PanoClip is a 360-degree smartphone lens

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If you've been toying with the idea of trying 360-degree imaging but are reluctant to spend large amounts of money on specialist equipment, the newly announced $50 PanoClip might be worth a good look.

The PanoClip snaps onto a smartphone and lets you capture 360-degree photos by combining images from the device's front and rear cameras. The latter are aligned with the PanoClip's built-in super-wide-angle lenses and image output from both cameras is stitched in real-time in the PanoClip companion app.

The app also allows you to create a "Tiny Planet" effect and can convert 360-degree images into short video clips that showcase the scene in every direction. A number of filter effects are available as well and sharing options include Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms.

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PanoClip looks like a clever idea. Smartphones already have front and rear cameras, so there isn't really a need for 360-degree clip-on cameras to come with their own sensors and lens combos. Wide angle conversion lenses for the built-in cameras in the phone are enough and reduce cost. What's the effect on image quality? We don't know yet but we hope to get a test unit in our hands sometime soon.

PanoClip can now be ordered at PanoClip.com for $49.99 in two body configurations. The full version can be used with screen protectors and thin protective cases. The PanoClip Lite does not work with any any protective gear. Both are compatible with the iPhones 6/Plus, 6s/Plus, 7/Plus, 8/Plus and X. The PanoClip team is also working on a version for Android devices.



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