02
Jan
20131115200251-6_PANONO_Camera_Designprototype

Google's Photosphere feature is really cool, but all that spinning in circles and pressing buttons – yuck. Panono is a nifty little gadget that promises to capture a super high-resolution 360-degree image when it's thrown in the air. Sounds fanciful, doesn't it? Well, it's going to be a real product now that the Indiegogo campaign has reached its lofty $900,000 funding goal.

Panono has a total resolution of 108MP, making it the highest resolution available on a consumer camera. Of course, those pixels are spread out around the entire panorama. The ball has 36 cameras all over the surface and will automatically take a picture when it reaches the apex of a toss. The composited image will be sent to your smartphone through the Panono app so you can preview it. If it looks good, save it to the web. Much like Street View, you can pan around an image by moving your device. Panono can also be used like a handheld camera or mounted on a pole. You'll even be able to save the 36 individual images, if you want.

20131111213725-panono_indiegogo_editions_black_568px

This isn't a cheap device. The people who got in on this funding campaign must have been serious to drop a minimum of $499 to get a Panono. This was also a fixed funding goal, so the company would only have gotten the cash if the campaign reached the magic number. If you want in on the mulit-cam fun, you still have a little over two days to pledge. Panono is expected to ship in September.

[Panono]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • Justin Phang

    Congrats! Can't wait until September to get my Panono camera. Awesome!

    • disqus_7XunpanFgK

      If this is anything like the rest of the campaigns requiring parts from China, you'll be looking at September... 2015.

  • Lasse Bigum

    108MP? Really - it's more like 54x 2MP cameras, not too shabby, but hardly 108MP as most people would think of "MP"

    • Justin Phang

      Is 36 x 3MP cameras.

      • Lasse Bigum

        Fair enough, but the point still stands.

        • Cody Curry

          No it doesn't.

          When you stitch an array of photos together, you are still increasing the total image resolution. Since "megapixels" only indicate resolution (and do so poorly) it tells you very little about the quality of the photo itself. Since these cameras are covering 360 degrees, I'm going to simplify the math and assume that each photo is capturing roughly one tenth of the total image in size, and that the height is taken care of automatically. That's not quite accurate, but that means every 36 degrees is going to be about the size of a standard smartphone image.

          At the end of the day, the entire panorama is still going to be just as big, and the definition will be no worse than a standard smartphone image. Higher, if they use better sensors.

          • Lasse Bigum

            Fair enough, point taken on the resolution (MP) - but as you mention yourself, the definition is not what people will expect, since they are comparing it to a non-stitched image that are not panoramic. So even though it has a high MP count, the resolution doesn't increase.
            For people who think of DSLRs as the standard, this will not really compare.
            Having said that, it's still a neat project and I wish them the best of luck!

          • Colin Richardson

            MP is only a factor of the whole story. I would take a better sensor over overly high MP any day.

        • USSENTERNCC1701E

          Cody Curry is right, the situation is too complicated for that number to have much meaning. Go to the indigogo page, download their beta app and look at some samples, it is fairly impressive. And much cleaner stitching that most of my photospheres.

          • s427

            To be fair, stitching the pictures together is *much* easier if all the cameras are already correctly positioned (around the same central point) and fire all at once.

  • Colin Dinelli

    $599 planned retail price? No thank you

  • GoBlue

    Anybody see the panoramic pictures they make? Viewing them makes me want to puke. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/panono-panoramic-ball-camera

    • Kcls

      Why? They look fine to me?

      • Mike Reid

        Some people can feel dizzy or nauseous with such pictures. I felt a bit at first, but got used to it after a few.

        My 1st thought was: meh....

        But the pictures look better than I expected. And now I can see it makes sense to want to be able to capture an image in EVERY direction.

        You see the thrower below, LOL, and you see the sky above, and in every direction.

        So, yeah, looks cool enough that I can see close to 2000 people paying $500. Who knows when or if they'll deliver of course.

        And full video and directional audio would be the obvious next gen.

        Now, about this throwing $500 worth of gear high up in the air thing, LOL. Even if it's built like a tank, you get issues with it disappearing into a sewer grate or onto a roof, and the hazards of which people, cars etc it might fall on.

    • Francois Schneider

      It's the feel-good-trendy-web 2.0-cute music of the video that makes me want to puke.

  • jackennils

    I stick with Photospheres. I can shoot them at now additional costs and it's more fun than throwing a 500 bucks camera into the air...

    • jackennils

      -w ^^

  • Jesse

    ..no, I'm not happy to see you..I have 36 cameras in my pocket

  • dh

    Nearly a million dollars on a ball with 36 cameras. What a waste.

  • Hi

    108mp isn't anything special, for a normal consumer dslr, according to my calculations, to get this panorama you would need 100 pictures(actually 99.9583506872) assuming an aps-c sensor, this means for a low end camera with a 10 mp sensor, it will have an effective resolution of 999.583506872

    • GoBlue

      ... units for that last number?

      • Francois Schneider

        Who needs units when you have numbers ?

    • Averix

      But gluing 100 (or 36 for the same number of lenses as the ball) dslrs to a ball and tossing it in the air just doesn't sound very practical does it? You could develop a sphere mount for one camera that rotated to do the 360º panorama, but the time delay between all 36/100 pictures being taken would result in some changes in the environment that wouldn't mesh up perfectly. That's what this really brings to the table. An instant snapshot at 360º rather than something stitched together that includes time based changes/artifacts.

  • templeruins

    Kind of a ridiculous gimmick. Almost a parody. Why would you want a photo of you from ten feet above with your arms in the air throwing a camera? And you could never do a photo without yourself in it!

    • Shaun Dutchy Davis

      true, at the end of the day you can capture some really amazing aerial shots from view points you wouldnt have seen before.

    • Averix

      You could easily have a pic of you without your arms up staring at the magic camera ball. You'd just have to be willing to sacrifice the $500 camera when it impacted the ground. :)

  • Averix

    The shell on this should be shock absorbing rubber, not hard plastic. lol