Announced at Samsung’s Unpacked event earlier this year was a new version of the Gear 360, the company’s 360 camera. The event, which saw official announcement of the Galaxy S8/S8 plus and pricing info of the new Gear VR headset, revealed that the new Gear 360 is capable of capturing 360 video in 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24 fps, and livestreaming 2K to Facebook and YouTube. The camera is now due to launch in the US tomorrow (Thursday, May 25th) with an attractive new price of $229.
Update (5/24/17, 9:57AM PT): Since the original announcement of the new Gear 360 (also known as the 2017 Gear 360 or the Gear 360 2), Samsung has now revealed launch info for the camera in the US.
The device will hit store shelves Thursday, May 25th, priced at $229, which is $121 less than the original version launched in 2016. Samsung says the camera will be available for purchase in-store and online from Amazon, AT&T, Best Buy, T-Mobile, Verizon, US Cellular, and Samsung.
Also starting on May 25th, and running until June 19th, new purchases of the Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphone can purchase the new Gear 360 for just $49.
Original Article (3/29/17): Now fitting in a bulbous hand-held form-factor, the 2017 Gear 360 is upping the resolution and spreading support to more devices including the iPhone 7, a first for the little 360 camera. Last year’s model shot at a max resolution of 3840 x 1920 at 30 fps, didn’t include livestreaming, and only connected to a a number of select Samsung handsets.
Samsung hasn’t released pricing and availability yet, but the company maintains shipping will start sometime in April or May and cost less than last year’s model at $350.
Gear 360 Specs (2017)
- CMOS 8.4MP x2 / F2.2 lens (Default output pixel count equivalent to 15MP) Dual Lens Mode, Single Lens Mode (Front/Rear) Video, Photo, Time lapse, Video looping, Landscape HDR EV, Sharpness, White Balance, HDR, Wind Cut, ISO Limit (up to 1600) Horizontal Correction, Geo Tagging (via Smartphone)
- Still Capturing (Max Resolution) 360˚ Dual Lens: up to 15MP (5472 x 2736) Single Lens: up to 3MP (2304 x 1296) Format: JPEG
- Video Recording (Max Resolution) 360˚ Dual Lens: up to 4096 x 2048 (24fps) Single Lens: up to 1920 x 1080 (60fps) Codec: MP4 (H.265)
- Recording time: Up to 130 mins (2560 x 1280 / 30fps)
- Battery: 1,160mAh
- Sensor: Gyro and Accelerometer
- Smartphone compatibility: Galaxy S8, S8+, S7, S7 Edge, Note5, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, A5/A7 (2017) running Android 5.0 or later. iPhone 7, 7+, 6S, 6S+, SE running iOS 10.0 or later.
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.1, USB 2.0 (Type-C)
- Water & Dust proof: IP53 (Dust and Splash-proof)
Like its predecessor, video is managed through the Samsung Gear 360 app, allowing the camera to change views and apply multiple modes on the fly. Samsung says that the app will also allow you to convert 360 content into a standard video or photo format.
Live-stream capture is sent wirelessly to PC or any one of the supported smartphones first, and then uploaded to either YouTube or Facebook as live broadcasts. It’s uncertain if Gear VR headsets will have access to these live-streams.
Everyone in attendance at Unpacked received a free Gear 360. Last year’s ‘gift’ was a Gear VR headset.
While you wait for pre-orders, check out this hands-on demo from Samsung’s own Newsroom in the meantime.
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