Samsung took an enhanced version of the Samsung 360 Round camera to NAB 2018, showing how the updated 360 Round’s bundled software offers better results for both livestreaming and post production.
Samsung’s presence at NAB 2018, in terms of VR, defines the continued development by the company of solutions designed to offer immersive worlds to explore. While some are still not sure if Virtual Reality has a part to play in the future of imaging, other believe that there is no way back, and different forms of this new “reality” will be used in the future. VR is, apparently, the most popular, according to a recent study by TECHnalysis Research.
Introduced in 2017, the Samsung 360 Round offers 360 3D image capture, 4K x 4K resolution, 3D sound. It’s professional-quality, totally immersive VR, all in a compact unibody design, point towards the direction the industry seems to move, making early VR experiences a thing of the past. At NAB, the VR Pavilion and sessions were always packed with people wanting to test solutions and check the progress and eager to know what’s coming next. Samsung may have answers to some of those questions, and sooner than some may think.
Some of those news were delivered at NAB 2018, with the enhanced Samsung 360 Round camera solution, now including updates to its livestreaming and post-production software. The new solution gives professional video creators the tools they need—from capture to post-production—to tell immersive, engaging 360-degree and 3D stories for film and broadcast. The camera now has a new mobile app allowing for preview of content and remote control. Other improvements include real time calibration of stitch lines, and color and light correction capabilities. In addition, filmmakers can now upload 360 Round content directly to the Samsung VR Video creator portal.
“At Samsung, we’ve been innovating in the VR technology space for many years, including introducing the 360 Round camera with its unique ruggedized design, and superior low light and livestreaming capabilities late last year,” said Eric McCarty, Vice President, Mobile B2B Product Marketing, Samsung Electronics America. “We’re excited to offer this enhanced solution to producers, directors, and creators of all types that helps them deliver seamless creativity, whether in a business or creative environment.”
The Samsung 360 Round delivers real-time 3D video to PCs using the 360 Round’s bundled software so video creators can now view live video on their mobile devices using the 360 Round live preview app, which is available on Google Play store. Samsung adds that the Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, Note 8 and Tab S3 devices are recommended to view the content. In addition, the 360 Round live preview app allows creators to remotely control the camera settings, via wifi router, from afar, the effective wireless distances dependent on wireless router capability and environmental interferences.
What’s more interesting to professionals is that the updated 360 Round PC software now provides dual monitor support, which allows the editor to make adjustments and show the results on a separate monitor dedicated to the director. The 360 Round offers a vast array of features to ensure creators capture stunning, realistic content in a wide range of shooting conditions, including low light environments and high-action scenes.
One good example of what can be achieved is demonstrated by Rick Graves, a high-performance action filmmaker, who used the Samsung 360 Round at Laguna Seca Raceway. Rick Graves says that “what I wanted to do with this Samsung 360 round camera was to put it in a race car and give the viewer the experience of going around a racetrack like a virtual ride-along with the race car driver”. The experience made him comment that “… I feel like I just started a sort of a new chapter in my career. I’m actually really excited about getting another opportunity to get this camera in my hands and make another film with it”.
With a rolling shutter, 11.7 stops of dynamic range, f1.8 aperture size, and now, limiting luminance levels to 16-135, noise reduction and sharpness adjustments, as well as a hardware IR filter—it’s possible to get a clear shot with 360 Round in almost no light. The 360 Round also offers advanced stabilization software and ability to color correct on the fly, with an intuitive, easy to use histogram. In addition, users can set up profiles for each shot and save the camera settings, ensuring consistent quality and cutting down on the time required to prep each shot.
One of the troubling aspects of many VR footage are the stitching points, which sometimes are hard to remove. The 360 Round comes equipped with Samsung’s advanced Stitching software, which seamlessly weaves together video from each of the 360 Round’s 17 lenses. Creators can stitch, preview and broadcast in one simple step on a PC (should read a powerful PC) without the need for additional software. The 360 Round also enables fine tuning of seamlines during a live production, such as moving them away from objects in real time, and calibrating individual stitchlines to fix misalignments. In addition, a new local warping feature allows for individual seamline calibrations in post-production, without requiring a global adjustment to all seamlines, giving creators quick and easy, fine grain control of the final visuals.
Improved process and output for both livestreaming and post production are also features present in Samsun’s camera. In fact, the 360 Round delivers real-time 4K x 4K (3D) streaming with minimal latency. SDI capture card support enables livestreaming through multiple cameras and broadcasting equipment with no additional encoding/decoding required, and with the newest update, now further streamlines the switching workflow for live productions with audio over SDI. This provides producers with less complex events (one producer managing audio and video switching) a single switching source as the production transitions from camera to camera. In addition, 360 Round offers a number of new features to ensure video output is of the quality the creator intends, such as:
- Ability to record, stream, and save raw files simultaneously, making the process of creating dailies and managing live productions easier. Many production teams like to distribute the event as video-on-demand (VOD) post show. Creators can now save the raw files to make further improvements to live production recordings, and create a higher quality post-produced version.
- Live streaming support for HLS over HTTP, which adds another transport streaming protocol in addition to the RTMP and RTSP protocols. HLS over HTTP eliminates the need to modify some restrictive enterprise firewall policies and is a more resilient protocol in unreliable networks.
- Ability to upload direct (via 360 Round software) to Samsung VR creator account, as well as Facebook and YouTube, once the files are exported—ensuring creators are reaching their audiences instantly with their immersive creations.
The Samsung 360 Round is available for purchase at numerous resellers, with a price of $10499.99.