Ever wanted to make your own 360 or VR content? read on. Oh, you’ll learn how to watch it after also.
Gone are those days when you need a huge piece of kit that costs thousands to capture 360 or VR content. Let’s not even talk about the hassle and effort it took to stitch the content together.
Compact cameras aren’t the only imaging devices that are no longer needed when you have a smartphone in your pocket, you can now capture your own 360/VR content and watch it with no hassle using a gadget that’s about the size of an egg.
What you’ll need
Unless you insist on a getting something that costs about $15,000 from GoPro, you can get the Samsung Gear 360, it’s portable, has a tripod mount thread for a selfie stick and more.
It features a dual 15MP fish eye lens setup, so a combined 30MP when shooting pictures. That’s high res enough for sharing your holiday experience in 360 on Facebook.
You will need a Samsung Galaxy S7 or the S7 edge, though, and that’s where the cost goes up a little, but you will be getting your money’s worth as you can insert your phone in a VR goggle after to see what you captured.
Elsewhere, the Gear 360’s got a microSD card slot which I have a 64GB storage installed, WiFi for direct content transfer if you want to take it further, NFC/Bluetooth for fast pairing with your smartphone.
You can use it outdoors with no problem as it’s dust and splash-proof. It’s so tiny it fits in your pocket and within a few minutes, you can start capturing your content.
For viewing, you can either just play your content back on your phone, or you can get the Samsung Gear VR headset, which some stores give free with a Galaxy S7/S7edge purchase.
The VR headset allows you to slide and plug in your phone, so you can look around your images or videos in 360/VR environment and immerse yourself, or let your friends and family see.
How to capture 360 images and videos using your Gear 360
The video above is a quick guide from Samsung, however, you may need a little more information and I have also listed the steps below for reading on the move:
- You will need to download the Samsung Gear 360 App from the Google Play store or from Galaxy Apps.
- Insert a microSD card in the Gear 360 when you’re putting your battery in.
- Turn the camera on (See video above).
- For quick pairing, switch on NFC on your smartphone and tap it against the Gear 360 to pair them and get started with video and picture modes available.
- If the Gear 360 app doesn’t load automatically, then load it manually by tapping the app on your app screen.
- You can opt to shoot 360, or use one side of the camera and shoot in fish eye (180 degrees) mode. In the settings, you can switch lenses too.
- I prefer to do a lot of the interaction via the Gear 360 App, but you can also use the buttons on the camera itself to navigate and select which modes you like.
- You have the Timelapse mode, Looping video mode, Video and Photo modes. Once you’ve selected the mode you want, you can hit record in the app, or press the red button on top of your Gear 360.
- What I also like about the Gear 360 is that you can adjust ISO, White Balance, and toggle HDR on/off if you like to.
Once yo have captured your content, viewing it is a lot of fun. You can share the experience by playing back on your Galaxy S7 or S7 egde, on your PC with Samsung’s ActionDirection software or you can get immersive and use a Gear VR headset.
If you decide to view on your Gear VR, you will need to open the Gear 360 App, locate the file you want to view and select the option to view in Gear VR. The app will then give you some instructions on how to get it going from there within minutes.
Here’s something I shot with the Gear 360 for fun: