Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) is an emerging label-free and non-invasive modality for imaging biological tissues. PAI has been implemented in different configurations, one of which is photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) with a potential wide range of applications, including brain and breast imaging. Hemispherical Array PACT (HA-PACT) is a variation of PACT that has solved the limited detection-view problem. Here, we designed an HA-PACT system consisting of 50 single element transducers. For implementation, we initially performed a simulation study, with parameters close to those in practice, to determine the relationship between the number of transducers and the quality of the reconstructed image. We then used the greatest number of transducers possible on the hemisphere and imaged copper wire phantoms coated with a light absorbing material to evaluate the performance of the system. Several practical issues such as light illumination, arrangement of the transducers, and an image reconstruction algorithm have been comprehensively studied.