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Old Mar 19, 2009, 11:34 AM   #1
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Over the years I've shot some panoramic images with my old Mamiya 645 and a pano back. Since a medium format/digital back are out of the question as respects cost are there any suggestions for digital pano shots with a DSLR?

Assistance appreciated.

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Old Mar 21, 2009, 12:38 AM   #2
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Good Evening Birdman, Gee with a 645 your way out of my league. But what I have to offer is the following. The medium format cameras have incredible resolution along with great image quality. The sensor sizes of digital cameras are minuscule in comparison. As you noted, a digital back for a 645 camera is expensive, so a digital equivalent in silicon is a non starter. Building an silicon equivalent of a panoback would even be more cost prohibitive.

The closest single sensor, single image equivalent is the 16x9 image format. The Panasonic LX3 is a camera that offers this along with the 4x3 and 3x2. It also features a wider than normal lens at 24mm and is a compact camera.

The other way around this is the digital equivalent of scotch tape, which takes a number of separate images and use them as tiles in a mosaic, or what is commonly referred to as stitching. There is software (both retail and freeware) that does this both in JPG and RAW formats. The software is pretty good at finding and matching tie points, and stitching the images together, both along the horizantal and vertical axis.

Steve has a complete forum on this. Scroll down to the software area and see Panaroma/Stitching, or just click on this link...


There are several ways to take the images; handheld, on a tripod using a panohead and there are a couple of take offs on the panohead. One of the most agressive ideas is the automatic system called gigapan.


Gigapan has a computer automated unit that automatically aims the camera taking up to a hundred or do images (with the camera fully zoomed) so as to build a giant image composed of the seperate images mosaic them together - resulting in a single image a many gigapixels large.

Another approach is a motorized panohead. Here is an example from Germany...


So that is a quick overview. Take a trip down to the pano forum. It is not that active, however the folks that pass by there are much more knowledgeable than me....

Hope that helps!

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Old Mar 21, 2009, 11:31 AM   #3
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It's not a DSLR, but you might check out sony's new superzoom:


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