While the fate of Samsung’s professional camera lineup is seriously in doubt, the company is looking to capitalize on the newest growth market: 360-degree imaging and virtual reality. Samsung already makes a VR headset and with the Gear 360, they now have their own 360-degree camera. The eyeball-shaped Gear 360 captures 3840 x 1920 video or 7776 x 3888 stills that are viewable in 2D via a mobile app or in 3D when using the company’s Gear VR headset. It uses a pair of f/2 fish-eye lenses and two 15-megapixel image sensors to capture its video or 30-megapixel still images. If you don’t want the full 360-degree experience, you can opt to shoot at 180-degrees leveraging just one sensor and lens. The stitching isn’t handled in-camera. Instead, you’ll have to sync the Gear 360 with certain models of Samsung smartphones (Galaxy S7, S7 edge, etc.) via Wi-Fi to get a real-time preview of your footage as well as the ability to stitch, download and share immersive clips. PC software will also be available for stitching if you don’t own a Samsung phone. Unstitched footage is also saved to microSD cards in the H.265 codec. The Gear 360 offers a time-lapse mode plus a looping video mode. It’s dust and splash proof and has a removable battery. It will ship with its own tripod and has a tripod thread on the bottom if you want to bring your own.
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