3072 x 1728 at 5M (single cam). Impressive but read on.

Camera modes

There are various camera modes for the dual lens and single lens that you can choose from – video, photo, timelapse and looping video. Although not very relevant to photographers, the Gear 360 or the eyeball that I like to call it has only 1GB of RAM. Booting it up is not fast and viewing of photos require you to save it first before you can view anything.

You need a MicroSD Card slotted in first before you can operate it. The battery is pretty decent at 1,350 mAh. It can last longer as a GoPro. So that’s great news!

The Gear 360 is IP53 certified. This means that it is dust and waterproof from anything hitting it at 60 degrees from vertical, which is something you ought to note.

Unfortunately, the eyeball is not compatible with the Apple iPhones or any other smartphones. So you will have to buy a Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 and above to get this organ to work. Get it? Organ?

I’m not very concern with day shots because the Gear 360 has a big sensor and wide aperture. So in normal daylight condition, the quality of the images and videos should be great. If you wanna know, check out our indoor Starbucks shot here.

Images taken at night were pretty alright. It’s not as clear as your professional DSLRs. It is decent enough for you to post on Facebook. And yes, Facebook is currently the only social media platform where you can share your 360 photos and YouTube for your 360 videos.

Check out some of the photos here.

Video wise, the audio is pretty good but perhaps due to the stretch in the video image, I needed to pinch in to see myself clearly while the sides compensated and looked blurry. Small issue, I guess.

Conclusion

The Samsung Gear 360 is a good gear to have if you are a frequent traveller who always travels to amazing places. It is also a good to have if you are the designated photographer of your company’s event. It’s fun. If you are one of the aforementioned persons, buy it!

But you should know a few more things before you act on it.

  1. The market is still lukewarm with this photo-tech. The photos and videos are cool to watch and look at but all these are only viewable on Facebook and YouTube. The limited viewing channels should be part of your considerations.
  2. It is a little cumbersome to carry it with you without a bag. You do not want an additional ball in your pocket. The bulge will look… disrespectful.
  3. If you value the quality of images more than any other thing, don’t buy it yet.
  4. It costs slightly more than SGD400. So think it through if you really have a good reason to have it.

What do you think? Yay or nay?

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