Just like all those ultra-affordable Gear VR headsets foreshadowed Samsung’s recent announcement of a costlier, more powerful Odyssey mixed reality head-mounted display, the 2016 low-end Gear 360 and its slightly better sequel earlier this year were basically a preamble for the professional-grade 360 Round.

The monster new 360-degree rig is designed for VR “specialists and enthusiasts who demand a superior virtual reality experience.” Otherwise put, 3D content creators that believe in the format with all their heart, ignoring the inherent flaws and shortcomings of a still-fledgling technology.

Combining no less than 17 high-quality lenses, the Samsung 360 Round can both record and livestream immersive 4K video (3D or 2D) at 30fps per eye, as well as spatial audio with a total of 6 internal microphones, not to mention included ports for an extra 2 external mics.

16 of the system’s 2-megapixel cameras with f/1.8 aperture are positioned horizontally, arranged in eight stereo pairs, with a final one mounted vertically for a very extraterrestrial, futuristic look.

Believe it or not, a “reasonable price” is highlighted as a key selling point, and if you think about it, $10,500 is… not excessive. Compared to the 2017 edition of the entry-level Gear 360, as well as the typical budget of your average shutterbug, it’s indeed a small fortune. But it’s a lot less than what Nokia originally charged for the now-defunct OZO VR camera.

The Samsung 360 Round is more “affordable” than a YI Halo as well, also boasting the lack of a noisy fan and a resulting lightweight design. At under 2 kilograms, or roughly 4.25 pounds, this bad boy is relatively easy to carry around, and it can handle the occasional splash with IP65 rating.

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