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The New Samsung Gear 360

Samsung Gear 360

Here it is, the much awaited Samsung Gear 360 camera. Very much looking forward to putting it to the test and seeing how it compares to my Izugar Z2XC which is a back to back 2 x GoPro system with third party wide angle lenses fitted. So far it's the only consumer grade 360 video camera that can record 4k footage except for the bulky Kodak system, so will this be a game changer? I intend to find out by answering a few questions: How well does the auto stitch work? Can the footage be stitched manually in Kolor's Auto Pano Video & Giga? How long will it record for at 4k? Will it overheat? What kind of Parallax dead zone do we need to consider and most importantly, is the quality any good? Well, I got straight on to running my tests and I found the following. The Autostitch works o.k but there are some serious issues with colour matching, I'll see if I can work out how to manually stitch in Kolor's software later. So how long will it record for at 4k? I set it up on a table in my studio and set it off with a Sandisk Extreme 64gb card and full battery and found that after 55 minutes it shut down due to over heating. I let it sit for 5 mins before kicking it off again to find that 15 minutes later it shut down again however I was impressed with the battery life as it still had plenty of juice. So after a 10 minute break I set it off again and manged a further 30 or so minutes before the battery finally died, pretty impressive seeing as I had the WiFi turned on. So, if the camera was to be used in colder conditions it's likely to provide around an hour and a half of footage before the battery dies, maybe more. So what about the Parallax dead zone? I checked this whilst viewing live via my Samsung Galaxy S6 and found that approx. a meter is the minimum distance between the camera and closest object. What about the quality? For a consumer level camera, the quality is better than I was expecting, it really does struggle in low light so best to avoid going higher that 400 ISO. It'll never be my 'go-to' rig but it'll certainly have it's place in my kit bag. It's ideal when you have a fast turnaround job or for client previews on location. All in all, Samsung have done pretty well for a first attempt, it looks good and the overall quality is also good. I'll report again when I've put it through it's paces in more depth.

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