The new Samsung Gear 360 (2017) was announced about a week ago during Samsung’s unpacking event in New York. I’ve already discussed the specs and new features of the Samsung Gear 360 (2017), but until now there has been no video for us to gawp at. Several people at the unpacking event appear to have been gifted the new Gear 360 camera and are just starting to upload video shot with it to YouTube.
Samsung Gear 360 (2017) Example Videos
Here are all the videos shot with the new Gear 360 that I could find (remember to change video settings to 4K to see the best quality).
This is a great video shot down at the beach, with soft lighting and plenty to look at. My first impressions of the video is that the increase is resolution is noticeable but not mind blowing. What is more impressive is that the accuracy of the stitching is much improved.
Great to see that the time-lapse feature has not disappeared in the 2017 version of the Gear 360, it’s one of my favorite features of the camera. This video, shot by the same person, again demonstrates that the stitching software has come on leaps and bounds. A scene like like this, with light coming almost entirely from one direction, shot with the original Gear 360 would have produced a very obvious line where the two lens images meet. The Gear 360 (2017) seems to be able to correct this issue and the line is barely noticeable.
Let’s take a look at a night shoot, where the original Gear 360 struggled.
This video is reasonably low light, OK, it’s shot in the middle of a well lit city, but it’s still night time! The new Gear 360 (2017) seems to handle lower light conditions slightly better than its predecessor and we still don’t know to what extent manual adjustments can be made. Never the less, 360 videos in low light conditions rarely turn out well unless you use a VERY expensive camera.
One of the headline features of the new 360 was a boost in video resolution. The Gear 360 can now shoot in full 4K (whereas the original was just shy of that) at an exact resolution of 4096 x 1260.
Here s an indoor shot from the unpacking event that launched the new Gear 360. Watch it and you’ll see a sea of new Samsung Gear 360’s being raised into the air. I don’t know what was going on here, but it looks cool. By now I’m quietly optimistic that Samsung has delivered a camera with improved 360 video quality, in terms of resolution, color, brightness and stitching accuracy. This video does demonstrate the issue with handheld 360 cameras, that they can produce nauseating shakiness she not held steadily. Samsung included a built in stabilization ring to help combat this issue, but this video shows me that may not be enough.
Lastly, this vlog taken on the Gear 360 (2017) by JuanBagnell demonstrates the audio capabilities of the camera. Audio is never a strong suite for any camera and it’s always better to record externally. Never the less I think the Gear 360 does a great job here in busy Times Square, you can hear him clearly there is a richness to the sound. I’m satisfied!
Analysis and Opinion
The first thing I’m looking for is a noticeable drop in fame rate, because there should be one. The new Gear 360 (2017) can only shoot in 24 frames per second, down from 30fps on the original. I’m struggling to see whether this drop in frame rate is noticeable. I’ll have to do a side by side comparison once I try out the new camera.
As for overall video quality; I’m impressed and pleasantly surprised, particularly with the accuracy of the stitching. The increase to full 4K is certainly making a difference, even if it’s not a huge one and I think I detect a slightly sharper image compared to the original. If shooting 360 video is your thing, then the new Gear 360 (2017) is worth the upgrade, whether 360 photos are going to hold up as well remains to be seen.