How to use the Samsung Gear 360 Camera

As well as the ability to hire Samsung Gear VR headsets and Samsung phones, Virtual Reality Experiences also has 360 Cameras available to rent. Our review of the Samsung 360 camera shows how much we love this piece of kit. And we are confident you will to!

In the box

The 360 Camera’s box should include:

  • The Samsung Gear 360 camera
  • A small tripod stand for the camera
  • A pouch to carry the camera
  • One USB to Mini USB lead for charging the camera and plugging it into a PC (for editing footage)
  • A battery
  • Hand strap
  • A microfiber cloth for cleaning the lens
  • The product key for 360 Action Director
  • And the instruction manual and warranty

Setting up the camera

Here are a few simple steps to get your new Samsung Gear 360 up and running:

  1. Insert the battery that is included in the box, which should be charged to around 50%
  2. A high speed micro-SD card must then be inserted. This is not included and must be purchased separately
    Next, download The Gear 360 manager app
  3. Turn on the camera by holding the power button on the side of the camera which has a symbol and the word ‘back’ written on it
  4. Enable your Bluetooth on both the phone and the camera (which is done by pressing the key with the Bluetooth symbol and the word ‘menu’ written on it)
  5. Press OK on the top of the camera to select manager
  6. Select which Gear 360 Camera you would like to control from the mobile device
  7. You may now start recording!

To operate the camera, you have the option to begin recording via the phone (by pressing the red button on the top of the camera), or by pressing the centre button on the 360 Manager App on the phone.

One of its key features is an adjustable timer to ensure that you have time to position the camera correctly, and that your arm is not in every photo or the beginning of each shot.

This creates a whole new experience as we will be able to interact with characters and when gaming, allow us to aim and shoot with our eyes. This new technology is thought to lessen the chance of motion sickness by reducing the need for large head movements.

Operating the camera

Shooting modes

The camera has four shooting modes: Photo, video, time lapse, and video looping. Time lapse takes pictures every set number of seconds and stitches them together. Video looping is a memory saving function that overwrites itself when shooting video and has been recording for a set amount of time.

Altering camera settings in live view on the phone

  • The button to the left of the recording button allows you to change which lens the camera shoots with, with the option for either of the lenses individually or dual-lens shooting
  • The button to the right of the recording button allows you to change the camera view in live mode on the phone, with the options for panorama, 360 view, or dual view
  • Camera options are available by pressing the arrow in the top right corner of the phone’s screen
  • Clicking the ‘360’ icon allows you to adjust the video resolution
  • The clock icon allows you to change the length of the timer before recording starts
  • +/- is the icon for altering the exposure, from -3 to +3 for the amount of light in your shot. A lower exposure is best for bright lights and a higher exposure suits dim lighting more. Be careful not to overexpose or underexpose your shot though, as too much or too little light may ruin your footage
  • ‘WB’ is for white balance, which is the adjustment of colour so the result looks natural. You can choose from auto, daylight, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent, or aqua
    • Auto lets the camera guess the appropriate white balance
    • Daylight is best for shooting outdoors
    • Cloudy works for cloudy days or shooting in shaded areas, and will ensure the result is ‘warmer’ than with natural sunlight
    • Incandescent is for normal household lighting and prevents images that are too blue.
    • Similarly, fluorescent should be used if footage looks to green or when shooting under fluorescent lighting
    • Aqua is for shooting under water due to the Gear 360’s water resistance (up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes)
  • HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and is a feature useful for balancing exposure throughout an image. The camera works out what the difference is between the brightest and the darkest parts of a shot
  • Clicking on the cog takes you to the settings menu, where you can toggle a number of features.
  • ISO is able to be adjusted from a range of 400 to 6400, and allows the camera’s lens to detect more or less light for better exposure. Increased ISO makes images more grainy, so it is advisable to use the lowest ISO possible
  • Sharpness allows control of the aperture, how blurry the image is
  • Windcut is an option to diminish the background noise of blowing wind in videos
  • Location tags may be turned on to indicate where content was shot
  • Angle Auto Correct ensures orientation does not change in pictures or videos where the camera was unstable or wobbled during the recording process. You may also add a 360 logo if you wish
  • You can switch from live view to playback mode by pressing the still image in the bottom far-right corner of the screen. Here you can watch any recorded film or look at any photos you have taken. You also have the ability to share, trim, save or delete any pictures or film you have captured

Altering camera settings on the camera

By pressing the button with the word ‘menu’ and the Bluetooth logo on the side of the camera, you can scroll through all of the different shooting modes previously described. It also gives you the option to go into settings from here. You can select anything on the camera by pressing the red ‘OK’ button on the top.

The settings feature on the camera allows you to switch lenses, alter video, photo or time lapse size, change the timer length, choose how long it takes for the camera to automatically turn itself off, and gives you information about the device.