While the phones and VR headset may have gotten the lion’s share of the attention at Samsung’s press event on Wednesday, there was also a new 360 degree camera introduced at the same time: the Samsung Gear 360.
It’s a familiar name to 360 photo/video shooters (in fact, it’s the same as last year’s model) but this model’s packing a lot of updates for 2017.
The big headline change is a new form factor; there’s a “handgrip” style column below the camera “pod” that sandwiches two lenses and two 8.4 megapixel sensors together to form a 360-degree image. The camera, with an assist from a little rubber ring that sits on the wrist strap, can stand on this new appendage, but there’s still a screw mount for a tripod. The battery is built in now and charges via USB-C.
Photos come in at 15 megapixels and video gets a resolution bump from last year’s model to 4K, or 4096×2048 (compared to the old 3840×1920). The frame rate at this resolution has changed to 24fps, from last year’s 30fps, though it would have been nice to see both rates included so that it would be easier to mix-and-match footage from Gears of differing generations.
Video, photo, time-lapse, and video looping are all possible in-camera. Another new addition is live-streaming in 2K – something that not too long ago required crazy customization to get working.
If, like me, you hesitated buying the original Gear 360 because you’re in the Apple camp, that’s been addressed too: the new model is compatible with iPhones and will have Mac versions of software to edit video.
There’s been no word on price or when it will hit store shelves, but it will likely come in around the same price as the now-old Gear 360 when it does.