Two new spherical cameras

I just stumbled uppon these:
Samsung Gear 360: Seems to have a nice picture, has time lapse (I have not found the rate) and priced around $300. Drawback: Requires a Samsung device or Windows computer.
LG 360 CAM: Less resolution and less sharp image than the Samsung. Works with all smart phones and is priced around $200. I do not know about time lapse.

Any comments on these two would be great, as they are direct competitors to Ricota Theta S.

Hi, @tryl!

I just received my new LG 360 cam.

Like the pre-testers said, the manual is a joke, and does not even cover how to connect to the cam. You’ll need both Bluetooth and wifi. The BT wakes up the SSID so that the phone or tablet can discover the camera. The manual does not cover this - and also not the wifi password.

The 360 cam app belonging to the camera is also very buggy - it crashes very often. :frowning:

I have managed to publish 360 pics and videos on Facebook, and also to take pictures with the Google Street View app.
However, I have not managed to get it working with Mapillary.
I hoped that it would be just as easy as using the standard cam, but the Mapillary app does not recognize it.

I’m pretty sad about this, because it seems to be the cheapest 360 cam available at the moment, and an excellent way to quickly map a way in all directions.
If the developers want to include support for this cam, I would be happy to become a beta tester. :slight_smile:

/P

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Thanks @Patrick. I just read the manual. There does not seem to be a time lapse feature, so you will have to press the button every time you want an image. Further more you cannot mute the shutter sound, except if you void your warranty and kill the speaker.

I knows a guy who has the Samsung camera, and will try to get some comments - just too bad they have limited their app to only Samsung phones. Ricota Theta S has some draw backs (limited memory and only a picture every 8 seconds).

I’m eager to start mapping with my LG cam, but I don’t know how, since Mapillary doesn’t have support for it, I’m going with Google Street View at the moment.

Have you tried uploading the images? You must geotag manually in the usual way, but to be recognised as a spherical image, should be a matter of having the correct exif tags. If Google can read it, Mapillary should to be able to do it as well.
If Mapillary does not support the images, I suggest you file a bug at https://github.com/mapillary/mapillary_issues/issues.

Google has its own way of communicating with the cam.
I’m rather lousy at geotagging and uploading manually, so I’d prefer the automatic way. :slight_smile:

I will strongly encurage you to open an issue on Github and describe what you need. The LG cam seems to deliver nice pictures at a low price, except for the issues you write about.

If you don’t have a Github account and don’t want to create one, you can write your request in this thread and I will post the text - with a reference to this thread.

OK, you may post it for me. :smile:

My 360 cam is an LG 360Cam, product page here:
http://www.lg.com/us/lg-friends/lg-LGR105.AVRZTS-360-cam

Average price in the EU: €250, so it’s a pretty cheap way to shoot 360 videos. The cam is also designed to work with Google Street View.

The manual is lousy, but in normal operation the cam connect to the phone/tablet as follows:

  1. Start the cam
  2. Activate Bluetooth in the phone/tablet
  3. Go to the “LG 360 CAM” app (not available in iphones below the 5s) to discover the cam.
  4. Open the wifi settings, the cam’s wifi access point is now visible.
  5. Connect to the cam’s wifi AP.
  6. Password: 00 followed by the last 6 digits from the cam’s serial number.

Currently this cam is not supported by Mapillary, only by Google, but it would be handy if it was, because of its price which makes it a cheap way to support the Mapillary idea. It has no gps or compass, so it uses the tablet’s data to stamp the pictures.

If the developers want me to beta test something, I’m available at patrick@horsecab.se.

Regards,
Patrick

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I just wanted to let you know we got a LG 360 yesterday and did some early tests by sending some commands manually, and looks promising so far.

I’ll keep the Github issue updated from now on: https://github.com/mapillary/mapillary_issues/issues/1970

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Just some updates.

This is now pretty much implemented, at least for OSC v2, just need to do some more testing this week. We only have the LG 360 in the office at the moment, so only tested it with that one so far. Would like to test more OSC v2 cameras.

Also want to get hold of an OSC v1 camera so I can implement and test support for v1 as well. Any suggestions? Perhaps the Theta S is a v1 camera as it’s “old”. Our Theta S is currently in the US office, but will get it in a few weeks.

Buying a Gear 360 after lunch :slight_smile:

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Hope to get a review, @Anders. My biggest question is: How many pictures can it take every second at max resolution?

So far, I’m disappointed in the Gear 360.

Pros:

  • looks cool and is pretty small
  • no stitching is done on camera, means faster capture
  • time-lapse can do 2 fps
  • works with the Google Street View app (even on iOS)

Cons:

  • the companion app only works on Samsung devices
  • the companion desktop app only works on Windows
  • no stitching is done on camera, means it has to be processes later
  • time-lapse produces a video (mp4) and not single images
  • not really Open Spherical Camera (OSC) compliant. Does’t implement all functions and some things are not according to the specification
  • stitched photos are only ~10 MP (30 MP unstitched)

Right now my favourite is the LG 360, mostly because it is cheaper, fully follows the open OSC specification, and also does ~16 MP on-camera stitching. Biggest downside is 0,5 fps.

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I tried fake time-lapse mode via the GSV app, and it’s horribly slow as it takes a photo, transfers it to the phone, does the stitching, and then takes a new photo etc.

Thanks @Anders!!!
I have heard, that you can download a hacked Samsung app to get it working with non Samsung phones.

My current favorite is the Ricoh Theta S. The LG has a horrible stitch line on pretty much every image I have seen. The Ricoh is much slower, more expensive and has lower resolution, but that stich line really does it for me.

A next step might be http://eu.360.tv/en/ (examples on https://www.mapillary.com/app/?focus=photo&pKey=RR-YIsxC_gIvF5qJopmV0A&lat=44.07590500992064&lng=6.187950070000102&z=17 ) priced at €499 and claims 3 fps with 8 MP images. Again the resolution is lower, but I think this camera gets more out of the pixels than both the LG and Theta.

Yup, we have that one in the office, but I haven’t tinkered with it much yet. It is OSC compatible too, so shouldn’t be hard to get working.

I just updated the iOS app, and started to test my LG360 with the app.
Works pretty well.
Just a minor issue:
When trying the Manual mode, the cam started to take photos continuously. There was no way to stop it but to switch off the cam.
Ok, I normally use Walk or Car, so it’s do big deal for me. Just a minor issue that you could keep in mind next time you update. :smile:

What photo size do you use? Not 14 Mpix I suppose? Cause the transfer is much faster compared to the Street View.

It shouldn’t be possible to change to Manual mode in the app, only the automatic modes should be able to switch to when connected to an external camera. Could you verify that you actually managed to switch to the Manual mode? If you can change to Manual mode then that’s the actual bug :slight_smile:

We use the highest resolution possible, so that should be 5660x2830 or 16 Mp. If the StreetView app is slower than out app, I have no idea why :slight_smile:

I have the LG R105 - 360 camera and have manually uploaded some images.

I edited the position where the image is as it uses the phone GPS and was pretty accurate in plotting where I was hiding.

https://www.mapillary.com/map/im/H7jdbiaG3DTmxiTv7UxX9w
https://www.mapillary.com/map/im/HzwnVYgSeGSEEHcTpa66iA
https://www.mapillary.com/map/im/3orZK8emzVEUyjQfIVqsfg
https://www.mapillary.com/map/im/bA3P2NKN-DtWgJ6aNSvAUA

My monopod legs arrived today so I can now take shots without the monopod leaning on something.

Now waiting for the Mapillary android app to support remote control of the camera so it can take shots automatically, eg: when driving.

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You also need to wait for the camera to fully boot. Even when it starts and makes a startup sound I cant connect to it via WiFi until around 60 seconds from when turning on.

You can take pictures by pressing the button on the unit and Bluetooth appears but will not connect via WiFi until its fully ready.

If you use a VPN on your phone you will not be able to access the camera or gallery either but you can change settings.