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Old Nov 14, 2003, 2:55 PM   #1
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Default Looking for Wide angle camera

I want to purchase a wide angle DC. Budget limit: ~ 400$
Browsing around I found "Ricoh G4 Wide". Specs are nice and price too, but couldnīt find any users references or analysis on the Web. It is rather new: August 2003, I believe.

Did you use G4 Wide?
What is your opinion about it?
Do you know any user reference on the Web?
Do you know any 3.2 Mp or better wide angle camera (28mm.-85mm.) priced around 400$?

Anticipated thanks
Regards
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Old Nov 14, 2003, 8:55 PM   #2
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I looked at the specs the other day and it is pretty limited in user controls. Basically a point and shoot. It is the only 28mm in your price range and the only pocketable one on the market at any price. If you donít need the small size you might look on Ebay for a used Nikon 5000 or 5400.

I think it is too new for reviews and I havenít seen any user opinions. I donít much trust user opinions anyway.

My big camera has a 28mm but my little pocket camera doesnít. Iíve learned to just grab two panorama shots with the camera held vertically when I need wide angle. You could get a very competent little Minolta G500 and a decent memory card and stay in your budget. I find the vertical panos are quick and work in most situations where I need a wider shot. It even works for group shots if you tell everyone to hold still for two shots. It doesnít work where there is a lot of movement like a crowd, party or kids playing though.

People on the board are probably bored with this example because Iíve already posed it, but it gives an idea of the pano. If you take the shot in panorama mode my camera software identifies and numbers the shots so it is a snap to stitch them. Iíve put panorama in one of my quick menus and memorized the three button pushes it takes to put it in pano mode so I donít have to mess with shading the LCD if Iím in bright sunlight. The first shot is a regular 38mm shot and the second two vertical panos taken from the same spot. It is a little wider than 28mm with the added benefit of 8.5Mp from a 5Mp camera.


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Old Nov 14, 2003, 9:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Looking for Wide angle camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by capelo
I want to purchase a wide angle DC. Budget limit: ~ 400$ Browsing around I found "Ricoh G4 Wide". Specs are nice and price too, but couldnīt find any users references or analysis on the Web. It is rather new: August 2003, I believe.
According to DPreview, http://www.dpreview.com/news/0308/03081903ricohg4.asp this Ricoh was announced in mid August and has a lens of 28-85mm (35mm equivalent). The question is: would 28mm be wide enough? Currently, the widest angle with GOOD quality you can get is the Nikon Coolpix 5000 plus Nikon's wide converter WC-E68. This combo can go as wide as 19mm with some distortion. Some "semi--fisheye" lenses may be much wider, but these lenses have no intention to correct linear distortion, and, as a result, straight-lines will become curves. If 19mm is what you want, you might try eBay.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
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Old Nov 14, 2003, 10:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
... It even works for group shots if you tell everyone to hold still for two shots. It doesnít work where there is a lot of movement like a crowd, party or kids playing though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by capelo
... Some "semi--fisheye" lenses may be
much wider, but these lenses have no intention to correct linear distortion, and, as a result, straight-lines will become curves. ...
Both of those issues can be dealt with by using Panorama Tools.

Philo's tutorial (http://www.philohome.com/barrelpers/barrelpers.htm) shows one way of dealing with lens distortion.
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Old Nov 14, 2003, 11:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillDrew
Both of those issues can be dealt with by using Panorama Tools.
If you assume a few sets of triplets and four balls in play it works fine. Like I said, it is a limited technique for situations with much movement if you just want a normal looking wide angle shot.

Most stitching software has different modes for correcting distortion. You end up with bowed shots and have to crop some of the image out. You can just use a linear stitch for the two vertical panos.
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Old Nov 15, 2003, 12:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
... You end up with bowed shots and have to crop some of the image out. You can just use a linear stitch for the two vertical panos.
Only true if there are no strong horizontal lines near the top/bottom of your image. There are three different kinds of "distortion" possible: lens, projection, and perspective. All of them tend to show up with very wide angle lenses and stitching wide images. A good example of this can be found at Max Lyons' site: http://www.tawbaware.com/panprob.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
If you assume a few sets of triplets and four balls in play it works fine. Like I said, it is a limited technique for situations with much movement if you just want a normal looking wide angle shot. ...
I was aiming for humor with that stitching job, it would have been easier to just stitch the two sides together without mulitple balls and triplets. Almost no technique will work in all situations, but the problem of people moving is often overstated.
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Old Nov 16, 2003, 10:09 PM   #7
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BillDrew

Great shot! I can't help it, and had to laugh a bit! :lol:
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