Until now, virtual reality footage could only be produced with one of two extremes: high-end rigs that cost thousands and require a film degree to figure out, or cheap cameras with more blur than a Britpop festival.
The splash- and dust-resistant Samsung Gear 360 camera is a much-needed Goldilocks option: It’s smaller than a baseball and mixes pro-level HD video with a consumer-friendly price point, and footage is instantly editable (when paired with select Samsung smartphones, of course).
Don’t be mistaken: A decent 360-degree camera for the masses is a big deal—especially when new YouTube and Facebook features also let viewers explore these videos from their web browser. “As more consumer 360 cameras become available, more content producers will bring us past the current landscape of kitsch and cliché,” says Dillon Morris, a director at Pivot Studio, which creates 360 content.
Opportunities are, ahem, all around us. ($350; Amazon.com)