Besides the gargantuan launch of Samsung‘s new flagships, they’ve also bundled a sweet little 360 camera called the Gear 360 just to spice things up. And I’m not kidding when I say sweeeeeeeet. It looks like something cute and cuddly out of a children’s novel that you just know is going to be made into a million plush toys and its own movie.
The design philosophy is pretty obvious here: It’s clearly a golf ball.
Okay, maybe Samsung didn’t have a golf ball in mind when they designed it (or did they?) but you can’t help but draw similarities. It’s white, round and comes perched on its own…tee… ahem, tripod, so that it can stand all by its lonesome. This ball of cuteness comes with two fisheye lenses mounted back to back — both sporting its own dedicated 15-megapixel CMOS sensor — and is designed to let users “become the creator of their own virtual reality content”.
These 15MP sensors allow users to capture high-resolution 3840×1920 360-degree video at 30 frames per second and 30MP still images. If you don’t want the full 360-degrees for some reason even though you bought a 360-degree camera, you can also shoot 180-degrees using just one of the two 15MP sensors. The Gear 360 offers Bright Lens F2.0 which creates “high-resolution images even in low-light conditions” so that can be useful if you want to film, say, a sunrise from the top of the Himalayas.
Although it comes with its own tripod, it doesn’t mean that you will be limited to it and it alone as the Gear 360 supports the standard tripod thread mount that is also compatible with a wider selection of accessories and mounts. It also has support for a microSD card (up to 128GB) and is IP53 certified dust and water resistant. So not really a tool to film your underwater explorations then. That said, it also has a tiny 0.5-inch 72×72 PMOLED display and a record button at the top. On one side, it has a menu and back button that doubles as a Bluetooth and power button respectively.
Keeping everything running is a removable 1,350 mAh li-ion battery which brings the total weight of the entire device to 153g.
The thing about Samsung’s launch during the Mobile World Congress is that they’re not only launching a smartphone or a camera, they’re launching an ecosystem. A Galaxy if you wish. They, along with several other tech giants, have realised that diversifying is the key — selling you more stuff that you might not need but you definitely want.
I can’t help but want this little Gear 360 because it opens up a whole host of content creation possibilities. Just imagine GoPro cameras. Previously the niche product of extreme sports aficionados, GoPros are now a staple equipment for any creative content creator and the Gear 360 has the potential to be the next GoPro.
What do you guys think of this 360-degree camera? Let us know in the comments below.