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Best Of 2015

(January – December 2015)

Andrew Varlamov


Ken Stuart

A Toss in the Woods

Harford, New York, USA

Sept. 11, 2015, about 3pm local (-5 GMT)

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© 2015 Ken Stuart, All Rights Reserved.

While not necessarily the best panorama ever made, this one represents a whole new way of making them: a ball camera, called the Panono, which can be thrown up to take an entire immersive image as it begins its descent.

For well over 15 years and hundreds of panoramas, I've used a DSLR with fisheye lens, which meant taking several still photos and then running the images through software to stitch them together.

Capturing a scene with a DSLR like that often proved difficult or impossible in many situations. With the ballcam, however, a single instant in time is captured completely. Even better is that the images move from the camera to a cell phone and then into a cloud server, which processes them and produces the immersive image within minutes.

The Panono can also be mounted on a tripod and triggered remotely, and it can be triggered via a special stick mount that makes it easy to literally make panoramas on the move. Further, it also sports hanging mounts, so that it could be carried by a drone or otherwise suspended from above.

Although perhaps somewhat lower in image quality than a DSLR in this first model, especially when thrown, the ease and portability of the ballcam led me to sell my fisheye lens and move completely to this new technology.

I am in no way affiliated with the Panono company, just a happy customer and crowd-fund supporter of their efforts and hardware.


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