A good photosphere or 360-degree photo is basically about stitching. Done right, these photos can take you to another place and time, allowing you to see the entire area as it was captured at that moment, rather than just a planned window into that space. There’s more to see, more to explore, and it’s just fun to do so, as long as there aren’t any messy lines or jagged edges that bring you back to reality. When working with 360-degree cameras that take pictures with multiple sensors, it’s hard to avoid distortion when merging the two images.
One of the big questions we had about the Gear 360 is how well Samsung handles the stitching between the two cameras. While we haven’t been able to roam around and take pictures on our own Gear 360 yet, some of the early shots we found give the impression that Samsung is preparing to release one of the most powerful 360-degree cameras under $500. ,
We saw an early, early prototype video of Casey Neistat at the Oscars. While it’s become quite clear that his video isn’t the final version of the software, it doesn’t look all that bad. There are crisp stitching in many scenes, but overall the quality was decent. Things have improved a bit since then, and while we don’t have any new videos from Neistat to compare, we do have some decent photos worth checking out.
T-Mobile’s Des Smith has been rocking Gear 360 for a while now, and his Flickr page has a healthy collection of photos from several 360-degree cameras that can be compared to the overall quality. As you can see in the photo above, the stitch line connecting the two images is almost non-existent. The only visual distortion is at the very top and bottom of the image, which is common with all 360-degree photos.
Another issue often seen with dual-sensor 360 cameras is the huge difference in things like ISO when one side of the camera is facing the sun and the other is not. You see this strange dividing line in the sky when only one sensor has to compensate for all the extra light or darkness. The Gear 360 seems to handle this as well as you’d expect, showing little more than lens flare to let you know they’re actually two different pictures.