Whether you're a burgeoning filmmaker or just lead a really, really amazing life that needs to be captured panoramically, a 360-degree camera is the latest coveted tech accessory to land in consumers' hands. So, do we want our surroundings to turn into a Google Street Maps experience whenever the impulse takes us? Of course we do. And Samsung will help us get there.
Journalist in the field? Busy model backstage at London Fashion Week? An extreme athlete showcasing your fly-boarding skills? An eager parent who wants to capture every minute of your six-year-old’s dance recital? A family making memories on a road trip? A chef looking to chronicle the action in a Saturday night kitchen? A gamer who lives a second life in virtual reality?
A 360-degree camera is the next big thing in video, whether you want it for work or play, to experiment with or to use as a video diary to help remember the big moments in your life. It literally lets you capture your world from every angle.
It also lets you see every angle of that house you want to rent – or hotel room you’re thinking of splurging on – from the comfort of your (current) home. And the power of the 360 cam paired with today’s VR technology can do some pretty incredible things, like take those who are hospital-bound on adventures in the great outdoors.
The low down
Also known as an omnidirectional camera, a 360-degree camera gives you access to a visual field that covers 360 degrees – everything around you. These cameras are traditionally used in serious, scientific fields like robotics and surveillance, but you’ve also probably seen them in office environments (videoconferencing) and in the hands of journalists and photographers on assignment.
Some very clever person decided that we Instagram obsessives need 360-degree cameras just as desperately as any professional, so now there are a range of consumer-sized (and priced) 360-degree cameras available for anyone to buy.
Samsung in particular is a leader in the field, having launched the Gear 360 in Summer 2016. A new and improved version is making its debut in April 2017, in conjunction with the newest Samsung device, the Galaxy S8.
The new Samsung S8 is available to sync up to some brilliant accessories, from the Qi wireless charging pad to the Gear VR headpiece and remote control.
And, of course, the S8 is designed to work beautifully with the new 360-degree camera, which can even live-stream 2K video so you can live your Coachella moments over and and over again, when you’re somewhere distinctly less glamorous and look more like a tired human than a glitter-festooned fairy. Once you’ve captured your 360 video, it’s sent via smartphone to YouTube or Facebook as a Live Broadcast.
Specs & Usability
The new Gear 360 boasts two 8.4MP fish eye cameras and a battery life of 1160mAh. Last year’s tripod-like design has been changed for an easy-to-hold, mushroom-shaped model, which can capture standard video in ultra high-def, true 4K (achieving a resolution of 4096 x 2160), and will even sync to other Android phones. Bonus: It’ll connect with iOS devices, like your iPhone 7.
The 360 cam also allows you to stitch and edit footage easily (no photography training required), so we’re confident your 11-year-old will be able to teach you how to use it if you’re struggling.
Samsung Gear 360 Apps
You can also download the Gear 360 Manager app to add another dimension to your picture shenanigans. Not only does the app allow you to sync with your Samsung phone, you can also do remote shooting, save to your phone’s memory, share footage with others and it even works with your Gear VR if you have one. Boom.
Main pic: Via Samsung