In 2013, supporters of the Panono 360 camera paid $500 in hopes of getting a top-of-the-line piece of tech. But after successfully raising $1.25 million, the company behind Panono (also named Panono) went bankrupt and failed to deliver the camera to the majority of their backers. Now, four years later, those backers have another chance to get the Panono, but it’s going to cost them an additional $1,100.
Currently, all of Panono’s assets are owned by an investment company called the Bryanston Group and they’ve put the camera into a holding company called Professional360. Originally, the Bryanston Group said that they felt “morally obligated” to give back to the Panono supports who never received their cameras. Many believed that this meant that they’d either start producing and shipping out Panono’s to the backers or they’d just refund them their $500. But unfortunately, the Bryanston Group decided to do neither of those things.
Instead, they are now offering those backers a chance to essentially buy the Panono again at a (small) discount. After already paying $500, Panono backers will now have to pay an additional $1,120 to $1,240 to get one of two Panono camera bundles. Professional360 says that that backers will have the opportunity to buy a camera bundle at what they claim to be production cost, or half off its retail cost. That's on top of the $500 they'd already commited to the project's original campaign.
The backers that rebuy the camera will also get free and unlimited use of Panono’s paid cloud features, but Panono already offers free storage for 360 video in the cloud for all users. They only start charging monthly when you want to get access to their editing features, the cost of which is about $12. They also charge you around $23 to remove a Panono watermark from your video.
It’s hard to not feel that the Panono backers are just being cheated here. They’ve have been waiting four years, without their camera or their money, and now they are being asked to pay a significant sum more.
We also have to consider that the Panono may no longer be worth the money. Since 2013, 360 cameras have greatly advanced. Panono backers thought they were getting something that was topnotch, but now you could get a 360 camera with practically the same functions as the Panono for far less.
Yet, Professional360 believes their offer is fair. “We think this is a fair offer, as we do not earn any margin on the camera and [backers] would still be paying — in total — significantly less than any of our regular customers,” a spokesperson for Professional360 said in a statement.
Professional360 also says that they’ll only sell 50 discounted cameras per month to the backers and will limit one per customer. However, they will make an exception the first month and will ship more than 50 units. Regardless, it’s likely that it could still take years for some backers to get their camera. It looks like for many Panono backers, the wait to get their camera will still drag on, assuming they still want one after all this.