Samsung Gear 360 vs LG 360 Cam: comparison

Introduction


One might be complaining all day long that mobile technology is not advancing at the same break-neck speed it did just a few years back.

And that could be true, but it does not mean there is no excitement in tech. Quite the opposite: there has been one new category that has exploded recently, and yes, it’s virtual reality. With the arrival of affordable and relatively good VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, it’s now easy to get immersed in content.

Up until recently, though, there was no way to actually create content yourself for those virtual reality experiences.

Two cameras have appeared at almost the same time, aiming to change all that: the LG 360 Cam and Samsung’s Gear 360. Both capture 360-degree videos and photos via a dual-lens camera system, with both lenses capturing more than 180° field of view. Are these first consumer-centric 360° cameras good enough right now, and which of the two is the better purchase? We dive in deeper to find out.

Design

There’s two aspects to design: good looks and practicality.


The looks department is important, but it’s arguably not the fundamental criteria by which one should judge a camera. Still, the Gear 360 is our favorite in terms of looks: the white sphere with its spread-out tripod legs looks like a cute alien, and it’s definitely more eye-catchy and noticeable than the greyish, under-the-radar LG 360 Cam. Both are built well and put together solidly, but the Gear 360 has a more substantial weight and heft, both of which we consider an advantage for a camera that is expected not to fall down at a gust of wind’s notice. The Gear 360 is also splash-proof, which is a definite plus for those who would get closer to water with their videos and images. However, its IP53 rating (the same as on the HTC 10 phone, for instance) will not fully protect it from water, so you should definitely not submerge the spherical camera in water or take it with you in the shower.

Then, there is practicality: the single button on the LG 360 Cam is an example in that regard. Positioned right where your thumb resides, it’s extremely convenient and quick to press. The LG 360 Cam itself is fast to start and has just two modes: short press the button to take a picture, and long-press it to start video. A sound notification / acoustic prompt lets you know whether you’ve taken a picture or started recording video. Convenient and absolutely great for impromptu shooting.

The Samsung Gear 360, on the other hand, is far less practical. Its spherical form looks cool, but also makes it much more likely that you will touch one or both lenses with your fingers and stain it. Its shutter button is way up top, and you have to stretch your fingers and shuffle the cam in your hand just to reach it. Plain inconvenient! The camera also has four shooting modes and that might be a bit of an excess complexity for some who want to quickly start a video or take a picture. In contrast to the LG camera, there is no shortcut for video or image recording on the Gear 360, and it takes a few clicks to find the right mode:you have to be looking at the camera’s tiny screen, while on the LG rival you can just shoot without ever looking or thinking.

Both cameras come with a standard tripod mount screw on the bottom (you have to remove the built-in mini tripod on the Gear 360 to see it), and that’s great. This way, you can attach the camera to a tripod, a bike helmet, or other mounts.



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8 Comments

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7599; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You guys said that the Gear 360 goes the extra mile and provides HDR, white balance, iso settings. When the LG 360 cam also has that and more. Not to mention LG's 360 camera has 5.1 surround sound recording. Samsung's does not. I would agree Samsung's takes better pictures. But it is not worth double the price. Also I don't need to have another bulge in the side of my pants. Whereas LG's is definitely discreet, you don't even look like you have anything in your pocket. Plus that case is great for extra protection and can be used as a handle as well. I don't know who did the testing here, but you can get 2 hours of usage from LG's 360 camera and not 1 hour.

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7599; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Also if you updated LG' 360 camera rom to the latest update, then it supports time lapse as well.

5. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

For me the fact you are forced to use one device brand is a big big con thats make Samsung one useless to me and many others. end of the story.

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7599; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Your right. You need to have a Samsung S6 device, S7/edge, Note 5/7 with the Gear 360. The Gear 360 does not support any other Android device, or iOS. The LG 360 camera supports any Android 4.4 device and iOS 8 devices.

3. zodd1982

Posts: 8; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

There is more then 1 error in this review. The Samsung gear has 2x 190° lenses not 180°. I would say it is worth double the price, it has 4k Video resolution and that is a absolute minimum for VR videos. Everything else less then that looks really bad with VR headset.

4. sgodsell

Posts: 7599; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If you use interpolation on a 2k video to bring it up to 4k, then it looks pretty good.

8. cellofellow

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 23, 2017

Any suggestions on how to do this for 360 degree video?

6. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

If you use cheap mobile phone VR yeah because using lense thats zoom in pixel like crazy will easily even make 4k resolution look bad.

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