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    [Test] Panono Explorer Edition - The 360 ​​camera with 36 lenses

    Who I am
    Adriana Gil
    @adrianagil

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    Summary

    • What is the Panono?
    • Unpacking the Panono
    • Design and ergonomics of the Panono
    • Manual use of the Panono
    • The Panono application
    • The image quality of the Panono
    • The Panono compared to the competition
    • Our opinion on the Panono

    We were able to test the Panono, the best 360 camera on the market with 36 lenses for an impressive quality image resolution. Here is what we thought of it.



    What is the Panono?

    The Panono project was born in 2013 and was born thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign. Of German origin, but of Polish construction, the Berlin camera with its original design has managed to raise more than $ 1 thanks to Internet users. Available since spring 2015 at a price of 1499 €, the Panono is quite simply the 360 ​​camera which currently offers the best image resolution on the market..

    The size of a handball, this camera coated with a strong plastic carries no less than 36 sensors. Each of these lenses working independently, the images are then combined to create stunning shots of detail. You will be able to zoom and browse your panoramic photos at 108 Mpx at your leisure during an intuitive and well thought out use.

    Unpacking the Panono

    We received the Panono and all these accessories in its carrying bag. Worn over the shoulder, it of course contains the camera, its protective pouch, a pole, a tripod adapter, a micro USB cable to recharge the device and the usual information guides explaining the handling of the apparatus.


    These are pleasantly clear so that it will only take you a few minutes to understand how the device works. Note that all these accessories will only cost you 40 € more. You can get your hands on it all for the sum of € 1539.


    Design and ergonomics of the Panono

    As you will have noticed, the Panono camera is spherical. Around it revolve three rays of apple green color, between which you will find the many lenses with which the device is provided. We can easily guess its black color through the rigid plastic coating dedicated to protect it from possible impacts. Good idea, knowing that you will sometimes have to throw it in the air, but we'll get to that. This innovative and intriguing design may not appeal to trypophobes, however, it has the merit of immediately emphasizing the power of the device. The camera, despite its size of approximately 11 centimeters, weighs only 300 grams and is very comfortable to hold in the hand. Only two places we are really interested in: the upper peak and the lower peak.

    SAt the top, you will find a simple button that will allow you to turn the camera on or off, and, of course, to manually capture your photos. This button, when the device is on, will be surrounded by a luminous ring of blue color, which will flash during each of your shots. A sound will also be emitted when you use the camera, but you can deactivate this feature using the application. Interactive, three icons surround the switch, and will give you information about the status of the battery, memory and camera activation. Indeed, the light halo will tell you, by means of a reddish flashing which of its data is to be taken into account if your battery is weak or if it is time to free up storage space.




    The lower part is dedicated to the connection of the device. By lifting a small cover, you will access a micro USB port capable of connecting the Panono to your computer or simply recharging it. But this is not the only use of this area. This will also be used to fix the various accessories connected to the device such as your pole or tripod. Finally, you will find all around the device, locations that will allow you to hang your device.

    Manual use of the Panono

    With its single button, it is clear that the manual controls of the camera are limited. Indeed, you can only start, stop and capture images without using the dedicated application. At least the use of the camera turns out to be simplistic. You will therefore need to press the switch for one or two seconds to turn the Panono on and off.


    Another fun feature has been added to the camera. You will be able to throw the device in the air to capture your images from an aerial point of view. The latter will take a photo when she reaches the climax of her climb. However, you will have to be careful to limit the rotations of the sphere if you want to have a satisfactory rendering. So you will need a little practice before you can expect to get a result from this maneuver. Real innovation or simple gadget, we still welcome the idea which adds to the uniqueness of the product.


    With the camera on, you can decide to take a photo with a single touch. A flashing and a noise will come to confirm the good progress of the maneuver. Note thatyou will also be able to take your photos using the pole provided in our copy of the Panono. Indeed, a button provided for this purpose is on the handle of the pole. Similarly, here you just need to press the switch to trigger the capture of images. Don't worry, the pole will not appear in the final image.


    The Panono application

    As the functionality of the device is limited, most of you should turn to the mobile app. It has a simple and clear interface. Available on iOS, know all the same that its Android version is still in development and that you will only be able to have access to a beta version which is still imperfect. However, we did not see any glaring instabilities during our test. You will first need to create a Panono account before you can do anything with your device. Some will find this restricting, since most other cameras do not require prior registration. Then it will be connect your device to your smartphone via a WiFi connection. The handling goes smoothly and you will only need to pair your devices once. Note that each camera is provided with its own password. This is written on the device and must be entered for each new association.

    Let us now mention the different tabs that make up this application: Explore, My Panorama, Profile, Tasks and Camera. The first will allow you to view the content recorded by other users. The next three will give you the ability to manage your account, its settings and all the images you have captured. You can upload them to the cloud associated with your account to free up space in your storage space. This can also be restrictive for those who do not wish to make social use of their camera and who would have preferred to be able to transfer their images directly to their smartphones, without any intermediate step.. The last one, the Camera tab, is the one that will interest you the most. It is through the Camera tab that you can take photos and make settings for your shots. However, we were disappointed with the settings offered, which are quite few considering the power of the device.

    The image quality of the Panono

    As we told you, straightforwardly, at the start of this test, the Panono is the 360 ​​° camera that will offer you the highest image resolution. The 36 lenses will work together to provide you with very detailed images, as long as you've taken your photos in good conditions and learned how to stabilize the camera. The image resolution, in 360 × 360, can go up to 108 Mpx which largely exceeds most of the competitors. Here, therefore, no question of pixelated images and no unpleasantly bright flickering on the horizon. Otherwise, the rendering is even more impressive through a virtual reality headset.

    The management of lights and contrasts is also very satisfactory. Indeed, each of the 36 sensors being independent of the others, you will not observe a striking difference in exposures between the brightest areas and the darkest areas. That is, if you take a photo indoors, but a window lets you see what is happening in daylight, both areas will be printed with equal quality and detail.

    The Panono application will allow you to process your images upstream, but also afterwards. You can therefore make some additional adjustments and readjust the various images captured so that the stitching does not present any defect or shift. However, you will not be able to import images taken in editing software. in order to retouch them with more precision.
    Such quality at a price, and your 108MP photos will require around 100MB of your storage space. The camera only has 16GB of internal memory, so you can only take 160 photos with your camera before having to clean up. This disadvantage, which is not really one, brings another pitfall, which is the main pitfall of this camera. The Panono is unable to film.
    Indeed, the quality and the number of sensors involved in the creation of content are so great that it makes video capture even impossible. If a photo is 100MB, imagine what a video would cost in terms of memory. Thus, you will only be able to record static images. This is the biggest flaw of this Berlin camera.

    The Panono compared to the competition

    No camera, in this range at least, can claim to equal the Panono today when it comes to the quality of the recorded images. Capable of offering you an image resolution of 108 Mpx at 360 × 360 °, it remains the best camera on the market in terms of image quality. Samsung Gear 360, 360Fly, or LG 360 Cam can't compete because they only offer Full HD, or, at best, 2K.
    It's also easy to use, but requires you to register and save your photos in the cloud before you can finally transfer them to your phone and be able to fully enjoy them, with a virtual reality headset such as the Samsung Gear VR or the Zeiss VR One for example. The vast majority of other cameras simply make your content available to you.

    Last but not least, the Panono camera will not allow you to capture videos. This is its biggest pitfall. Experienced photographers will find their account there, but videographers will have to switch to another product. The Sphericam is offered at an equivalent price and produces equally good images (4K) despite having six times fewer lenses (only 6) and will offer you the possibility of filming as you wish.

    Our opinion on the Panono

    The Panono camera is aptly named and can only take pictures. So you will know what to expect when you take possession of this product. Those who can be satisfied with it will find their full account, as the image resolution is astounding in quality and more than justifies the price of the camera. Those who want to share their content too, the presence of a cloud, a personalized space and a sharing feature facilitating interactivity within the community.

    Next Previous

    Next PreviousHowever, we would have appreciated that a device whose price is around 1500 € allows us to capture videos. The size of the very large files explains this absence. We are therefore not in the presence of a camera, but of a camera. We can still say that the Panons is the best value for money 360 camera on the market today. Finally, know that the Explorer Edition version that we were able to try is the very first version distributed by the brand. The mainstream model should arrive later, and will be offered at a lower price.

    Good points

    • An original and ergonomic design
    • 36 goals
    • Excellent quality images
    • Easy to learn
    • Adapts to all circumstances

    Negative points

    • The price
    • The inability to film
    • The obligation to create an account
    • Lack of features

    8.6

    Installation: Its installation will only take you a few minutes. The documentation is very clear.


    Design and ergonomics: A unique design representative of the power of the device.


    features: Few settings available and limited manual use. Moreover, she cannot film.


    Performance: If you think of Panono as a camera, she is the best.


    Value for money: A very good product, but at this price, the video should be included.

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