Samsung is going to start selling its new Gear 360 camera this Thursday for $229, the company announced Wednesday. The camera will be available via Best Buy, Amazon, a number of mobile phone carriers as well as Samsung’s own online store, according to a news release.
Consumers who buy one of the company’s new flagship phones will be able to get the camera for just $49. This promotion lasts until June 19, and is only available through Samsung’s website.
The Gear 360 is capable of shooting 4K 360-degree video as well as 15 megapixel photos. Combined with a compatible smart phone, it can also be used to live stream 360-degree video to Facebook, YouTube and Samsung’s own VR video platform. However, the app necessary for this kind of live streaming, as well as remote control of the camera, is only available for Samsung phones.
The new Gear 360 replaces Samsung’s existing 360-degree consumer-grade camera by the same name, which the company first introduced a year ago. The original model of the Gear 360 came with a lower video resolution, and without the ability to stream 360-degree live video.
Cameras like the Gear 360 are clearly targeting consumers, and can’t compete with prosumer or profession 360-degree and VR video recording equipment, which often sells for thousands of dollars. However, some researchers believe that it doesn’t take super-expensive recording equipment to produce compelling VR footage. Case in point: Adobe Research recently demonstrated a method to turn consumer-grade monoscopic 360-degree footage into VR-ready 3D video.