Well, after what seems to have been a lifetime and the day before the release of the iPhone 4S, I finally received the GoPano Micro – one of the Kickstarter projects.
So, what’s in the box?
The two key components are a split case and the panoramic lens. The split case allows you to use the Glif iPhone stand to attach the phone to a tripod. The panoramic lens is quite small and light enough to fit in your pocket. A QR sticker on the box links you to the app store so you can get the accompanying application. After downloading the app, currently version .9, it’s simply a matter of clipping on the case and attaching the panoramic lens. The app is reasonably intuitive with functions to re-align the centre of the lens and refocus the scene.
In practice it’s all quite easy – although you do get some very funny looks from passersby. Have a look at my video walking through Borough Market – check out the expressions of the people behind me (especially the security guard!).
First impressions are as expected.
The quality similar to the sony bloggie but the exposure compensation and focus seem to be a little far from finished. I think an enhancement for the future should be to separate the focus and exposure functions into a facility similar to that shown in Camera+. The next version of the app will introduce the ability to upload directly to the GoPano website – a process which requires you to upload when you get home in the current version.
Obviously, with the release of the iPhone 4S there should be a dramatic improvement with regards to image quality and smoothness with which the app records the action.
As a side test, I had a go with the Kogeto Looker app which is also free using the GoPano micro lens. The difference between the maturity in the app design is strongly in favour of the GoPano app. The kogeto app records the 360 polar image and then transforms it once you’ve finished recording. Not much of a problem when you consider that you can’t actually see the screen when using the kogeto dot lens!