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360 degree photography and videography - what's the latest?



  • Looks great! I was looking into the specs of this camera but can't find anything on interval or remote control ( wifi connect distance 10 meters??
    Curious to know how your going to trigger it!
  • Just photos, Jim.
  • Hey Gerco, there are limitations with the Panono for sure.

    You are right, there is no interval timer. The Panono's quickest trigger interval is around 10 seconds and the support team advised me that they are unlikely to introduce an interval timer on the phone app because of overheating - you can't work it too hard!

    That answers your question about how to trigger the camera. There is a Panono app for both Android and iOS based phones. This allows you to connect to the camera via wi-fi. You can choose full auto mode for taking pictures, or you can use manual settings: shutter speed, ISO, white balance. Aperture is fixed at f/2.8.

    Photos can be transferred to your phone and then uploaded to the Panono cloud where the photos are stitched for you. Of course, you can choose to download the files to your computer and do your own stitching if you prefer.

    Going back to the wi-fi range, my son helped me do a test on the ground this morning. Panono Support suggested a range of up to 100m - we managed 70m before we lost connection. We lost connection because my son went out of sight on coast path slope, so I think there is more distance to achieve. When connecting via wi-fi I am using a manual DNS server code rather than relying on the automatic option. I have seen a number of online articles that say using, as the DNS code on your phone boosts the wi-fi signal to whichever device you are wanting to connect to. I have not used the automatic setting yet so cannot compare.

    I'm sure this is more information than you wanted but it might be useful for anyone considering buying a Panono for themselves. I sourced mine from Ebay and got a very good deal at less than 1/3 the new price.
  • Hi Ningaloo, thank you for this extensive answer: it looks like the wifi-range is more than I expected and that is hopefull! Please keep us posted on your airborne experiences.

    In the meantime Ricoh has improved the Theta S with a Theta V version. Bigger sensors but still, only two lenses. In that respect the Panono looks a big step ahead
  • First test after work today with my boy on phone app control duty. I cannot embed the 360 image here so you'll have to click the link if interested!


    The wind was strengthening tonight. My big 11ft delta actually took its first ever dive as a result, just after this photo was taken. Both kite and rig landed in gorse bushes about 30m apart. Solution? Unsnag the delta from the gorse and relaunch out of trouble!

    Flickr link: https://flic.kr/p/2f4Ku5u
  • Looks terrific Kevin!
  • Amazing shot Kevin, good resolution and sharp.
  • Brilliant!
  • Beautiful detailed shot! Could you tell a bit more on the wifi-range in practice? Thanks! Gerco
  • Thanks for the kind feedback.

    Gerco, of course. After the initial connection between camera and phone I let out about 30m of line quite quickly. My son then checked the phone to see if the connection was still good. There is no live view when using the app, but a shutter button is displayed if the connection is good. A message appears on screen if the signal is lost.

    When the shutter button is green the camera is ready to take a picture (actually 36 pictures!!). When it is just a white outline then the camera is processing/not ready.

    After the initial 30m, we checked again in 10m stages and 70m was the maximum we achieved on the first flight.

    When the signal was lost we entered the settings menu to check if the wi-fi signal was being received. Each time we checked here it was still connected. Only once did we have to reselect the camera from on the wi-fi list to get the connection back. The other times we checked it was already in the process of reconnecting to the phone.

    In practice, a range of 70m is very adequate. If I want anything higher then I'll just send my drone up.

    The local forecast for KAP is bad until Monday so I have to wait patiently for KAPanono flight #2!
  • After reading Kevins posts I decided to buy a secondhand Panono on ebay. I did my first succesful flights last week.
    The default wifi range lives up to my expectations: it is close to an estimate of 100 meters. I lost contact with the camera several times but it was reconnected after scrolling back in the menu of the app.

    Using the smartphone app, pushing a shutter on my phone and flying a kite at the same time will take some learning. An other issue is the closeness of the kiteline witch is doubled or tripled by the multiple lenses. That said, the details in the images are superb!
  • Hey Gerco.

    I look forward to seeing some results? Please share a link here!
  • Sorry Kevin, it is commissioned work for the city of Doesburg. I can't share it!
  • Paid my stitching to the Panono co ;-(
    Here is an other example with some help by PTgui and Photoshop.
  • PTGui now does my stitching rather than the Panono cloud service. EUR 0.79 per stitch is too much!

    I downloaded a template from this page. Do you have this? It's very good.
  • Hi Kevin, that looks promising.

    Did you buy the PhotoMatix software or is there a way to work around this?
  • I do have Photomatix but I do not use it for Panono HDR. I only take the 'normal' set of 36 pictures with the Panono.
    I process most of my photos with Topaz Labs and some Photoshop (CS6) custom presets.
  • edited May 2020
    A little statistical update from the world of Panono.

    I updated my phone a few months ago to a Pixel 3a and tested it with the Panono app for the first time last weekend.

    It appears the wi-fi trigger range has increased significantly from approx 70m/230ft with the 'old' iPhone 6s I used to have, to approx 120m/393ft with the Pixel 3a.

    I thought wifi technology within mobile phones was fairly standardised - does this range test prove otherwise?

    Link to a photo, best viewed in the Kuula platform.
  • Anyone tried the XPhase Pro yet?
    Looks promising
  • Hey Gerco - it has been on my radar for 6+ months. Improvements and upgrades are being made constantly. I have been watching developments on the Facebook group where the lead developer is in constant contact with owners.

    An interval timer has finally been introduced, but at the moment it only triggers once every 30 seconds. The resolution and writing speed must be the limiting factor at the moment.

    It is the stand out consumer option. The next step up is to spend 000's.

  • A new 360 panorama on kuula: I am standing next to my studio at the Marconistraat
  • edited November 2020
    I see some harbour workers admiring your kite!
  • Hey Kevin,

    I have seen some of your shots from the new Ricoh Theta Z1 and have to say I'm impressed! I wonder how you are finding it for KAP in bright sunlight?

    As you know I have the Xiaomi Mi Sphere and although it does well most of the time it requires a bit of luck to align the camera so that the sun illuminates both lenses equally to avoid the light/dark line at the stitch. This is most visible in the sky and comes about because the sensors are exposed equally regardless of which has more light. The Mi Sphere has no HDR mode so the sun is often way over-exposed too.

    I have been looking at the Insta360 One-X and the Insta360 One R too, but they both may be inferior to the Theta Z1........am I right? ..........but of course they are much cheaper !!

    Cheers, Al
  • Ningaloo

    September 8

    Hi Al.

    Sorry, only just seen your post!

    The Z1 has two 1-inch sensors I believe, so the picture quality should be better than the Insta clan. The end resolution is something like 7350 pixels on the horizontal which isn't amazing, but ok for casual web viewing. I'm always going to comparing the detail I could achieve manually with my Phantom 4 Pro (now sold) which was 23000 x 11500 pixels!

    Straight out of the camera the jpegs are perfectly shareable online and there is mobile editing software available from Ricoh. I've share a few recently on Facebook straight after they've been taken. I use manual settings and when not in interval shooting mode the camera shares straight to your phone so you can fire off to whatever social media you like. The software self-levels the 360 which is very handy.

    There are frustrations with the Z1 though:

    - Internal memory, limited to approx 19GB. This equates to just 357 jpeg and dng images when shooting raw. You cannot just shoot raw files. Video files munch GBs. I think you can shoot up to about 30 minutes of 360 video before using up the memory.

    - You have to use a Ricoh app to offload the files to your PC. The files are only visible in the app and then you have to drag them across into your Windows or Mac folder window. The Z1 does not show as a removeable drive in Windows Explorer or Finder.

    - Battery time isn't fantastic. But it does charge quickly. A 15-20 minute zap on a portable charger will get you maybe 60% back.

    I may have an opportunity to snag an XPhase Pro S in the near future which has 25 x 8MP sensors and is actually a similar price to the Z1. The beauty of the Z1 is that the turnaround of dng/raw material on your home computer is really quick once you've got the files transferred. The workflow for the XPhase Pro S is more involved, but of course you'll get much better detail. If you're going to spend Theta Z1 money then seriously consider going for the XPhase.

    My 360 image odyssey continues.....

  • Hi all,

    I suggest to take a look of this comparison on YOUTUBE, models are coming and being discontinued at a speed rate difficult to follow, this seems to me a good update

    SMAC from Italy

  • Thanks for sharing, SMAC.
    Ben Claremont is a prolific 360 reviewer. For those interested, also keep an eye on 360rumors.com. I think it is the prime source of everything 360.

  • Hello Everyone.
    Just sharing my latest 2nd hand 360 camera purchase. Arguably the best yet. XPhase Pro S2. 25 x 8MP cameras on one device, all shooting DNG (raw) files. It's a bit gusty today but a test flight must be done!

  • First result here for any of you interested in 360 imagery.
    One lens suffered from fogging unfortunately, but otherwise I am quite pleased with this test flight. The output is always 16384x8192 pixels which is conveniently the maximum file size that Kuula accepts.
    Manual settings were used ISO 100 and 1/800sec shutter speed. Aperture is fixed at f/2.2, I think (maybe f/2.8). The wind actually relented quite a bit once the kite was up and so I have a very high ratio of keepers as the camera was very steady below the line.
    The workflow for this camera is truly odd IMO. I guess it is early days though and what I find hard to get to grips with now will be second nature on time.
    Now that I have this functioning I need to decide whether to sell my Theta Z1 to recoup some costs.

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