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.

Dienstag, 16. September 2008

Gigapan out of the box

In less than a week after ordering my beta-tester set of the Charmed Labs (link) Gigapan head arrived. Under the Gigpan-Systems (link) label they started the production of this automatic panohead for consumer sized cameras. The results are currently on an own website (link).

My first impression:
smaller and lighter than expected
no prototype look-and-feel
easy to setup and use,
fun,looking forward to experiment with it

I will use it with a Panasonic LX3.
You need to wait for my first results and in-deep test, since I am just packing for Germany for 3 weeks.

The picture show the unpacking ceremony and the test setup with el-cheapo Benq cam.

Mittwoch, 10. September 2008

New Panorama Engine on the way

For quite some time panorama photographers already working on multirow panoramas with highres equipment and/or large computing setups to process the huge amount of images/data (check out the Harlem 13 Gigapixel Panorama at link). If you do a manual multirow you are challenged, if your go for more than 3 rows because I find it not easy to manually adjust the (panoramic) head accordingly. There are a number of automated solutions out there, most of them in beta state or homebrew stuff. If you followed the Gigapan (link) project you saw their prototype more than one year ago. Finally they ship the first batch of panoheads. Since I am registred as beta user, I ordered (its not free) my tripod head today. Looking forward to work with it. I will keep you updated.

Time for Worldwide Panorama again

The next event "COLOR" is about to start next week from 18. to 23. September 2008 during the upcoming equinox. Exactly at that time I will be back home in Germany for a couple of weeks. Looking forward to do my first "home" contribution after 7 contributions made somewhere in AsiaPac. Still need to work on this topic. (link)

Dienstag, 9. September 2008

Kandooma Getaway day 3

This island is 35 hectares! After 20min you return to the same spot going along the beach. The island a bit deserted in a off-peak period with 30 people around. On the third day I start feeling like the chap in the Castaway movie ! Wonder how you feel without the luxurious stuff around you.

Sonntag, 7. September 2008

Kandooma paranormal

Awesome ! A last minute trip to Maldives, only planned 2 days in advance while getting some extra good price. I didnt expect this level of comfort with plamsa tv, ocean view (actually in the ocean), wireless and Ipod docking station. So this is "live" panorama. I brought the snapsnap V705 and the 1Ds, so some decent panos are in the pipeline. Here some stitch-on-the-spot with Kodak V705.
Incase you want to drop by: