Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Inexpensive waterproof case for the Samsung Gear 360 and other 360 cameras



The Samsung Gear 360 (reviewed here) has a waterproof housing but it seems to be available only in Europe so far.  Meanwhile, you can use the Samsung Gear 360 underwater with an inexpensive waterproof case / pouch, which also works for other 360 cameras.  In this post, I'll show two of them.


It's fun to use a 360 camera while swimming or underwater!


I've used smartphone waterproof pouches for the Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 Nano.  Besides being waterproof, these pouches are soft, which allows me to press the buttons on the camera without needing a remote.  Here's a sample shot with a Ricoh Theta S.

I found that it's best to use a waterproof pouch that is totally transparent to avoid the bag showing up in the shot, as in the photo above.

I searched for a waterproof pouch that was totally transparent and reasonably priced.  I found one called the Stalion, which is rated IPX8.  I've tested it at the beach.  Here's a video, where I used it with an Insta360 Nano:


The Stalion works for the Ricoh Theta S and the Insta360 Nano.  However, it won't work for the Samsung Gear 360, which is too large to fit in it.

Fortunately, I found another waterproof pouch called the DryPak DPC-69.  It measures 6 inches x 9 inches, is transparent on both sides, and yes, it accommodates the Samsung Gear 360.



Here's how the stitching looks on the Gear 360:


The DryPak DPC-69 will also fit the Insta360 Nano with your smartphone (the Stalion will only fit the Nano itself, without an iPhone).

Here's how the stitching looks on the Insta360 Nano with iPhone:


Note: unlike other smartphone pouches I've purchased, the DryPak doesn't include a neck strap or wrist strap, although it includes holes where you can thread your own strap.

As with smartphone pouches, the DryPak will allow you to use the touchscreen.  However, in my experience, you can't use the touchscreen underwater (I believe the water mitigates the electrical signal from your finger).

Please note that waterproof pouches do have limitations:
- you need to make sure there's no sand or dirt that can interfere with the seal
- hot water (over 85 F) will soften the plastic, resulting in leaks.  For the same reason, you shouldn't leave it in the sun.
- avoid putting sharp or abrasive objects.

I will be taking the DryPak with me to a resort next week and will post underwater photos!

If you would like to purchase a Stalion case or DryPak, please consider buying one through these Amazon links, which will support 360 Rumors so I can do further tests and reviews.  Thank you very much!