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.

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.

Press Release:

PanoClip Lets You Shoot 360° and ‘Tiny Planets’ from Your Phone for $49.99

The groundbreaking PanoClip launched today, letting anyone effortlessly take 360° photos and “Tiny Planet” shots straight from their phone. Using a cleverly designed dual-lens system, PanoClip snaps instantly onto a smartphone, and then creates a seamless 360° photo by combining images from the front and rear cameras.

Available today to iPhone users for $49.99 USD, PanoClip is the first device of its kind. It pairs perfectly with the cameras people use most – their phones – and makes 360° capture easier than ever before. An Android version will be available soon.

Introducing PanoClip: https://youtu.be/4hRdKWWExvA

How It Works

Traditional 360° cameras use two or more cameras to capture all angles of a scene, before stitching them together into a single image. PanoClip works on the same principle, but thanks to some ingenious tech, it achieves the same result with the two cameras that are likely already in your pocket.

Using PanoClip could not be simpler. Snapping it onto the top of a phone will align its super-wide-angle lenses with the phone’s front and rear cameras. Then, all that’s left to do is open up the companion app and start taking 360° snapshots.

PanoClip users will never miss a detail, and they’ll easily capture vibrant, dynamic scenes with action in every direction, such as music festivals or parties. When users want to focus on a particular part of the action, the screenshot feature lets them re-frame the best angles.

Sharing is effortless, with integrated publishing options for Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and every popular social platform.

Karen Cheng introducing the PanoClip: https://youtu.be/3dPu4_pm1aM

Your Whole World... But Tinier

Along with capturing immersive 360° scenes that can be explored with a simple finger swipe, PanoClip also unlocks a world of creative possibilities for traditional “flat” pictures, such as the unique Tiny Planet effect.

Tiny Planet shots roll an entire 360° view into a traditional rectangular or square frame, allowing creators to get mind-bending effects that show the world in an all-new way.

How To Make a Tiny Planet (Karen Cheng Tutorial): https://youtu.be/fQ-Z8IC2IR4

Spin View, SkyWarp and Filter Effects

The PanoClip’s Spin View feature lets users take advantage of the benefits of 360° photos on any social media platform – even those that don’t natively support 360° content.

Spin View converts 360° snapshots into short, dynamic video clips that showcase the scene in every direction and bend it into eye-catching shapes.

Plus, users can apply the new SkyWarp effect to add a stunning twist to these video clips. For shots taken outdoors, the PanoClip app will automatically detect the horizon, and then swap out the sky with a variety of preset skyscapes that shift and flow in time with a music clip. It’s trippy, fun and will make your friends think you’ve got crazy editing skills.

The PanoClip app also offers a full range of colorful filters, and a variety of stickers to add a creative touch to any 360° scene.

PanoClip is available now at PanoClip.com. Two body configurations, a full and a Lite version, together offer compatibility for iPhone 6/Plus, 6s/Plus, 7/Plus, 8/Plus and X. An Android version is also on the way.

To purchase a PanoClip or learn more, visit PanoClip.com today.