More companies seem to gain an interest in the 360-degrees content market, and after LG and Samsung have revealed their new 360-degrees cameras earlier this year along with their latest flagship phones, Facebook, too, has announced that it will be releasing a camera capable of creating 360-degrees photos and videos. But let’s pause for a second and rewind back to 2014 when Panono was one of the very few 360-degrees cameras to hit the headlines. The Panono panoramic ball camera was first unveiled as part of a crowdfunding campaign, and today, roughly two years after Panono became known to the world, the company’s first 360-degrees high-end camera – called the Panono Explorer Edition - is available for purchase at the price of $1,499.
To be precise, The Panono Explorer Edition is now available in limited quantities, with only 1,000 units being listed on the official website. In addition, although the Panono has been promoted as a shock-proof panoramic ball camera which can capture 360-degrees photos in mid-air, the manufacturer warns prospective customers that the Panono Explorer Edition doesn’t guarantee “drop-proofness”. In other words, the Explorer Edition seems to be more of a developer kit released in limited quantities rather than the final product.
As far as specifications go, the Panono Explorer Edition is the highest-resolution 360-degrees camera manufactured to date, featuring 36 individual, fixed-focus sensors which add up to a resolution of 108-megapixels. It should also be noted that, by design, the Panono can capture only photos and cannot be used for recording 360-degrees videos. This is due to the fact that the developers wanted to focus on creating a product capable of delivering 360-degrees photos with unmatched quality, and of course, adding hardware in order to support video recording would have increased the unit’s dimensions as well as its production costs further. Either way, the Panono includes 16 GB of on-board storage which should be enough for 200 360-degree HDR photos, or roughly 600 360-degree non-HDR images.
The camera can be paired to an iOS or Android smartphone (the Android app is currently in beta), but the stitching of the panoramic view will be processed by Panono in the cloud, and not by your phone’s hardware. Panono is selling a handful of accessories too, including a Panono Stick for $44.90, a protective case for $29.90, a messenger bag for $99.90, and last but not least, a Panono tripod adapter for $34.90.