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Samsung Gear 360 unboxing and hands-on

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Like them or not, 360-degree photos and videos — those that allow you to look up, down, left, and right — could be the future of social media, and Samsung is well-positioned to take advantage of this development following the release of the Gear 360 camera.

The Korean phone maker says it wants to make immersive experiences accessible to all, and sees the product as an important step forward in this respect.

Unveiled at MWC 2016 in Barcelona earlier this year, the hardware captures 360-degree photos and videos using two 15-megapixel fisheye cameras mounted on a white plastic sphere the size of a golf ball.

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And like a golf ball, the Gear 360 feels pretty substantial, thanks to all the technology packed inside and the 1,350mAh removable battery designed to last an entire recording session. Multiple shoots, in all likelihood, will require a spare battery or two.

The device ships with a tiny black tripod that doubles as a handle for when you shoot handheld. There’s also a pouch for storage and a cloth wipe for cleaning off the Gear 360 between uses.

The lenses have a maximum aperture of f/2.0 and are capable of shooting high-resolution 360-degree footage (up to 3,840 x 1,920) and 30-megapixel stills. The picture quality is good enough for the intended purpose, best under bright daylight. However, as with most smartphone cameras, the Gear 360 doesn’t perform well in low light.

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Syncing the Gear 360 with a recently released Samsung flagship — like a Galaxy Note 5, an S6, or an S7 — via the Gear 360 Manager app for Android turns the phone into a viewfinder and a screen for viewing content from the camera.

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You can also transfer photos and videos to the phone wirelessly to free up space on the camera’s microSD card. Doing so allows you to experience the content you have created in virtual reality using Samsung’s Gear VR headset, or any other virtual-reality headgear.

The Gear 360 is already available in Korea and Singapore for about $350. Samsung hasn’t revealed pricing or availability for the U.S. and other markets; a global rollout is expected in the coming months.

Cameras

Hasselblad’s new medium-format camera shoots 400MP photos

Each image file is 2.4GB!

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Did you ever feel like the resolution of your smartphone or camera’s pictures weren’t enough? Has the thought of needing 400 megapixels ever crossed your mind?

Unless your phone is from tech’s stone age or you’re a professional photographer (a really serious one), you’re likely to say no to both. Fortunately, Hasselblad doesn’t care what you, I, or other regular folks think, and has released a monstrous 400-megapixel medium-format camera.

You read that correctly: The H6D-400c MS is a real camera with an incredibly high resolution output and equally astounding price tag. This behemoth costs a whopping US$ 47,995 or EUR 39,999 (and that’s only for the body without any lenses).

See it from all angles in this official video:

You’ll notice that the 53.4 x 40mm image sensor (that’s much larger than the full-frame sensors we’re accustomed to) has only 100 megapixels on it, but the 400-megapixel outputs actually come from a technique called multi-shot.

The camera takes four 100-megapixel shots with slight shifts in pixels to produce one 23200 x 17400-pixel photo, which is equal to 400 megapixels. As you can imagine, the file size would be massive — a single TIFF image is 2.4GB! You could easily fill up a 1TB hard disk during a single photo shoot.

This clearly isn’t for regular consumers. Only pros who need to capture every single detail of a subject and post-process on a large monitor would be interested in such a camera.

If you’ve reached this point and are seriously considering one, pre-orders are already being accepted and shipping begins in March.

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Cameras

Quick look: Kodak’s instant cameras and printers

Kodak has cute gadgets they want you to try

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At CES 2018, we got to try out a number of Kodak devices — and by that, I mean we got to play with their instant cameras and printers!

Here’s what the famous camera brand has to offer:

PRINTOMATIC Instant Camera

Announced just last year, it’s the first Kodak-branded camera in recent years. This gadget instantly prints photos on sticker paper — a fun spin on yesteryears’ instant cameras (and pretty reminiscent of Polaroid’s Snap).

These cute devices use ZINK Photo Paper. It prints faster and there’s no ink involved! The PRINTOMATIC comes in original Kodak yellow and gray. It retails for US$ 70.

Mini Shot Instant Print Camera

This 10-megapixel instant camera does not only print sticker photos, it also houses a screen that allows you to preview and edit what you’re about to print. You can also connect to your phone via Bluetooth and edit away with the Kodak Mini Shot App.

Unlike the PRINTOMATIC, this teeny device uses an all-in-one ink and paper cartridge. Basically, it’s a tiny printer that does CMYK printing (how normal printers work) which ensures better quality prints. It comes in black, white, and the original Kodak yellow and retails for US$ 100.

Photo Printer Dock

A mini-printer designed specifically for your smartphone! You can dock you phone and print 4×6-inch photos. Aside from the dock, it’s Wi-Fi-enabled and has a USB port for transferring data. This device retails for US$ 140.

Mini Instant Photo Printer

This portable printer is even smaller. Connect with your phone via NFC Tap and Wi-Fi and voila, all the prints you want! It retails for US$ 100.

MORE ON CES 2018: GadgetMatch LIVE coverage

SEE ALSO: Polaroid Snap Touch Review: Print photos with a digital camera

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Cameras

Panasonic Lumix GH5S is great for low-light photography

Get your wallets ready!

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Panasonic just announced the newest addition to its camera roster, and it will have content creators screaming, “take my money!”

Unveiled at CES 2018, the Lumix GH5S is a hybrid mirrorless camera and a variant of last year’s highly popular GH5.

The GH5S has half the number of megapixels, down from 20.3 to 10.2, but for good reason — larger pixels means better low-light performance. Sony does the same thing, offering its A7 full-frame mirrorless camera in a few skews, including its high-resolution (42.4MP) A7R and lower resolution/high ISO (12.2MP) A7S models.

Panasonic is also talking up new tech called Dual Native ISO that helps the camera achieve low-light photos and videos with less noise.

It’s also the world’s first 4K 60p video recording camera in Cinema 4K.

Better low-light performance, 4K video recording, and a flip-out screen (just like the Lumix GH5) — the Lumix GH5S is sounding like a content creator’s dream come true.

It will be available this February, and will retail for US$ 2,500 (body only) that’s US$ 500 more than the GH5.

MORE ON CES 2018: GadgetMatch LIVE coverage

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro review

 

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