You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a dark time for 360 degree filmmaking, following the recent announcement by Nokia to withdraw funding from its virtual reality (VR) endeavours. Resulting in the loss of a number of jobs and the shutting down of further development on its professional grade 360 degree camera, the OZO VR. Not so however, and as one door closes another one opens – and it’s Samsung this time doing the opening.
The South Korean conglomerate has, of course, already got a 360 degree camera on the market, the Samsung Gear 360 – not to be confused with its smartphone-based VR head mounted display (HMD) the Samsung Gear VR. Originally revealed during 2016’s Mobile World Congress during one of the semi-regular Samsung Unpacked events. An updated 2017 model was revealed earlier this year at a similar Unpacked event.
Today’s reveal as part of the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC 2017) in San Francisco, California introduced the world to a new camera and one not using the “Gear” brand.
The Samsung 360 Round, is, despite its name, not spherical in nature. Instead only appearing disc shaped, like a puck or frisbee, and features the ability to livestream 4K 3D video and spatial audio with “little-to-no latency” thanks to its seventeen lenses. With eight pairs of lenses around the circumference and singular additional lens pointing skyward from its centre. Samsung also highlighted their efforts to make it as durable as possible, the fanless camera (made so to reduce and background audio) also being water and dust resistant.
Long time VRFocus readers may think the design looks a tad familiar; that’s because the Samsung 360 Round appears to have its origins in a 360 degree camera, again with streaming as a centre point, which was first revealed way back in November 2014. Then called Project Beyond, the camera which was also disc-shaped with paired lenses began sign-ups for prototype kits in 2015 and last appeared on our radars back at CES in January 2016. VRFocus managing to get a hands-on with Project Beyond straight after its announcement in 2014.
Speaking via a press release by the company, the Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team, Suk-Jea Hahn described where the camera was being aimed. “The Samsung 360 Round is a testament to our leadership in the VR market. We have developed a product that contains innovative VR features, allowing video producers and broadcast professionals to easily produce high quality 3D content. The combination of livestreaming capabilities, IP65 water and dust resistance and 17 lenses makes this camera ideal for a broad range of use cases our customers want—from livestreaming major events to filming at training facilities across various industries.”
A full set of specifications for the Samsung 360 Round has been provided by Samsung and you can find these below. No comment was made regarding price at this time, although Samsung did confirm that it would be available later this month in the United States with it coming to additional markets “over time”. VRFocus will, of course, bring you further information when details are clarified further.
17 cameras with:
– 1/2.8”, 2M image sensor
– F1.8 Lens
– 6 internal microphones for spatial audio
– 2 external microphone ports supported
– Livestreaming (3D): 4096 x 2048 at 30fps per eye
– Livestreaming (2D): 4096 x 2048 at 30fps
– Recording (3D): 4096 x 2048 at 30fps per eye
– Recording (2D): 4096 x 2048 at 30fps
MP4 (H.265/ H.264)
3D: 4k x 2k per eye / 2D: 4k x 2k
Internal: LPDDR3 10GB, eMMC 40GB
External: UHS-II SD Card (up to 256GB), SSD (up to 2TB)
LAN, USB Type-C
Gyrometer and Accelerometer
19V 2.1A Power input (with AC adaptor)
PC Software Requirements
2 PC software (for Camera Control / Streaming, Content Viewing)
For Post Processing:
– Windows 10
– 64-bit OS for 4K video editing
– 16 GB DDR4 RAM 2ea or more
– 850W power
– Intel Core i7-6700K or above
– GPU NVIDIA GTX 1080 x 1ea
For Preview and Live Broadcast (as above):
– Intel Core i7-6950X or above
– 32GB DDR4 RAM 2ea or more
– GPU NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti x 2ea
205 x 205 x 76.8mm, 1.93kg
IP65 Dust and Water resistance