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180 of 188 people found the following review helpful.
Gear 360 vs Theta S
I have been using this Camera for a couple of weeks, and I wanted to share a few considerations that should help people decide wether to buy it or not. I will also compare it to the similar Ricoh Theta S (which I also own), when possible.
- 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.
83 of 87 people found the following review helpful.
Little camera that captures everything.
Little camera that captures everything. The SG360 camera works flawlessly with my Samsung Galaxy S7 and my Windows 10 computer. I keep the SG360 on a "monopod" assembled from a selfie stick (xshot 2.0) with a mini tripod (manfrotto pixi). The included micro tripod is cute in a pinch, but doesn't quite get it farther than an arm's reach. I like putting the SG360 on a the 'monopod' and using the 5-second delay timer to get the best perspective of a scene. Indoors and outdoors, this camera is phenomenal without being intrusive. It does a great job really capturing what is going on all around you instead of just a tiny window through a regular photograph. The Samsung Gear 360 is so small and easy that it is completely easy to get creative and put it in neat perspectives.
Prior to this camera, I was taking 360 panoramic photos of the outdoors and real estate with a DSLR (canon 6D + rokinon 14mm) and a rotator stage (nodal ninja) then stiching them together in software (PTGUI). Amazing results BUT very expensive, time consuming, and massive learning with tutorials and trial and error. I watched "360" cameras hit the market, but saw that the quality was very poor and limited to short video clips. That is, until the SG360 hit the street. This thing is so EASY and FAST that I can take amazing quality 360 photos and video just like shooting from a point-and-shoot camera. The photos stitch in a matter of seconds while the videos take longer, but process in the background of my computer work. I know take MANY more 360 photos of everything including PEOPLE!
Installing the Cyberlink ActionDirector PC software was a super easy download and install. Drop the photos and video into ActionDirector from the micro sd card, and the software processes them automatically in the background and saves the results in a folder. You can edit the photos and videos in your favorite software; you are not locked into ActionDirector.
Virtual reality? Yes. I was able to view photos and video with the Gear VR after some work (install VR apps, load photos and video to special folders on your phone). It is truly amazing, but also very disorienting. I have perfect vision and never get motion sickness, but cannot stand to be in VR very long. YouTube supports the 360 content. Not many other sites currently do, but hopefully soon. It is so cool to look around somewhere.
Aerial? Yes. I mounted this to my DJI Phantom 3 and have flown successfully ~5 times. Fly at your own risk and keep it safe.
Samsung Gear 360 vs. DSLR + lens + tripod + rotator + software
- Cost: SG360 immensely cheaper by a few thousand dollars!
- Quality: DSLR wins
- Weight: SG360 is only a few hundred grams, perfect for travel. DSLR rig will be ~20 lbs, not good for hiking it around town or outdoors.
- Size: SG360 can fit in any backpack or bag. DSLR requires special packs to lug it around.
- Ease: SG360 takes entire 360 in one photo and processing it couldn't be easier with the free software. DSLR requires many photos, extra software work, so much more time and work.
Samsung Gear 360 vs. VCN V.360 / Kodak Pixpro 360 / 360fly / Ricoh Theta M15 360
- Cost: SG360 is the second most affordable next to the Ricoh Theta M15
- Quality: SG360 dominates the competitors in both photo and video. SG360 and M15 are the only TRUE 360 cameras, but only the SG360 can record longer movies and has much better image quality.
- Weight: SG360 is second to the M15
- Size: SG360 is the second most portable camera next to the M15.
- Ease: SG360 connects flawlessly and quickly to my Galaxy S7. Transferring and stitching the photos on the S7 or my PC is fast and easy. I don't know how it is for the others.
My wishlist: timelapse should output photos not only video, output option for RAW files for improved editing.
Note: This is my honest opinion after using the camera for a few months. I received the Samsung Gear 360 at a discount price from Samsung BUT was fully planning to purchase regardless.
Me? I'm a research engineer with degrees in physics and math. Also a professional photographer in portraits and real estate.
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful. See all 163 customer reviews...
Lots of cavorts, but a fun tool to have once you're used to it.
By Kyle Biggs
Quick background: I'm a real estate photographer who dabbles in fringe technologies from time to time. I thought I'd give this thing a shot, since the speed at which it can capture a photo sphere could make photo-spheres reasonably priced for the average listing.
-It is small, compact and feels like a real piece of camera gear. Not a toy, despite the somewhat silly looks.
-The universal tripod mount makes it easy to put on anything you already have. I recommend a light-stand since it is small form-factor and easy to remove in post.
-360 video is a neat trick! You won't be doing that with your phone camera any time soon.
-Works great for grabbing a quick sphere of the environment for VFX, with much better results than shooting a photo of a mirror ball.
-Photos are fun to look at in Gear VR.
-The seam that runs around your image vertically can be really bad. The camera seems to fudge things around while trying to align things, and it does a bad job most of the time. You can use the real-time image on your smartphone to align the seam with something vertical. This helps hide it, but doesn't always work. The seam is only visible for somewhat near-by objects, but it makes shooting medium or small sized rooms nearly impossible.
-You have to have a S7 or hacked software to use this device to its full extent. Not a huge shock, but still a bit sad if you don't have one already.
-The camera shoots a proprietary style of image initially, (Two half-spheres). You can't stitch these in photoshop using something like Flexify. It first has to be converted into a rectilinear image, either by your phone or using Samsung's Action Director software.
-Images are soft, muddy and with very limited dynamic range. You'll get a cleaner sphere with fewer seams than using your phone, but it won't look as good in many cases.
-Image quality goes from reasonable to unusable in low light.
-While support for 360 photos is getting better, it's still hard to find good ways to use them. Your website will need a special plugin to display them, and Facebook will only let you upload one at a time.
Personally, I don't regret my purchase. I have a few clients who are enjoying offering a unique style of photography to their customers. I also really enjoy looking at these photos in the Gear VR. I know they aren't 3D, but it is surprisingly cool.
So why am I giving it 4 stars when there are that many cons? Because the bar to entry for 360 photos and video is much lower with this device. The next step up is several times the cost, save for the Theta, which I wasn't particularly impressed with. There are some scenes and situations that can only be truly captured by a device like this, and in those situations, I'm happy to have this little thing in my camera bag.