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Old Feb 13, 2005, 8:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Hello All:

Need some help. I am looking to purchase a digital camera to do some 360 Virtual tours. I would like to use a fish eye lens. Does anyone have any suggestions about a good digital camera and lens setup. I have looked at Nikon Cool Pix, but the middle of the road cameras all have marginal reviews on indoor photo taking. Any suggestion would be a great help! I am not looking to spend more than 400 or 500$ for a camera.

Thanks in Advance

K. Miller
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 10:23 AM   #2
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Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
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I think you are not getting answers because anyone familiar with stitching to make tours and panoramas can't imagine how someone could stitch images from a fisheye. I guess it could be done, but I couldn't do it and make it look normal. People with some experience can eliminate the apparent distortions from a medium wide angle lens in a simple panorama or 360. But it is easier to stick with 28mm or longer and just do a straight stitch and crop. You can get a decent amount of ceiling and floor with a 28mm if you hold the camera vertically.

The Olympus 5060 can be found in your price range. It has a 27mm eq wide and will take adapters to go wider. Nowhere near fisheye of course.

Nikon has a $200 rebate going on their 5400. Brings it to about $200 after rebates and is about the cheapest thing you are going to find with even a mild wide angle lens. It has a 28mm equivalent wide and will take wide angle adapters if you want more. It isn't great for indoor focus, but it does have a distance readout in the LCD of the manual focus distance. With the wide depth of focus you get from small digital sensors you could probably do fine in the occasional dark room. It will focus fine in normal indoor lighting. It isn't as good as the Oly for what you are doing but it is a real budget choice with the rebate.

Nothing I know of will take a true fish-eye lens except a DSLR, and that is well out of your price range. Unless you are a stitching garu I don't think you want a fish-eye anyway. I borrowed this from a travel site – hope they don't mind. It is a typical fisheye shot. I have no idea how to stitch that an make it look normal.

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