We Review the PanoX V2: Capable, but Is It Competitive?

We Review the PanoX V2: Capable, but Is It Competitive?

I’ve often said there’s not a bad camera on the market today. At this point, that logic is starting to apply to 360 cameras as well. Though there are no bad cameras — and the PanoX V2 is included in that — there are also cameras that may be more worth your hard-earned money.

And that’s the dilemma that the PanoX V2 finds itself in. PanoX itself is a sub-brand of Labpano, makers of high-end 360 panoramic cameras. The $399 Panox V2 is the first real stab at the consumer market by PanoX. True, Labpano had the earlier PilotPano, but it didn’t really catch on. This is another attempt to capture the consumer market dominated by the likes of Insta360 and Kandao.

Features and Specs

So how does the Panox V2 acquit itself? It’s certainly a beautiful camera, with some heft to the body with materials that are semi-soft to the touch. It has a huge 3” touch screen, and after departing from the PilotPano, it’s now running Android. If there’s a demerit to the body, it’s that it’s not weather-resistant in any way. You don’t want to put this near water. That’s a bummer, considering most other cameras in this class and price point are weather-resistant in some way.

It has USB-C charging, and in my tests, I was able to get about 45 minutes of on-and-off stills/video shooting when I hooked it up to the phone via WiFi. Your mileage may vary depending on what you are doing. The battery isn’t interchangeable.

For photos, it can shoot DNG or JPG files at 72MP, and the ½” CMOS sensors are competitive in this class of camera.

Video specs are where this camera is a bit of an oddball, though. It’s capable of 8K footage, but only at 10 fps. PanoX reps said that this was mainly for Google Street View purposes, as footage with that low a frame rate isn’t practical for serious video work. The built-in GPS would seem to back up that assessment of its intended use. The camera is primarily marketed as a 5.7K 30 fps 360 camera. That was fine before, but this is also the year that Insta360 added 8K to its X4 and Kandao had it a while ago with the QooCam 8K and will also have it in its upcoming QooCam 3 Ultra.

Image Quality

For stills, straight-out-of-the-camera stitched JPGs files look pretty great. Better than its nearest competition. Check out the results here:

It’s a good thing too, since while the camera can shoot DNG files, there’s currently no software from PanoX to stitch those files into something usable. A PanoX rep pointed me to a 7-year-old video on manually stitching files together, but in 2024, doing the process manually with third-party software is something most of the target audience for this camera won’t be inclined to do.

I did try the JPG-only HDR mode and while it’s slightly better (the photo at the top of the article is an HDR example), it’s not really meant for things that move since it’s combining multiple images. Truly, without the ability to recover detail, highlights and shadows from a DNG image easily with this camera, its capabilities are more limited than what the spec sheet would suggest for photos.

Video quality is, like still images, quite good out of the camera. Stitch lines are nearly invisible, quality, for a 5.7K camera, is excellent, colors are vibrant, and in a pleasant surprise, audio is crisp and clear, as you can hear in the rally footage in the clip below. There’s a nice “beta” feature where while you are filming, the camera can track your face and spit out a finished 2D file that follows you around as well. This will be great for vloggers. When it’s finished.

In a neat party trick, you can stitch video right on the camera through the menus. I love that. Jury’s still out on the kind of damage this kind of heavy video work will do when it’s done straight on a micro-SD card, but I’ll take the convenience of not needing a phone or desktop app. Speaking of a desktop app, that brings me to …


It wasn’t until I was working out how to process DNG files that I discovered that there was no desktop app. I poked all around the PanoX site, and finally, I emailed a rep to pose the question. While it’s in the works, there’s no timeframe involved for its release.

Sure, there’s the phone app that lets you do the requisite keyframing, livestreaming and exporting that you’d expect from a 360 camera, but that’s the baseline expectation of any camera these days.

The PanoX app doesn't have much in the way of surprises, it works much like any other 360 software, with the ability to download photos/videos off the camera and edit with basic keyframing and exporting options.

I don’t normally make it a practice to dive deep into previous versions of firmware, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out some very worrying things that speak to the larger software problems here.

I received the camera from the company a few months back, and for the first month, I couldn’t take photos at the highest (12K) resolution. The camera would beep and then freeze, and then tell me it failed to take a photo. Switching from photos to videos would often result in a black screen and a crash. Sometimes, the camera would fail to boot, and occasionally, it would fail to shoot even 5.7K video.

This was all fixed in an update in late March. The camera works perfectly now, but the fact is, it’s perplexing that the camera has been out since late last year and still has these kinds of teething problems and an incomplete software package. It’s even stranger how it ended up in the hands of a reviewer in that state.

It’s a problem that we in the tech/photo industry encounter all the time, but the software experience of the PanoX has been difficult, to put it mildly. Again, all of the bugs seem to have been smoked out by the latest firmware, but the desktop app is still nowhere to be found.


The PanoX V2 isn’t a bad camera. JPG image quality is excellent, and the video works without much fuss. It looks equally good for its resolution. It has a huge, beautiful screen, and the Android operating system allows you to do most of what you need to do without the intervention of a phone app.

The problem is the market in which PanoX finds itself. At $309, the Kandao QooCam 3 undercuts the PanoX V2 by $90, and while it has a smaller, less useful screen, the rest of the specs are almost identical, and that camera is waterproof and has a fully fleshed-out phone/desktop app ecosystem that is very mature.

For a $100 more, the Insta360 X4 also adds waterproofing and a future-proof 8K video mode. There’s also the creature comforts of great software and interchangeable lens covers.

Put into that context, the $399 PanoX V2 doesn’t make a strong case for either value or ultimate resolution. It’s an unfortunate position to be in for a camera that, on its own, is not a bad camera. It’s just not a standout in any one area to make a strong case for itself.

What I Liked

  • Large, useful screen
  • Easy to use interface and in-camera stitching
  • Image quality out-of-the-box is excellent

What I Didn’t Like

  • 360 cameras are entering 8K territory and this sits at 5.7K
  • No weather sealing of any kind
  • No interchangeable battery
  • No desktop app or way to natively edit DNG files
  • Not competitively priced


You can purchase the PanoX V2 at this link.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

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Using anti-israel footage would alienate potential pro-israel customers. It's basic marketing to stay away in politics when promoting products.

It's using the camera in a journalistic context, I'm not marketing the camera. Showing it in real-world usage.