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Recording 3D media for Samsung Gear VR, Rift and other VR headsets

(Topic created on: 11-01-2018 08:02 PM)


I would like just to share my experience so far with Samsung Gear VR, using a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (equinox dual sim version) regarding 3D media.
This is my first VR headset (SM-R324) and I thought I would find many sources of 3D media. Do not take me wrong, there is out there but not at the level I thought. I even read some reviews about 3D and  VR headsets finding on several of them the statement from media producers that there is no easy/simple/accessible hardware to create 3D media for this type of purpose. Instead, I found "tons" of professional and consumer made 360 media. With Gear360 it just got so easy. So what about 3D?

Do not look far... the solution is within Samsung despite the company does not even advertise it and ditched its own most advanced and professional camera line (something I still do not understand). Samsung NX1 is not a recent camera but still one of the most advanced pieces of hardware for those that use devices that fit their purposes without having a brand as their "religion" (aka Nikon/Canon/Sony and alike addicts). I have used all these brand of cameras and they all have flaws, issues and advantages. I own also a Samsung NX1 and it is my favorite camera since it is an all-in-one camera for videos as well as for stills. Samsung ditched the entire NX line despite the loyalty of its new consumers from the professional media production. Still hoping a new CEO in Korea understands that cosumer loyaty is something you have to earn and it is not cheap for a professional media producer to switch brands. I hope someday Samsung brings back the NX line and keep developong it.

Back to 3D.  The NX1 is still available in the market and is cheaper than similar devices of other brands. There are plenty of NX lenses for any need and Samyang produces additional and awesome manual lenses for this camera as well (including cinema format). What is interesting about the NX1 camera regarding 3D media recording, is that Samsung also made a prime lens with 3D capabilities (video and stills). As a prime lens, it is super sharp but no zoom there. You have to get closer or farther to create zoom effect without decreasing the image quality as it would happen if making it in post-production.

In short, if you want the entire Samsung ecosystem and wish to create 3D media and not just 360, you can make it very easy and accessible when using a Samsung NX1 body camera with the Samsung NX 45mm 2D/3D f/1.8 prime lens (these links are hard to find on these sites). This camera body and lens set can be used on a cheap feiyu electronic gimbal or a dolly and create the most amazing 3D media. While on the gimbal, you cannot press buttons or move rings to change variables on your camera. This would limit things to short clips with setting modifications between them for most cameras but not the NX1. With a tablet or your phone, Samsung Camera Manager app can controls every variable of the exposition and even change the point of focus while recording flying on the gimbal by simply touching the screen. The 45mm prime lens decreases some of the video and still specifications while on 3D mode, but it is totally at a commercial level for VR headsets.

I recommend to edit the files with Cyberlink PowerDirector15 or higher. However right out of the camera you can play your 3D files on the phone. The camera transfers the files to the phone wirelessly and there I recommend you to rename your 3D video files, as xxxxxx
_3dph.mp4  this way "Samsung VR - Video" app will know how to play this video. Alternatively you can just play it and adjust the "screen type" (lower right of your VR screen) by clicking once the small upper triangle, to select "3dhp". Swiping vertically with your finger on the Gear VR touchpad, you can resize/zoom the screen.

If you are interested in recording 3D media for VR headsets, you will have a lot of fun if using it together with the NX1 body and its 45mm 3D capable prime lens.


For Samsung: It was a big mistake to ditch the NX line and you are making it not better by not even mentioning to your Gear VR and Rift customers that one of your own products is perhaps the best option to record 3D media for VR headsets...