The Panono panoramic camera ball will be able to take even better photographs. The team working on the throwable panoramic ball camera announced Monday that it has been able to procure better optics that will boost the camera from 72 to 108 megapixels. According to Panono, this makes its camera ball the first consumer camera to exceed 100 megapixels.
The Panono is a ball-shaped camera — about the size of a grapefruit — with 36 cameras inside. All 36 cameras fire off simultaneously when thrown in the air, capturing stunning 360-degree spherical panoramic images.
The project is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo and is about two-thirds of the way towards its $900,000 goal with just under two weeks to go. Users can pre-order a Panono for $499. The company is also offering a holiday special package for $535, complete with protective case, tripod adapter and handheld stick.
The Panono is expected to ship the third quarter of 2014. We had a ton of fun with the prototype Panono in our office back in October. With the success of drones and other high-tech toys, it would seem Panono has a ready-made audience. With better optics, the photos Panono takes will be better too, which could be great news for photographers or hobbyists who are on the lookout for unique images
The Panono is still just a prototype, and the device Pfeil showed us looks pretty much the same as it does when he originally applied for a patent in 2011. That’s why Pfeil is turning to Indiegogo to get his ball camera funded, with a campaign starting today.
Jonas isn’t the first entrepreneur to attempt to market a ball-like camera for capturing images. The Squito does something very similar, and the Bublcam (which also does videos) has already doubled its Kickstarter goal of $100,000 with over a month to go.
The sudden competition for ball-like cameras isn’t a coincidence or a conspiracy. It represents the consumerization of technologies that used to require much more money and effort: high-bandwidth wireless connections, cloud computing, and inexpensive imaging technology that’s also of good quality. Now that those techs are as common as the nearest smartphone, inventors can take advantage of them to create new kinds of photography.
As cool as panorama shots and photo spheres are, they have a serious limitation: They need to stitch together multiple still pics, all taken at slightly different times. But to get a true photo sphere — a 360-degree shot of a single moment in time — you’d need cameras pointing in all directions on a device that can fire them all in sync. What kind of camera does that?
The Panono camera, actually: a throwable ball-like device loaded with cameras on its outer surface that looks kind of like Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber practice ball from Star Wars. The Panono also has a novel way of taking photos: It’s programmed to snap its wraparound pics when thrown, firing all 36 cameras simultaneously when the device reaches its highest point (and is thus not moving, minimizing motion blur).
Once the Panono processes all the individual images, it relays them to the cloud via a smartphone or tablet app, where algorithms splice the photos to create the final 72-megapixel image. Once the photo sphere (now hosted on Panono’s site) is relayed back, the user can view it on the phone, online or through an embed code, like this shot we captured at Mashable’s office on Halloween. Outdoor shots are even better
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