LG 360 Cam: a camera for virtual reality
Virtual reality is the main tech trend of this year. With the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift finally hitting the market, and Samsung putting Gear VR in the box for free to anyone who pre-orders the Galaxy S7, LG has also started offering customers a «complete package» for immersive virtual reality.
At MWC, we already looked at the 360-degree camera and VR glasses. These gadgets have now been received for study by the CHIP editors.
We especially liked the LG 360 Cam because the pictures are great. With an extremely wide, 180-degree shooting angle for each of the two lenses, no detail escapes the 360-degree camera. The maximum resolution is 2560×1440 pixels at 30 frames per second.
Of course, this sounds very good, but in fact it meets the minimum technical requirements if you want to watch videos in VR glasses. If desired, you can shoot «unidirectional» video or 360-degree photos with a resolution of 16 megapixels. However, the quality of these photos will be a little lame, as in low light they clearly show relatively strong noise.
We have a couple of comments on the 360-degree video: there is a slight blurring of the image and colored “edges” at the edges of each frame, but otherwise, given the cost of the LG 360 Cam, the picture quality is quite satisfactory. The case could have had a slightly higher quality of workmanship, and protection for lenses would not have interfered. Pleased with the presence of a built-in thread for mounting on a tripod.
The camera controls worked great during our hands-on test, not only with the LG G5, but also with other Android smartphones and iPhones. You just have to download the desired application from the appropriate store. Manual control of the camera couldn’t be easier as it only has one button.
Price: about 20,000 rubles.
LG 360 VR: the most compact VR glasses on the market
The full experience of 360-degree video can, of course, be obtained only with the use of VR glasses, which LG also has to offer. Unlike its rival from Samsung, which uses a mobile phone as its screen, the LG 360 VR has its own 1.88-inch display with a resolution of 960×720 pixels.
During our hands-on test, we particularly liked the device’s dimensions: at 164x186x46mm, the LG 360 VR isn’t much larger than a typical glasses case. In addition, they are also lightweight — the weight is only 141 grams. There are two buttons on the body for control, everything else is done with gestures.
However, when using the device, you will encounter a couple of problems. Firstly, the compact body does not protect very well from extraneous light. Secondly, the diopter adjustment is not very convenient: it is carried out individually for each eye, and it is more difficult to adjust the clarity of the image than if one central adjustment screw were responsible for this operation.
In the end, during our hands-on test, we weren’t able to achieve optimal picture clarity, despite the fact that the LG VR 360 has a higher pixel density (639ppi) than the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. The fact that the LG 360 VR must be connected to a smartphone via a USB Type-C connector did not bother us during the test.
Price: about 21,000 rubles.
LG CamPlus: a module for amateur photographers
And finally, in the box from LG, we also found the CamPlus module. Fans of photography on a mobile phone will find it useful, first of all, by the presence of such additional controls as a shutter button, a zoom wheel and a slider for switching between photo and video camera modes.
The biggest benefit of the CamPlus module is the extra 1800 mAh battery. By the way, during the test, one small bug was discovered: when charging from zero percent, the G5 with the CamPlus module connected went into an endless reboot loop (Boot Loop). Only when the gadget was disconnected, the smartphone could boot normally.
Price: approximately 7,500 rubles
A photo: manufacturing company, CHIP.de