Samsung Gear 360 Camera Receives Mixed Reviews

Samsung has just released its first 360 degree camera to go along with its Gear VR. Some are excited, while others are disappointed. PC & Tech Authority says the device has a lot of promise, but ends up a little short.

“Size is the biggest problem here, at least compared to LG’s 360 Cam. The latter is nicely pocket-sized, but the Gear 360’s bulbous shape makes it tricky to slip in a jacket pocket. Skinny jeans? Forget about it. The protective carrying pouch bundled in the box tells me Samsung expects us to toss it into a bag instead.”

The review adds that without a Samsung-compatible phone, there is a problem of what to do with the files after they are recorded. If you take them straight off a microSD card, you have to edit them with software that’s only compatible with Windows PCs. However, the review also adds that the image and video quality are good compared to what’s out there now, especially the LG 360 Cam. Android Central also has mixed feelings on Samsung’s new camera.

“The software experience is the best we’ve used in this class of camera, bar none. The industrial design is excellent. But the Gear 360 is greatly hampered by its inability to fit in a pocket, by being (currently) locked to Samsung’s own phones, and by inconsistent stitching in processed photos.”

The Samsung Gear 360 has received very mixed reviews. [Image via Daryl Deino]

The review especially praises the Gear 360 Manager app, which stitches the 360 images and videos together so you don’t have to go though the hassle. However, once again, you need one of the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphones to be able to use it. One of the commenters after the article echos the experience of many others when it comes to using the Gear 360 in low-light situations.

“I just got mine today. Well, it might be a good camera during daytime, but a BIG disappointment in low light. The picture is 30MP (sounds a lot, but not sharp pictures), but there is no way to change shutter speed or exposure time,” says Planetrics.

The Huffington Post says that the Samsung Gear 360 is an absolute failure.

“Unfortunately, the videos, which are supposed to be 4K, put you in the middle of a world that looks like a VHS-quality video from the 1980s. The pictures are slightly better. It’s true that the Gear VR is limited in showing videos and pictures in a Quad HD resolution at the most. However, that shouldn’t matter.”

The review adds that there have been several Quad HD resolution 360 degree videos that look much better on the Gear VR than the 4K videos from the Gear 360. One of the commenters after the article thought the review was being a little too harsh.

“Just so you are aware… there isn’t a headset out there that can playback 360 video at a much higher quality than the Gear 360 records. Speaking as someone that works with VR and 8-12k video, at the end of the day you end up with an image about as good as what you get natively on the Gear 360,” says Travis Hatfield.

There has been some debate on whether or not 360 degree pictures and videos will become mainstream. Five years ago, everybody thought 3D cameras would be the future, but that only ended up being a huge fad. Perhaps when consumers are able to afford 360 cameras that they can easily carry around with them, 360 degree media will become the norm. The next version of Samsung’s Gear 360 could see some major improvements that will help 360 degree media escape from being seen as just a fad.

[Image and YouTube video via Daryl Deino]

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