Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Jonas Pfeil's Throwable Camera

With processoring power in smartphones nearing laptop computer levels 360-degree panoramas became a a lot of and a lot of common application. This year on Dpreview Connect we've had a more in-depth check up on Google's surface and Microsoft's Photosynth apps, each hand-held solutions, and therefore the Motrr uranologist robotic iPhone cradle. together with the Sphere iOS app the latter automates the panorama capturing method and makes it faster. However, despite the Motrr's advantage over manual alignment all existing solutions have one common flaw: shooting a 360-degree panorama image takes considerably longer than taking a traditional image.

Jonas Pfeil, the artificer of the Panono broad ball camera, learned this the exhausting means on a visit to to Tonga wherever he used a DSLR to capture 360-degree panoramas of the South Sea island's natural beauty. Not solely did the island hikes take longer than expected, with all the panorama shooting Jonas additionally detected his hiking buddies growing more and more impatient with the interruptions. once the trip he started considering quicker ways in which of shooting 360-degree panoramas and came up with the construct for a globose and throwable panorama camera. 
The Panono could be a globose broad camera with thirty six individual camera modules and a intrinsical measuring device.

He created the ball camera the topic of his master thesis at the Technical University of Berlin and in 2011 engineered a operating example with thirty six individual image sensors and lenses. Initial feedback at school conferences and within the media was encouraging and Jonas set to make a team, found an organization and have a go at promoting the Panono camera to customers.

Panono is presently running a crowdfunding-campaign on Indiegogo to secure the funds for the bold project. you'll be able to back the project during a form of ways in which, one in all them is preordering a Panono camera for US$499. assumptive the campaign that ends on the fourth of Jan is made, it'll be delivered to you in Sep 2014.

We have a had an opportunity to satisfy Jonas and therefore the team at Panono's digs during a Bauhaus-designed former industrial building in Berlin wherever we have a tendency to got our hands on the operating example, checked out the look models and had a peek into the Panono testing studio.

How will it work?

The Panono camera could be a globose throwable camera that contains thirty six camera modules, a processor, memory associated an measuring device. There square measure 3 ways of victimisation it: you'll be able to either throw it within the air within which case the measuring device triggers the camera at the very best purpose, trigger it via a intrinsical shutter button once holding it in your hand or mount it on a stand or pole and trigger remotely.

Once the pictures are captured they're transferred via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to the connected smartphone wherever a primary low-resolution preview image is sewed. the initial image information is shipped on via the smartphone's 3G/4G or WLAN affiliation to Panono's cloud servers wherever the handicraft of the ultimate output panorama happens.

After the handicraft method is finished a replica of the panorama is shipped back to the phone for native viewing within the Panono app. Output files are going to be compatible to the Google surface format and may so be uploaded to and viewed on Google and. Users also will have access to the initial pictures that were captured by the Panono's individual thirty six camera modules.

By default the whole method, from initial capture to the ultimate shareable result, is totally automatic. However, initial feedback from Indiegogo backers suggests that there square measure users World Health Organization wish some manual management over camera settings. so the assembly version of the Panono camera can supply manual management over key parameters like shutter speed, ISO and white balance. there'll even be choices for bracketing associated time-lapse shooting and therefore the team is presently testing an HDR mode.

Design & Technology

The current example is roughly the scale of an inside ball however with a diameter of 11cm (4.33 inches) the ultimate product are going to be significantly smaller. the burden are going to be about three hundred grams (0.66 pounds). The inexperienced stripes on the ball facilitate find the sole 2 controls of the camera. On high you discover a shutter button for manual triggering once holding the device in your hand. At very cheap there'll be a USB connecter and a stand mount.

On the assembly style the outer shell is created from a sturdy polycarbonate. The inexperienced lines facilitate in locating the controls.
On this installation within the Panono studio the team is testing the sturdiness of the look prototypes. the assembly unit can face up to falls from a minimum of 5m (16 ft) height.

A type of foam cushioning was accustomed defend the example ball camera from impact with the bottom or alternative objects in its means however the assembly unit's outer shell are going to be made of a sturdy polycarbonate. With the Panono being a "throwable" camera toughness is that the ideal priority within the development of the shell and therefore the objective is for the camera to face up to a fall from a minimum of five meters (16 feet).

The rugged shell of the example contains thirty six individual 2MP fixed-focus camera modules. within the production unit those are going to be replaced by 3MP modules which is able to then capture a 108MP panorama image. There aren't any careful specs offered at now however the camera modules square measure an equivalent sort you'd realize within the front-facing cameras on high-end smartphones and square measure used for video-calls.

Besides the camera modules there's a CPU within the ball that controls the camera modules, the info pipeline and wireless communication however since the handicraft of the ultimate output panorama happens within the cloud on Panono's servers this mainframe doesn't need to be notably powerful.
A look into the opened example shows the central board with mainframe and memory on the left and therefore the camera modules on the correct. The example is roofed with a kind of froth however the ultimate style can feature a sturdy polycarbonate shell.

The current example still needs to be connected to a laptop computer with a cable to transfer image information and sew the ultimate image, however the assembly version of the Panono camera can connect with your smartphone via wi-fi and possibly Bluetooth furthermore. The battery needs to be quite massive so as to trigger thirty six camera modules at an equivalent time and Panono expects the battery within the production version to last long enough to utterly fill the interior memory that offers house for about four hundred broad pictures.

Image Results

After having had the prospect to play with it I will say the Panono is one of the foremost exciting camera innovations I even have seen in a whereas folks can continue taking footage with standard cameras for a protracted time to return however the Panono makes a wonderful complementary tool for people who wish to capture a scene in its completeness instead of simply a slender crop. It additionally permits for abundant faster panorama shooting and higher finish results than the smartphone-based solutions we have seen up to now.

In use the attraction of the device to customers is instantly obvious. It's merely plenty of fun to undertake the Panono in several locations and with varied throwing heights then browse the results. However, there is no shortage of applications in skilled photography either. the apparent ones square measure in wedding and event photography wherever photographers active in those fields may add another part of differentiation to their offerings however there is no doubt once the Panono is on the market users can come back up with ways in which of victimisation it that we will not even imagine immediately.

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