Now that the Nokia OZO VR camera is dead, there's an opening for another company to make a high quality VR camera. Say hello to the 360 Round, Samsung's brand new 360-degree camera.
The 360 Round sports a whopping 17 lenses. 16 of those are paired up, positioned horizontally, while the 17th is pointed straight up. There are also six internal microphones. All of this tech is there to enable 4K 3D video and spatial sound. By the way, that 4K video is 30fps per eye.
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There's little variance in what kind of recordings you're going to get, too. Normally, these high-end cameras do one thing really well, like recording video in 4K, and then do a bunch of things not so well. You're getting a consistent 4K recording no matter what you do with the 360 Round, whether you be recording or live streaming in 3D or 2D.
The 360 Round also comes with a gyroscope and accelerometer built in, and Samsung says its built to be both compact and durable, with a IP65 dust and water resistance rating. So you can go out and get livestream some heavy rain if you'd like.
One of the reasons Nokia shut down OZO is because it felt the VR market wasn't maturing fast enough. Samsung feels a little differently, saying the growth of VR content on Facebook, YouTube and Samsung VR (which probably also means Oculus) has increased the need for high-quality VR cameras at "reasonable prices."
Samsung is also promising that the 360 Round has a fanless design to reduce noise and weight, will livestream with "little to no latency" and come with software that enables "one-step stitching". Those are some big claims, and if it works as well as Samsung is saying it'll work then 360 video creators are going to have a powerful tool in their hands (or on their tripods). It also offers a big step up from Samsung's current 360 camera, the Gear 360.
The 360 Round will be available in the US this month before expanding internationally. There is no pricing information at the moment.