Donnerstag, 25. September 2008


Finally I get my hands dirty with the GIGAPAN head. I brought it from Singapore (after it was shipped from US) back to Germany to spend some time experimenting with it. I share some first hands-on experience with it. Ultimately I will compare the GIGAPAN setup with stitched images from 1Ds and Mamyia ZD and a spherical scanner (even complete different league of equipment!). I will look into usability in the field.

Technical Data:
- Camera New Panasonic LX3 (10 MP, jpeg high). Manual settings, fix white balance. Manual focus.
- 25 images in 3 rows and 5 columns
- Setup and shooting in less than 5min. Finding a spot 30min.
- Stitched with Gigapan Stitcher 12.619 x 4.687 pixel (59.1MP) in roughly 10min.
- Photoshop to crop and slight curve adjustments.

- The setup of the head is fast. The one-time (per camera) setup you better do at home and get comfortable with the settings of both camera and GIGAPAN
- The total shooting time depends on the camera, (How fast can it store the image data ? Does it run out of buffer after 10 or so shots ?), the size of FOV and the area you want to cover. The more you can zoom in (with the lens), the smaller the FOV the more pictures you have to take.
You should experiment with the settings, especially with the break in seconds between the shots before you go out and start shooting.
I tried with the (slower) BenQ camera and the GIGAPAN head was triggering faster than the camera can digest, ending up single shots got lost.

- Shooting in RAW, would give a bit more control later on color temperature, maybe a slightly (?) higher level of detail. But most cameras cannot shoot continously in RAW without the need to clear the buffer to the memory after a number of shots (the same time you cant do anything but wait). Note there is no "data" connection between head and camera. The head does nothing but moving the camera and triggering mechanically.
- Stitch with PTGUI to achieve more flexibility, eg. stitch to PSD format with individual layers, provided you have enough memory and CPU power.
I will upload the result in original size to once I am back to my office with fast broadband connection. So this is a downsized preview only.
I will add more test results and feedback as I proceed testing. Stay tuned.

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