This is not a new product, but this week the IFA International Press Conference in Hong Kong provided our first opportunity to get a closer look at it. Crowdfunded like so many other startups, the Panono 360 Camera is a high-quality, one-of-a-kind camera that boasts five times the resolution of any alternative currently on the market.
It’s also expensive. $1499 is expensive. But it doesn’t try to compete with what Samsung or LG have to offer. In fact, Panono says the recent product launches from the two Korean giants are actually helping its own business. As a result, the market is more aware of 360-degree cameras and they take turns discovering Panono.
What it is is a ball that contains 36 individual fixed focus cameras that are 108MP in total. It only takes photos, and for good reason. Panono aimed to make the highest quality photographs on the market while maintaining portability and affordability. They say that adding a video to the current setup will increase its size and increase the cost significantly.
It is compatible with smartphone, with iOS apps currently available, with Android version currently in beta, but not your phone processing images. The application allows you to control the basic functions of the camera, such as remote shutter control, exposure, shutter speed and ISO settings, and also allows you to view a small version of the photo. Panono stitches images in the cloud, a process facilitated by a phone but allowing their technology to be used out of sight and allowing you to keep taking pictures.
The application will also help you share your creations with the world, in particular with Facebook. The camera has 16GB of internal storage, which should be good for 600 360-degree images, or 200 if you enable HDR. It charges via USB, and you can attach it to a tripod, and if you’re feeling especially brave, you can even toss it into the air. Panono will automatically fire upon reaching the top of the throw, but you have to make sure you catch it. Because it won’t survive hitting the ground in its current state.
The market for this kind of product is still taking off. While Panono has a very specific target audience, it’s also important that it exists. Cheaper, more consumer-friendly products are welcome, but the high-end crowd also needs to be looked after. And that’s where Panono finds a home.
If you want to check out some sample images taken with Panono and you have Google Cardboard, check out the app below. For more information about the camera, visit Panono’s own store.