Nodal Ninja 3 vs Panosaurus

Here’s a short writeup on the Panosaurus. I will be referencing quite a bit on the Kingpano and NodalNinja 3.

Greg was kind enough to send me a production Panosaurus for showing it off for a upcoming pano outing a few guys and I will be having.

The Panosaurus is a really affordable and here’s a small comparison, all prices in SGD and includes shipping to Singapore/ Asia.
Panosaurus – SGD $141.00

Nondal Ninja 3 – SGD $333.00

Kingpano – SGD $265.00

What’s in the box from Panosarus?


From left:

– Rotator Arm and Turntable
– Upright Metal Arm
– Upper Horizontal Arm assembled with Camera Mounting Block held together with 2 x Clamping Knobs
– Bubble Level
– 1 x Nail
– 2 x 1″ 8-32 bolt
– 1 x wing clamping knob
– 1 x rubber washer
– 1 x 1 1/4″ washer
– 3 x 1/2″ bolts
– 3 x 3/4″ washers
– A 3 x 5 yellow card
– 1 x Instructions Manual

Reading through the instructions manual can be quite a daunting task and many photographers would like to be able to start immediately when they get their equipment. With pano, most of the time, this is not the case and reading up is important and essential for any successful pano shots.

After setting up the Panosarus, I felt very insecure to actually mount my camera to do a pano but I did, it does work but it takes a lot of effort due to a few reasons which I will go through one at a time. We’ll not concentrate on how the panos will look like as it does work, a 180 or 360 pano is absolutely stitch-able, possible and the pano head is totally workable.

1. It’s size

Below is a side by side comparision of te Nodal Ninja 3 and the Panosaurus. This will be the size we’ll be keeping the pano heads while travelling to a pano location. The panosaurus is around 900 grams. The Nodal Ninja 3, 475 grams and the Kingpano is 680 grams.


When fully extended, note the size below.

2. Speed

No stop clicks, you will have to consistently look at the base degrees. I’ve grown accustomed to be taking pano after setting everything with a 2 clicks, one shot mode. I know when there’s 2 clicks, I’m at 30 degrees from the previous picture taken on the Nodal Ninja 3.

Not only during the shoot. Setting up the Panosaurus is a flimsy and dangerous task to be going through but using the quick release plate could be a good option to speed up the setup.

The NN3 comes with rails stops now so you know when

3. Material

The Panosaurus is mainly constructed out of wood. Rain or any water may reduce it’s lifespan. The only metal part is the protective guard used to what I believe make the base structure stronger and the full metal upright arm.

The Nodal Ninja 3 is constructed from aluminum which is both light and resistant to rust. The Kingpano is constructed mainly out of acrylic. Relatively strong and very water resistant.


4. Design

If you do not mind the design on the Panosaurus, it does get the work done but the money saved could save you more time. Comparing the NN3 and the Panosaurus, you could get 2 Panosaurus for the price of 1 x NN3. The middle ground will be to get a Kingpano but for the weight, design, speed of the NN3, I think it’s quite clear.

Mounting my camera using the provided 1/2″ bolts was “painful”. haha


The huge water bubble is a great welcome allowing you to level the panosaurus. it is removable while keeping but this could be it’s bad points too with the chance of loosing it while travelling.

waterbb1.jpg waterbb2.jpg

5. Instructions

It’s quite a read with many settings to run through and even a nail to help you find the nodal point is included but it’s lengthy (hey, I’m even suprise if anyone read this article till here and/or fully) and seems to be targetted at point and shoot cameras. It’s possible to use the Panosaurus with a DSLR as I have experienced.

The Panosaurus does get the job done though not as fast with constant checking of the base required to ensure you’re on the right degree. It’ll add to your travelling weight if you already have a few lens and more than one camera body. Storing it in a bag will be a problem too with it taking up space and the awkward shape of the Panosaurus.

Get it if you’re really playing around with pano and do not intend to be doing anything more. If not give the Kingpano a try. It’s a simple 2 piece setup. For serious, fast and efficient pano taking, consider the Nodal Ninja 3. It’ll sure make your investment on a pano head worthwhile.

More photos:

Backview of base.





Base frontal view






NN3 vs Kingpano

3 replies on “Nodal Ninja 3 vs Panosaurus”

What is the date on this review? The article mentions the Panosaurus being constructed mostly of wood. The current information from the Panosaurus site indicates a current construction of plastic an aluminium.

I’ve been considering purchasing the Panosaurus and stumbled across your review. Thanks for writing.

Hi j1107, thank you for reading. This article was updated “October 11, 2008 at 9:03 pm”. I am not sure about the current version or if they have updated their design but their site still states it’s made of “Expanded PVC plastic” and “inflexible aluminum” with overall weigh being around 900grams.

I would still suggest spending the money and getting a Nodal Ninja panoramic tripod head as you know you will use it for years to come. It’s waterproof and it has great support at their forums or their respective country representations.

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