Can you believe it's been a full year since we first laid eyes on the Samsung Gear 360? A lot happens in a year, there's been so many new cameras come out over the 2016-2017 period and a question on many people's minds is: Does the Gear 360 still hold its own in 2017? So coming from someone that owns almost every single 360 camera out there other than the Nikon Keymission which has received appalling reviews which is why i haven't bought it- I have a pretty good understanding of what various cameras are offering and how they compare to our old friend the Samsung and I only picked up the Samsung myself about a month ago because I'm on iphone and I never really could justify getting it however once I got it I was amazed at how long it had taken me to discover this amazing camera this is probably the best 360 camera I own at the moment and I own all of them like I said all the consumer 360 cameras and here's why firstly I'll start with the design I really like the design of it I like that you can remove the legs that's a really handy feature that no other camera offers it's really handy having that tripod there to begin with because with almost all 360 cameras the lenses are protruding and they're very likely to get damaged if you drop it so I've destroyed four Ricoh Thetas and that is not cheap camera to replace so yes you can put your camera on a tripod or a mini tripod but often they take up too much space in your 360 photos so that's why I like the simplicity of this small one here and because it's a standard quarter inch tripod thread male and female you can attach other accessories to it so often i will attach my selfie stick to the gear 360 and just goes on like that and that is a really awesome feature and then i can put the legs on the bottom and there you go it's a camera on a stick and the presence is almost invisible underneath you can't see that so that's a really cool feature i wish more 360 cameras had detachable legs.
Sometimes I found they have ended up in my final shot when they've been spread out that far so it's not always ideal but it's still an improvement upon all the other 360 cameras I really like the simplicity of it there are only three buttons one two three and this is actually one of the only 360 cameras to have a display so you can navigate through the menu often you see the buttons but there's no display to accompany them so it's kind of guess work until you connect to the app and that can be a very fiddly process whereas here you get direct feedback and you can see all of your settings and all the various different modes I like using the Gear 360 in self timer mode so all I need to do is just press the button there and then it starts counting down from five, then you have five seconds to set up the shot that's a really cool thing and it's actually easier to use than the other cameras in terms of self timer just because you have a direct feedback in the countdown one really cool feature of the gear 360 is automatic leveling often it can be hard to get your camera perfectly vertical often when you're moving around you don't have a lot of time to set up your camera you'll end up taking a photo on an angle and then when you look around it on facebook later on or on your phone, the horizon is out of whack and it's quite disorienting with the gear 360 and the automatic leveling I can take a photo completely vertical like this and later on it will level it for me.
That is a really cool feature so no matter which angle you hold your camera and take the photo it's going to level it next we have resolution the gear 360 shoots 30 megapixel photos and 4k video so of all of the consumer 360 dual lens cameras this is the highest photo resolution and the equal highest video resolution so this is still one of the top cameras in terms of resolution for both photo and video honestly when I first bought it and I viewed the crispy beautiful 4k video on my smartphone I was like holy shit how has it taken me so long to get this camera because it's so much better than all of the other 360 cameras that do less than 4k and 4k is essential when you're wrapping a 4k image around the sphere 4k is kind of the minimum amount of pixels to really get the detail that represents your scene accurately otherwise it's just going to look blurry and look like 480p as opposed to the gear 360 which looks like 720p when you look in any individual direction and here's the part where I was going to show off the amazing Samsung gear VR headset and how you can view your 360 videos inside of it but it didn't work well maybe I'm just an idiot but after 10 minutes of fooling around and no action I gave up now you can't talk about any individual 360 camera without addressing the dreaded seam line *my hand my hand is getting cut off noooo i need this hand i need it to eat and breathe love* So because 360 cameras have two lenses you're almost always going to have a gap in between the two where things get cut off and this is something that you should try and avoid while you're shooting just try and avoid the stitch line just use common sense if something is really interesting in front of you point the front-facing lens at it don't point the side if you get too close this is no matter which 360 camera you use if you get within about a meter range of the stitch line you're going to get cut off it's as simple as that so while 360 cameras are still new in the grand scheme of things you just need to be really careful of the seam line and because of the build of the gear 360 the lenses are quite far apart almost the furthest apart out of any of the 360 camera so the gap between the lenses and the stitching is going to be greater so if you get really close to it it's going to be really noticeable so in terms of the video workflow I'm a huge proponent of sticking to your smartphone if you can i have a galaxy s7 edge and i can do almost everything i need using my phone and importing my gear 360 footage to the collect video up where i can edit 360 video there i can also turn my footage and photos into tiny planets using theta plus and theta plus video for android so i try my best to stick to mobile however if you do to do something more advanced you might want to import your footage to gear 360 action director if you're on Mac like I am you'll need to use a program like smart switch which will allow you to plug your Galaxy s7 into your into the computer and back it up the same way you would back up footage from a memory card and then you just simply bring it into premiere or whichever editor you're going to use the app is really simple to use firstly you've just got a gallery where you can import your photos and videos and then you can go over to live view mode here you have control over the basic settings can change your views and basic exposure but nothing too fancy like you can't do long exposures or anything change white balance can change a few stops three stops each way self-timer resolution HDR on and off something that doesn't really get talked about with this camera is the fact that you can use it as a single lens camera so this is almost the equivalent of a GoPro so I've got my camera right here and as you can see this isn't actually a 360 now because I just changed it so it's using the front-facing lens which is going to act like a GoPro going to get that single view so videographers filmmakers if you need a second normal camera that's not 360 the Samsung can do the job it's not just a 360 camera another awesome thing about this camera is that you can import all of your photos let's go save and then you can turn your phone screen off go plug it into the power and it'll do it in the background with my Theta S you need to keep the screen on or the transfer cancels so this is really handy that will save me so much time and frustration of having to always keep my phone screen on as you can see it's telling me that it's doing it in the background there this brings me to the weaknesses of the camera and the number one complaint I get and I've gotten to the past year is that it is not compatible with iPhone this is a huge one because I think roughly 60 or 70 percent of camera users are on iphone so it's really a big hassle because it means that most of us can't actually use it without getting a samsung phone this is something that's going to be addressed with the new Samsung gear 360 which is coming out soon however for the current edition you need to ask yourself is this camera worth buying a samsung phone for? so you can operate it you know what I did it and my answer is yes it is it's that good of a camera that I would happily pay eight hundred dollars total it's about 200 to 250 for one of these cameras and then maybe five or six hundred dollars for a smartphone I think it's worth it to be honest the video quality is just that good that beautiful 4k 360 video is so alluring I would pay eight hundred dollars for this camera so if you're thinking about it I know it's not ideal and maybe you do want to wait for the next samsung gear 360 but for those of you who have been tempted by the idea of getting a samsung phone as well as an iphone I'd say definitely consider it I've got two phones it's just handy to have so it's an option it's not ideal but it's an option again wait for the next gear 360 if you don't want to do that the next weakness is no manual exposure at the moment only one 360 camera gives you full manual control of your camera and that's the Theta S and the gear 360 doesn't let you do it unfortunately this means the camera is not good in low-light you can't do a long exposure photo and I wouldn't even bother taking out at night time to be honest because it's going to be so dark and grainy that the footage is going to be unusable so if you're into shooting at nighttime this probably is not the camera for you I go for the Theta at this point no 360 camera is ideal at night time for 360 video the sensors just aren't good enough you can't get your ISO high enough so that's not really an option try to stick to daytime shooting if you can so even though a full year has passed has the gear 360 become irrelevant? I say hell no this is one of the best if not the best 360 camera money can buy at the moment so if you can get your hands on one I'd absolutely recommend it if you are on Android this camera is no-brainer you must buy this camera just stop paying rent stop eating stop buying presents for your girlfriend or boyfriend and buy this damn camera because this is going to change your life it delivers way more value than the tiny 200 and something dollar price tag so absolutely get one if you're on android and again iphone users consider it a 750 or eight hundred dollar investment with that said yes the new gear 360 will be coming out very soon and it looks amazing I can't wait to get my hands on it however some of the specs aren't as good as this gear 360 so you will want to still consider this one it has better photo resolution higher resolution video then the new one that's coming out essentially the new one will be like the theta SC is to the current Theta S it's like a cheaper version that is an attempt to get more people on board with Samsung's brand.
Alright guys I'll put a link in the description to where you can find the gear 360 on Amazon get it for 200 something dollars there is a bargain I spend that much on coffee every week so until next time keep living your life in 360 and once you own a 360 camera like this one you'll want to check out my ebook it's called life in 360 a beginner's guide to tiny planet photography and it'll teach you everything you need to know about this really cool photography style called tiny planet photography I think it'll help you out.
Alright guys peace!.