Samsung Gear 360 Tips and Tricks

Get the most out of Samsung's 360 VR camera

Silhouette Woman With Daughter Riding Bicycle On Field Against Orange Sky

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Samsung’s Gear 360 is at the forefront of the 360-camera revolution. A little larger than a golf ball, the device is able to capture video at nearly 4K resolution and take 30-megapixel photos. Use these tips to take better photos and VR videos with your Gear 360 camera.

Information in this article applies to the 2017 edition of the Samsung’s Gear 360 camera.

Download the Gear 360 App

The Samsung Gear 360 app on Android

Technically, you don’t need the Gear 360 app to use the Gear 360, but you should still download it. Aside from controlling the camera at a distance, the app lets you stitch together photos and videos on the fly. Through the app, you can also share your photos and videos immediately to social media.

Get a Better Tripod or Monopod

Silhouette Man Adjusting Mobile Phone On Tripod At Shore Against Cloudy Sky
Donny Setyawan / EyeEm / Getty Images

Since the camera captures 360-degree images, you should always use a tripod rather than holding the camera when possible. The Gear 360 comes with a small tripod attachment, but it can prove problematic in situations where you don’t have the right surface to place it on. You can find monopods that work as both a tripod for your Gear 360 and as a selfie stick for your phone. Be sure to choose one that's height-adjustable and compact enough to comfortably tote around.

Use the Delay

Teenage girl vlogging, decorating cupcakes in kitchen

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While you can control the camera from afar with your smartphone, you should still take advantage of the delay feature. If you don’t use the delay for recording, then every video will start with you holding your phone. With the delay, you can set the camera up, make sure everything is perfect, and then put away your phone before recording begins.

Keep Steady

360 Degree shot of a Tree Canopy in a European Beech Forest from Ground Level
Richard Heath / Getty Images

In situations where using a tripod isn't an option, keep your hands as steady as possible while recording. This is especially important if you plan on viewing the video later using a virtual-reality headset such as Samsung’s Gear VR. Try to stay relaxed when moving with the camera, and use a tripod whenever you can.

Hold the Camera Above You

The Flatiron District

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If you hold the Gear 360 directly in front of you, as you would with most other cameras, half of the video will be taken up by your face. Instead, hoist the camera over you so that it’s recording just slightly above the top of your head.

Create a Timelapse Video

Young woman is lost in metropolitan city at night
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Timelpse Mode lets you you create 360-degree time-lapse videos. For example, you can compile a collection of photos that show your children growing over the years, or you can capture a changing skyline as the sun sets. You can set the amount of time between photos anywhere from half-a-second to a full minute.

Take More Photos

360 degree view of modern skyscrapers against sky
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Shooting lots of videos with the Gear 360 is tempting, but always ask yourself if a photo would be better for the situation. Photos take up less space and upload quickly and easily to social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube. When you upload videos, people are less likely to take the time to view them.

Get a Bigger Memory Card

Close-Up Of Memory Card By Laptop On Table
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To share videos you've recorded using the Gear 360, you must first transfer them to your phone, which requires a lot of free storage space. Do yourself a favor and max out your phone's memory capacity with a​ 128GB or 256GB microSD card. Also, considering using a cloud storage service to backup your videos online.

Use Just One Camera

Two small camera lenses on a desk
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The Gear 360 uses front- and rear-facing fisheye lenses to take 360-degree photos. While you need to use both cameras to capture fully immersive photos, you can opt to use just the front or back camera for taking a single shot. The resulting image will look similar to what you might capture using a fisheye lens on a traditional DSLR.

Get Adventurous

Industrial area of Krivoy Rog, Ukraine

m_a_n / Getty Images

This type of camera is still rather new, so people are still discovering how to best use them. Don't be afraid to try something new with yours. Once you've mastered a monopod, why not try out something like a GorillaPod? Such specially designed tripods can wrap around a tree or fencepost to offer a unique perspective for your photos and videos. For instance, you can attach the camera to a tree branch to get a literal bird's-eye view of your family picnic.