Samsung’s Gear 360 launched today at the company’s Unpacked event, so what exactly is this diminutive immersive capture device capable of? Here are the official specifications direct from Samsung and whilst some impress, others leave a little to be desired.

The Gear 360 is unashamedly targeted as a consumer product. No high-flying pro-sumer technical specifications here, and none should be expected from a device which must aim for a price point attractive to casual users. Nevertheless, the spherical 360 camera packs quite a punch for a device so small.

See Also: A Tour of Samsung’s New Gear 360 Camera in 9 Hi Res Images

Starting with the highs, with Gear 360 you get dual, opposed camera sensors capable of capturing 3840×1920 for a resulting combined 7776×3888 frame. The sensors themselves are 15 megapixel CMOS varieties mounted with fish-eye lenses, it contains a 1350mAh lithium ion battery and it all weighs only 153g sans tri-pod – in a package that measures just 66.7×56.2x60mm. What’s more, the device packs handles encoding using the latest H.265 (aka HEVC) Video Codec – which means video will be crunched extremely effectively.

Gear 360_KV_03

However, the device disappoints on capture rate. Those impressive 7776×3888 resolution frames can only be captured at up to 30 frames per second. And whilst there is still a running debate on how comfortable linear video is when viewed inside VR at a lower frame rate than the headset, it’s certainly not ideal. Furthermore, the 128GB SD Card limit seems potentially low. That said, HEVC can work wonders with high resolution video so perhaps we’ll reserve judgement on that one.

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Samsung's New Standalone VR Headset May be Called 'Odyssey'

Gear 360_right

So, on the whole an impressive package perhaps let down by frame rate issues. No word just yet on price, but Samsung are aiming for a Q2 2016 delivery.

Here are the raw specs for reference:

  • Camera: Two CMOS 15 megapixel fisheye cameras Image Processor DRIMe5s
  • Video: MP4 (H.265) – Dual Lens: 3840×1920 (30fps)
  • Image: JPEG – Dual Lens: 30M (7776×3888)
  • Audio Codec: MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
  • Memory (You mean storage -Ed): microSD card (Up to 128GB)
  • Features: Display- 0.5” (72 x 32) PMOLED
  • Shooting mode: Video, Photo, Time Lapse Video, Looping Video
  • Camera mode: Dual/Single Lens modeCamera Setting – Sharpness, White Balance, HDR, EV, ISO limit, Wind cut IP53 Certified Dust and Water Resistant
  • Samsung Services: Samsung Gear 360 App, PC S/W (Gear 360 ActionDirector)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)WiFi Direct, BT v4.1USB 2.0NFC
  • Sensor: Accelerometer, GyroscopeDimension 66.7×56.2×60 mm
  • Weight: 153g (including battery)
  • Battery: 1,350mAh Li-ion

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  • Frame rate kills it for me unfortunately. I’d have to see it to be sure, but when using VR, frame rate that low can be a little jarring.

    • Slav Game Dev

      Not really. If I’m not mistaken, it would be a problem if the headset updated the display 30 times per second, but it wont – it will update your viewport at least 60 times a second. It’s just that what you are looking at, the “virtual sphere”, will be updated at 30FPS. The motion of the objects around you wont be as smooth, but your own ability to look around will not be impaired, and you should not get sick.

      • zzkkttrr

        Speaking from experience, any VR video significantly less than 60 FPS doesn’t “feel real” in VR (ignoring the lack of 3D). It might not be jarring, but it defeats the purpose of VR.

        • Ryan

          I wonder if it can be interpolated, the way some TVs do.

          • yag

            Look for “SmoothVideo Project”. It works very well to watch 30fps youtube videos at higher framerate.

  • Gear VR User

    Not terribly impressed. This only captures 2D 360 degree video, and two-dimensional media is underwhelming in VR. Come out with a *3D* 360 degree video recorder and we’ll have something great to talk about.

    • Nathaniel Hart

      The impressive part isn’t the camera or its specs, it’s the $100 price point. thats 1/10 the cost of the cheapest 3d 360 cameras. The highest-end 3d 360 cameras (Lytro, etc) cost 5,000x as much.

      This camera is important because it is accessible. You won’t want to shoot on it professionally, but it could be a great tool for prototyping, pre-vis, and experimentation.

      • Super Game-guru

        Where you read that the price will be 100$?
        I heard that is 420$ (and i think is a right price for a camera like this…)

    • yag

      I think 2D 360° videos are already working great in VR (stereoscopy is not the most important for immersion).

    • ConceptVBS

      Samsung has Project Beyond for 3D stereoscopic camera.

    • Beau Runnels

      Ughh… you should go buy an OZO

  • yag

    The low framerate is no such big deal, we just need VR players with software interpolation (SmoothVideo Project aready works very well to get 60fps in the Rift from 30fps videos)

  • ConceptVBS

    Using the same image processing chip inside Samsung’s NX1 DSLR camera!

  • Beau Runnels

    “128GB SD Card limit seems potentially low” ????? For What?? Is H.265 really that much of a Memory Hog?

    And the whole gripe about 30fps… uhhhh what? 90% of video out there is 30fps its kinda the industry standard. As longs as you screen has a decent refresh rate, 30fps is excellent for video.

    I am more worried about Shutter Speed and how “Manual” we can get with this. Will we be able to control ISO, Shutter Speed, White Balance, and dynamic range?

    • Trey Liner

      I can’t find anything about shutter speed control!

  • Stephen Jones

    I still do not understand the issue with fps. As long as headset refresh is at 60 plus and the player does not drop this reate then video can be lower and people do not notice.