Review: Merlin Panocam

Camcorders Reviews

Cameras that can do 360-degree video recording are all the craze right now. Merlin has thus launched the brand new Panocam, which the company says shoots 360-degree panoramic videos, panoramic photos, and is targeted at extreme sports enthusiasts.

The Panocam comes packed in a shell that resembles other action cameras available on the market. The device features an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor that offers an aperture of F2.0. Turn the camera around and you will find a 1.5-inch LCD screen that offers a 320-by-240 pixels.

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On the right edge you will find the on/off button and the menu button, while on the left edge you will find the battery compartment. It’s a good thing that the device comes with a 1150mAh removable Li-Ion battery.

The Panocam weighs just 84.3-gms and measures 47-by-41-by-31mm. The device itself comes with a 256MB internal storage, which can be further expanded to up to 32GB using the microSD card slot, which can be found on the bottom of the device.

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Sitting right next to the microSD card slot are the USB 3.0 port and a HD port. You will also find a tripod mount on the bottom of the device. The Panocam also accompanies a housing that lets you take the camera under water for 360-degree underwater video shooting to depths of up to 30 meters.

Inside the package you also get a set of mounts that include the helmet / handlebar mount and a bicycle mount. As mentioned earlier, the Panocam comes with an 8MP CMOS sensor and allows you to take 1920x960p, 30fps videos.

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Setting up the Panocam is a walk in the park. It connects to iOS or Android devices through its very own wireless network. On pressing the menu button on the right edge, the Panocam will go into wireless mode and display the SSID and password of its network.

All you need to do is connect to the network SSID as displayed on the Panocam through your iOS or Android device and type in the password. Once connected, you will be able to control the Panocam using your mobile device. You can also use the Panocam as a standalone device since it comes with its own built-in storage.

Video footage shot using the Merlin Panocam was quite good. Image shot using the device also turned out to be good. Under low light conditions though the device struggled to maintain quality. We did end up sometimes with footage that was noisy and grainy.

In terms of stabilisation, the Merlin Panocam was good, too. The company claims that on a single recharge, you get 60 minutes of Full HD video recording. We were however able to clock around 45 minutes of battery life on a single charge. For a price tag of AED 700 the Merlin Panocam is an affordable option extreme sports enthusiasts can consider.

[highlight color=”yellow”]Price: AED 700[/highlight]

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Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is easily excited by the smallest of technologies around. He is an Android fanboy at heart, who also owns an iPhone, a Windows Phone, and a BlackBerry. Though he uses a MacBook Pro at work, he also uses a Windows PC, an Xbox One and an Xbox 360 for all his gaming requirements. True gadget lover at heart!