Friday, April 14, 2017

Photo and video comparison between 2017 Gear 360 and original Gear 360

Here are comparison photos and videos from the original Samsung Gear 360 and the 2017 Samsung Gear 360 (available herefirst impressions here).

Update: see also this comparison

I took some photos and videos with the original Gear 360 and the 2017 Samsung Gear 360 (available herefirst impressions here).  The original Gear 360 photos and videos were stitched on Action Director.  The 2017 Gear 360 photos and videos were stitched on a Samsung S6 with the prerelease app.

Here are the videos:

Update: see also this comparison (original files viewed on Gear VR)

Here are the comparison photos:

For the photos, here are the exposures (please note the original has an aperture of f/2 while the 2017's aperture is f/2.2):

Original: 1/125, ISO 100
2017: 1/100 ISO 160

Tree with bright leaves:
Original: 1/800, ISO 100
2017: 1/800, ISO 100

Tree with carvings:
Original: 1/400, ISO 100
2017: 1/500, ISO 100

Original: 1/3200, ISO 100
2017: 1/3200, ISO 100

Here are some of my observations:
Photo detail: at first glance, without zooming, the photos look similar.  But if you look closely, the original's photos have more detail and the photos look more crisp.
crop from 2017

crop from original
Video detail: to me, it seems that the original and the 2017 have similar amounts of detail.

Chromatic aberration: the original has very little CA.  The new one has more noticeable purple fringing near the stitch line.

Flare: the original has decent flare resistance but the area around the lens can show up as a reflection.  Not so with the new Gear 360.
The 2017 has excellent flare resistance

The old Gear 360's concentric rings around the lens can be reflected into the lens.
Dynamic range: If we account for the 1/3 stop difference in exposures due to the 2017's smaller aperture, I would estimate that the dynamic ranges between them are similar.

Stitching: As I mentioned before, the 2017's stitching is already very good, but is better when stitched on Action Director.

2017 stitched with Action Director

2017 stitched with its app

I think that so far, it looks like the original Gear 360 holds its own against the 2017, and if you have all the requirements to use it (compatible phone, compatible desktop, etc.), then it could be a bargain (assuming you don't need live streaming).  The original Gear 360 is available on Amazon (under $200) and on B&H Photo for around $200.  The 2017 Gear 360 is available on eBay for around $350.

Anyway, these are just my own observations.  The photos and videos are there for you to judge for yourself and come to your own conclusions.  What do you think?  Let me know your thoughts and observations in the comments!  Updatesee also this comparison


  1. Thanks so much for these comparisons. Maybe I shouldn't give up my quest to buy the original for $100. I heard there are overheating issues on the original. Have you noticed anything on the new one?

    1. Yes the original will stop recording after about 25 mins. It also suffers from blurgate. The new one can record around 30 mins. at 4K or 130 mins at 2k. Both can run off USB power while recording.

      Best regards,

    2. I've not experienced near the issues with overheating as I constantly hear about. I've recorded for upwards of 1 hour without issues, in varying conditions as well.
      I guess it depends on how you use the camera and how you cross your fingers.

    3. Hey Rich, can you talk about how you powered it in those situations?

    4. In all situations, I've powered the camera with the included battery. Shooting conditions varied from an indoor theatre and home tour in southern Florida, to the camera mounted on a vehicle on a 98 degree day traveling at 55mph down a highway.
      In all cases, the camera has been powered with an internal battery.

    5. @Rich you mean 1 hour nonstop recording? What were the shooting conditions? May I know what Micro SD card you use?

      Best regards,

  2. I may go with the original one too (I previously had it).
    There was always the 'blurgate' issue though, which I assume the new one will have fixed by moving all the components down south?

    1. Hi briwil. I will test it but so far I haven't noticed blurgate in the new one.

      Best regards,

  3. Hi Mic Ty,
    Just wanted to say thanks for this fairly comprehensive run down on the two cameras. The 360 gallery comparing identical shots from both cameras was really helpful in making a decision on which route to take

    1. Thanks Mike. Also check this comparison:

      Best regards,

  4. I lost my product key for activating action director? Anyone got product key to share? Or any ideas?


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