Samsung Gear 360 Degree Spherical Camera (SM-C200) for Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5 (International Version - No Warranty)
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- Immersive 360 Cam High-Res Video and Photo
- F2.0 Dual Lenses Clear in Low Light / High Resolution 3840x1920 Video
- Time-Lapse Video Real 360 Event Logging
- MicroSD card is required for shooting.
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Just slip the Gear 360 into your bag as you head outside. From camping to dining al fresco, the dust and splash resistant Gear 360 can take on your world.Pair up your Galaxy smartphone via Bluetooth, then use Wi-Fi Direct to transform its large screen into a very handy remote viewfinder and to transfer files in one simple move.Shoot in live view mode, stitch the 360° footage with ease, trim it to your liking and share it online. It's simple and easy with your Galaxy smartphone or your PC.
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- The resolution of the photos taken with the Gear 360 is 30MP, while the resolution of the Theta S is 14MP. The difference is not noticeable when displaying the pictures on a phone, but it becomes tangible when the photos are viewed in virtual reality or on a laptop.
- The Gear 360 can record quasi-4k (3840x1920) videos, while the Theta S shoots full-HD videos (1080p). If you think that 1080p is enough, think again: when you are watching a 360 photo/video, you will be focusing on a small portion of the scene, which means that the effective resolution of what it's displayed is much lower. The videos taken with the Theta S look very low-res: they are comparable to a 2D 480p video. The videos shot with the Gear 360 are much better, but they won't look as good as a high resolution 2D video.
- The Gear 360 (as of June 2016), is not available in the US yet, which means that this item will ship from South Korea. Despite this, I received the item in 2 days (without selecting expedite shipping), which is impressive. Since it's the Korean version, there is no warranty, and the user manual will be in Korean. A link to an online English manual is included.
- The Gear 360 is, currently, overpriced ($459). When launched on the US market, it will probably cost around $350, which is in line with the Theta S. I would recommend to wait until the US version is out unless, like in my case, you need it for a special event.
- The Theta S app is much more polished and is compatible with most devices. The Gear 360 app is currently compatible just with select Samsung phones (Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S7, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6 edge, and Galaxy S6).
- The photos shot with the Theta S are stitched by the camera itself, while the ones shot with the Gear 360, can be stitched on the phone, or using a software developed by Samsung (Windows only, unfortunately). The Theta S does a better job at stitching (almost no artifacts), while I have noticed anomalies in the final images produced by the Gear 360 (mostly when objects are too close to the camera, because the two lenses are further apart with respect to the Theta S, and therefore more difficult to merge). The advantage of the Gear 360 is that Samsung will be able to improve the stitching algorithm by just updating the app, no need to update the firmware of the camera. Unfortunately, you will be able to stitch the quasi-4k videos produced by the Gear 360 just using the PC software.
- The Samsung camera is more 'independent', in the sense that it has its own lcd screen, which will allow you to shoot photos and videos without using your phone. It doesn't include a (required) micro SD card.
- With both cameras I was able to upload photos and videos to Facebook without any issues.
- Both cameras are easy to pair with your phone (the Theta S uses Wi-Fi, while the Gear 360 uses Bluetooth).
- The mini tripod provided with the Samsung Gear 360 is incredibly sturdy.
Bottom line: the Gear 360 camera shoots better photos and videos. It's currently overpriced, so you might want to wait until the US version is available. IMHO, buying a 360 camera now that Facebook supports 360 photos and videos, and you can use a Samsung Gear VR headset to relive your memories, makes perfect sense.
Only started to play with this today, so I'll update when I have some real information. FIRST problem is the software that you need to
download needs a key to activate in order to use. The "product key" was inside the Samsung camera box on a LITTLE LITTLE LITTLE 'return
label' printed blurred in a font I think may be 5 points... (Picture attached). I can not read some of these letters/numbers and can only
guess what they are... I started using a magnifying glass and then scanned and enlarged, but still have no idea about a lot of those dots.
Me and my wife spent over an hour trying various combinations of what these letters/numbers MIGHT be, with "Invalid Key" error when we try
to move forward.
If Samsung is actually shipping these to the masses with this TINY product key that is unreadable, they are in for a rough time with
The camera loses a star for two reasons:
1) connecting to a device was at times very troublesome. I, over the course of 4 days had the need to connect (pair) the camera to 3 devices (2 galaxy s6's and an s7). Only once did it comnect with ease. The other two times it took quite a bit of poking and proding and try agains and cursing before the device would pair with the camera. Eventually however all 3 did pair and work perfectly once connected.
2) the camera gets very hot and will shut down after 10 mins or so to cool down. Very annoying if you are right in thw middle of a prepared script and need to start over. Pull the battery out and play hot potato with it until it cools.
Otherwise, the app works great... camera shoots in 4k which is awesome at this price point, the camera itself is very well put together and impressive looking and feeling.
I would recommend this to someone else with the two disclaimers above. I was not paid or offered free products for this review.
Top international reviews
Build quality is very good; it has a nice wight to it and feels sturdy. The business end is 2x 15MP sensors with 2x 195 degree f2.0 fisheye lenses... at around the price of a low end GoPro! Worth noting that the newer 2017 Gear 360 has 8.4MP sensors with f2.2. lenses, so clearly the 2015 version has physically better optics!
I don’t have a Samsung phone (I use an ageing OnePlus One), and purchased with the intention of using the Gear 360 through desktop PC only.
If you are in the same boat, you will have to faff around quite a bit… or read the rest of the review to save yourself some time!
The latest version of the Desktop Software (Google 'Action Director version 2 and Gear 360 Manager' to get to the download link) is at version 2, but that is for the 2017 version of the 360 camera. Samsung seem to be hiding it from us 2016 version purchasers and will direct you to version 1 (which can create a black dot in the centre of the view, causing you to scratch your head changing settings as you try to fix the issue and/or assume it’s a hardware fault in the camera, which it is not).
There is also a hacked Android apk that will work on non-Samsung phones. On my phone it does connect to the camera but crashes on live view, so its camera only for me. There is also a version that has settings only (so you can set things like ISO and HDR mode or use your phone as a remote, but there is no live view). Not too big a deal; the only thing you really use with no phone is manual exposure compensation, and you don’t really have to do much framing on a 360 degree camera, so lack of live view is not a biggie! As for remote control, you can instead use an in-camera self timer.
You have to use the supplied cable to connect the 360 to your PC. Although its a standard phone USB cable, Most other cables are not shaped correctly to fit (its not the electrical connector that causes issue, its the surrounding plastic that will foul the tight space) , plus the 360 might not be recognised. Don’t lose the included USB, and don’t be tempted to use another one (you need the camera to be recognised by your PC to use ActionDirector version 2; without it being recognised you are stuck with version 1 of the desktop software, as all you have to fall back on is an included serial key for *version 1* of the desktop application).
Here's the worst bit; Samsung do not provide a desktop 360 degree video/image viewer (they expect you to use a Samsung phone or a special VR goggle set, or upload straight to Youtube/social media).
Even worse, Windows Media Player nor VLC work with the Gear 360 files. Took a bit of digging around to fix, but luckily GoPro VR player works (it’s a free download) and works very well with.
After all that, is it worth the effort?
The 360 degree 4k video is very nice, but even 4k wrapped around a 360 view can look a little soft because you are always zoomed in when viewing a spherical video, so you are trading some image quality for a 360 interactive view.
Although you get wide f2.0 lenses, the low light quality is not great (its a bit better than a standard GoPro Action camera, but their low light ability is dire!). Fine if you want to show off some 360 degree clubbing via a downscaled 720p facebook video, but its not high quality if you are viewing at full resolution on a 4k screen.
Converting the raw video footage to spherical video is quite CPU intensive; I have a i7-980X, a GTX1080 and 24GB of fast RAM, and it is not quick; count on a 5 minute 4k video taking 3-5 minutes to ingest for editing and at least as long to output for final render unless you have a good GPU for hardware acceleration (via openCL).
The 360 degree stills are very nice though. Quick and easy!
4k files are huge in filesize (4k bitrate is a decent 50Mbit/s, which gives you a 1GB file within minutes), so you will also need a 64GB SD card to add to your costs (you can drop the capture resolution or record 180 degree video though).
When considering the 2016 version vs the 2017 version, I'd say the 2016 version is probably a bit over engineered (better optics and build, which is a good thing for the user!) but the newer version has better support from Samsung. Although both work with the same software, Samsung does not seem to want you to use the 2017 software with the 2016 camera. As noted elsewhere, the fix for this is easy; if you know the updated software exists, its easy to find!
One hardware feature the 2017 version has going for it is that the two lenses are closer together, so stitching of the spherical view is better for close objects. The 2016 version has noticeable stitch joins for objects closer than about a metre, but better optical quality. For me, better optical quality always wins!
Overall though, its worth the effort if you are a photography nut like myself who loves to play with new technology, because this camera is pretty unique (and very cheap at the moment so a nice gift to yourself if you enjoy a challenge).
If you do not have a Samsung phone and are not prepared to dabble, you might want to give it a miss, because Samsung are not going out of their way to support non-Samsung phone users. At the very least, make sure you can find the software I list before you buy… otherwise you will be on Google for an evening sorting out the issues like I was!
Edit: forget the value accessories; you already get a little mini tripod, and the camera has a standard screw thread at the bottom if you already have photographic gear.
The only thing you really need is a cover for the two large lenses: have a look at Holaca Silicone Protective Lens Cap for Samsung gear 360 Sports Camera. With this on the 360 it becomes pocketable without danger of damaging the lenses, so great for a bit of 360 degree imagery on a scenic walk, which is what this camera is really all about!
The Gear 360 from Samsung is an amazing little gadget as headlined above. For those of you who have been amazed by the pictures seen in google street view look no further! you can now capture the same footage with this little gadget which sometimes looks like a monstrous eye or if you are like me from the days of desktop PCs then you will be reminded of the web cam produced by Logitech except that this has dual lenses one at 180 degrees to each other thus spanning the entire 360-degree field of vision. (to be honest it is very difficult to hide from this camera once it’s started recording.
It comes in a nice clean package from Samsung and the first impression one gets after opening the package is the solidity of the build. Coloured pearly white it is like a smooth golf ball with precise cut-outs on one side for the battery and the microSD card slot. the cover has a rubber gasket making the gadget weatherproof. the other end has the two buttons along with the action switch with a tiny PMOLED screen on top. also provided is a neat little tripod which complements the flat bottom of the almost sphere like construction of the Gear360. I must say that the tripod is essential if you want to keep the Gear 360 from rolling away or getting its lenses dirty. The tripod also functions as a grip to hold the device although it may be a bit fiddly for large hands. The downside of the spherical shape and the button placement is that it is hard to hold the device and operate without getting the lenses smudged, but one learns with practice to handle it perfectly.
In the package is also a USB cable with a micro USB end to connect to any USB charger. There is a nice pouch with microfibre interior to keep it clean along with a wrist strap. Also, included in the package is the passcode for the software SAMSUNG GEAR360 director which helps to stich the 360 videos on the PC. Of course, the gear360 can seamlessly connect with the Samsung galaxy smartphones and the 360 pictures come live with the gear VR!
The gadget ideally must be used in conjunction with the smart phone to get the full effects which might be a bit tricky and cumbersome as both the hands are then involved. Of course, if one is not bothered to look at what he or she is capturing as the gadget captures everything around it then it’s a matter of just keeping it in the centre of action and pressing the action button. The basic controls can be cycled through with the two buttons on the body of the camera i.e. photo, video, time-lapse and loop video. If one is only interested in a panoramic view spanning 180 degrees, then one camera can be selectively switched off.
The pictures are 15 megapixels each which are great when viewed in a smartphone especially in SAMSUNG’s super AMOLED display. When blown up fully then the pics lose their sharpness and one can’t compare with a DSLR. However, one must realise that this little device takes a complete all round view which is a completely new experience be it in a gathering or at outdoors scenic beauty! It gives us a complete different perspective to what we have been normally used to. I must also add that dark light photography is not great with this device given that there is no option for a 360degree flash!! The battery life depends on the length of videos taken.
It takes some time getting used to but once mastered it’s a great device to use and capture images with a complete different perspective. It is worth investing in a neat carry case and a good monopod /tripod. A smartphone holder in the monopod or tripod would be a boon as it frees up the hands. I am happy with this device and still exploring the various amazing possibilities with it. I sincerely thank the insidersuk for providing the device at a discounted price. I am attaching some photographs taken with the GEAR360
There are niggling problems, such as stitching, because the two lenses are quite far apart but that can be worked around & no true image stabilization (as there is on the Mi Sphere). It does have the option to correctly orient the picture no matter what angle you shoot from & this works really well. The video & photo quality are superb considering the camera's age & it still beats many of the newer 360 cameras on offer. Video is recorded at 4K but you will need to edit it on a PC to get that resolution displayed. If viewed on your phone it reduces the quality, but it's still excellent. Just remember that 4K 360 video will produce a picture equivalent to viewing a video at 720p, which is ok for uploading to social media. Tonal/colour range is very good but this camera can't really be used for video in very low light conditions.
The main advantage with this device is that video/photo stitching is done in-camera, so your workflow is greatly speeded up & unless you want to edit 4K video you can completely do away with the need for a PC. Samsung also provide free PC software for editing your 360 photos & videos. However, I wouldn't bother contacting them for feedback or problems, as they never reply or acknowledge your query.
Over all this camera is absolutely brilliant, especially for the tiny price it now weighs in at. Buy a replacement battery & you'll be good to go for a price that's still less than £100! If you're buying a selfie stick go for one that's as thin (but sturdy) as possible. This will help minimise the capture of the selfie stick in-shot. The Gear 360 can also be used in conjunction with Google Street View but I've had problems with geo tagging when using it with my S6 Edge. It generally tags every 360 photo at the point you turn on the device, which makes uploading to Street View extremely difficult. I now have an S9+ so will update this review when I've had time to use it properly.
TIP: As with most photos you'll probably want to edit your photospheres in some way. Editing photospheres always destroys the 360 meta data so when you reopen them they no longer display as 360. I use Snapseed (free) to edit then use an app called Meta360 (not free) to automatically replace the 360 data.
The device is quite unusual: it looks like an eye ball with 2 lenses. However, it feels solidly built with 3 buttons (one to switch on, a record button and menu button). The problem is that I keep accidentally pressing the ‘on’ button when holding the device, because of its position.
The camera has a small tripod for users to hold, or to let you stand the device, but it is too small to do much with. I also found that since the sides of the tripod are quite smooth, they can be tricky to hold on to in poor weather.
The device has a removable battery, which is good if you need to use it for a long time as you can buy a spare one to have ready and I’ve managed to get a few days-worth of work out of the device on one charge. It can also be charged via micro usb and used at the same time.
I’m quite new to the 360-degree photography, though I’ve heard that this device is amongst the cheapest to provide such type of photography. The two lenses cover 180 degrees each and take a picture at the same time, giving you a 360- degree picture once your phone is used to ‘stitch’ the two views together. I found the pictures that I took during the day were of very good quality with crisp colours and the stitching of the photography was quite good, though I could see the points at which they had been stitched. I did find however that focusing can be quite tricky since you can’t point focus like on a regular camera.
The camera did do ok in reduced lighting, but I found that as with most camera phones, the sharpness of the pictures reduces. I’ve attached some pictures to this review from the device.
You can also use the phone to work like a live view finder, by connecting to the device via Bluetooth and this shows you exactly what you are looking at. I used this feature after the birth of my son, capturing a 360- degree view of the hospital room and looking back at it now, I’m happy that I could capture the atmosphere of such a special moment in this way.
Video and software:
I’ve not really played about with the video recording much, but from what I’ve done so far, I can see that the video quality is good, as is the sound quality, but the syncing with sound can be problematic. Sharing pictures and videos are easy via the phone by using apps like Whatsapp, but without the software to show the picture as 360-degrees, it doesn’t do justice to the images.
The Samsung Gear 360 can be used on its own without the phone via the buttons on the device, making it much like an action camera. However, you have little clue what you are taking pictures of- a problem we have grown used to living without thanks to digital photography. I think something that would have been useful to provide with the device would have been some form of deal with the VR headset to really appreciate the photography and the video.
I’m intrigued by this type of device and I want to get more opportunities to use the video setting. I think the device is well built though a bit let down the by software and the tripod would be much easier to handle with some ridges or grooves along the feet. For a gadget fan, it’s a lovely new type of gizmo which I look forward to further trialling.
The picture quality is good with join errors not so frequent. There is a slight exposure difference between the two lenses, which is exaggerated if one side is much brighter than the other, but if that doesn't bother you, then this is fine.
The camera can work without the app, but you lose the ability to preview and to adjust the exposure.
Whilst this older model doesn't do live video, the higher resolution compared to the 2017 model of the camera swayed me.
The camera has a standard thread which allows you to mount it on a selfie stick for extended reach.
Be warned, however, that the new phone app is buggy and may ruin your videos. If you can, get the older software (Samsung Gear 360) with the orange BACKGROUND in the logo (the sound in video recordings is corrupt in the newer software).
The file system is FAT32, so your videos will be cut up into difference files after about 13 minutes, depending on resolution. The camera failed working with my 32GB card, but was faultless with my 16GB card. Worth bearing in mind if compatibility is important to you.
Its a fun piece of kit, a good price now the Mk 2 version is available - my advice buy one and enjoy the quirkiness....BTW buy a mono-pod or tripod, then you can take photo's without being part of the landscape.
Build quality is excellent, the unit feels solid and all the buttons feel good, battery life is great but I only use it for photos.
A word or warning for other users, I used mine with a mini tripod and one of my selfie sticks set to about 5ft height which made it too unstable causing my camera to take a fall onto gravel scratching one of the lenses. This was my own fail and the camera held up pretty good apart from the mark on the lens, fortunately new lenses are available and are easy to replace.
The set up is simple via Gear Companion app and within 2 mins you're good to go.
The 1st thing I tried was 360 photos which when shooting anything in 360 you need to think a bit more to make sure you're in it behind the camera with a stupid face, thankfully it has a timer so you can get out the way.
360 Videos were great fun to watch back in VR, but can also be viewed on phone or laptop and scrolling round but definitely best experienced through VR.
The 360 also has a great time lapse video capture which I tried out with a street view as the sun was setting and the effects were stunning.
Pro's: The hardware is well built and very attractive, the software is simple to use and the photo/video outputs are fantastic.
Cons; Only con is there is no way to zoom or focus, but taking 360 videos for VR you wouldn't want to zoom as it would make you sick so maybe this is why.
„Samsung Gear 360 Actionkamera für Panorama-Videos und Fotos - Weiß (Italien / Vereinigtes Königreich)“
Achtung: Beim auspacken unbedingt den kleinen Zettel mit der Nummer zur Freischaltung der kostenlosen Software sicherstellen!
Um mit der Samsung Gear 360 prima Panorama Videos zu machen, ist kein Handy erforderlich! Man kann dann zwar nicht live sehen was man aufnimmt, aber das ist egal, denn es wird ja alles rundum, also 360 Grad, horizontal, und vertikal aufgenommen.
Benötigt wird nur eine Speicherkarte und ein PC. Die „Gear 360 ActionDirector“ Software wurde von Chip.de runtergeladen.
Nirgendwo wird angegeben welche Speicherkarte sich eignet. Zum Versuch wurde als Speicherkarte die: „SanDisk Extreme 64 GB microSDXC Speicherkarte + SD-Adapter bis zu 100 MB/Sek., Class 10, U3, V30, A1“ von Amazon, mit gutem Ergebnis verwendet. Gerne würde ich Euch den Link schicken, doch Amazon lässt das in Rezensionen nicht zu.
Der Datenträger wurde einen Tag nach der Bestellung geliefert, er ist bei Lieferung in exFAT formatiert.
Die Kamera formatiert auch selbst in exFAT, daher wird die Speicherkarte sofort nach einlegen in die Kamera erkannt. Die Karte selbst wird bei richtiger Installation im Minidisplay der Gear 360 angezeigt.
Der USB- Treiber wird nur auf dem PC installiert, wenn die Speicherkarte in den internen Kartenleser der Gear 360 eingelegt ist! Die Installation der Software verlief problemlos unter Windows10 (32 Bit).
Der Aufnahmeordner der Gear 360 Speicherkarte wird nach Anschluss der Gear 360 am USB- Port des PC direkt im Windows Explorer angezeigt. Die Videodatei kann dann in einen beliebigen Ordner auf dem PC kopiert werden. Sie ist erst nach durchgeführtem stitching mit der „Gear 360 ActionDirector“ Software zur Wiedergabe bereit! Für eine Minute Video werden dabei 114.337 MB erzeugt. Der Vorgang dauerte hier ca.1 Stunde!
Das Ergebnis kann sich sehen lassen. Es wurde der VLC – Player, Version 3.0.2 zur Wiedergabe verwendet. Mit der Maus ins Wiedergabefenster geklickt, lässt sich der Blick in jede beliebige Richtung ziehen. Unerwartet erfolgt das stitching auch in vertikaler Richtung. So lässt sich mit dem VLC- Player auch ein Überschlag, (also Looping, wie im Flugzeug) erzeugen.
Die Kamera zeigt unerwartete Möglichkeiten in guter Videoqualität. Es ist so viel möglich, dass noch gar nicht alles ausprobiert werden konnte.
Die Gear 360 lässt sich auch fernsteuern. Preisgünstig und zuverlässig geht das mit „Kreema Mini Wireless BT Fernbedienung Bluetooth schnurlosen Ausloser fur Samsung Gear 360 Kamera 2016 2017 Edition“ auf Amazon.de.
Bitte dazu die entsprechende Rezension lesen.