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Old Nov 20, 2003, 9:50 PM   #1
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Default Panoramic features

Hi All,
I have looked through the forum and was unable to find any comments regarding panoramic capabilities of cameras. This is a very important feature for me. Canon seems to be the only company that boasts this about their cameras. I have used my brother's powershot and used this feature. Wow! what a cool option. Is this something that Canon does better than the other guys or what? Do the other cameras do this with software? How do I tell when I am looking at the features and specs?
Hopefully someone can help clarify this.

Thanks in advance!

Maurice
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Old Nov 20, 2003, 10:27 PM   #2
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Spgaca, are you referring to still photo stitching, or in panoramic video.

There are several 'stitching' softwares available, and I wouldn't think they are camera specific.
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 6:19 AM   #3
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What Canon does is this; In Panorama mode your last shot is displayed at the edge in the LCD giving you more oppertunity to match the next shot.

I have heard some other camera being capable to display a photo on lcd while taking a new one, it was called overlap photo. I don't recall which camera.

The panorama thingy of Canon is as good as the lens. I used to work with an Canon Ixus (first model) and tried the Panorama mode. If the lens has a lot of barrel/pincushion, the panorama mode seemless framing of shots is useless; you may want to give it more overlap.
I don't know if Canon has solved the difference in light settings for each panorama shot, but if they haven't it as usfull as going without this mode and any camera.
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 8:18 AM   #4
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Olympus also has a pano function but only works with their media cards
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 9:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathilde uP
The panorama thingy of Canon is as good as the lens. I used to work with an Canon Ixus (first model) and tried the Panorama mode. If the lens has a lot of barrel/pincushion, the panorama mode seemless framing of shots is useless; you may want to give it more overlap.

I don't know if Canon has solved the difference in light settings for each panorama shot, but if they haven't it as usfull as going without this mode and any camera.
I have not used a Canon. However with cameras that do not have a Panorama mode, you can enable both Focus and Exposure lock to insure all images taken for the Panorama are exposed the same. You'll have to check your model to make sure it has these features.

I would have though that Exposure Lock would be automatically enabled in all models having a Panorama mode. If Canon does not do this, then it would surprise me.

As for the Barrel Distortion, more overlap is helpful, but it can also be corrected in many software packages.
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 10:31 AM   #6
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Olympus cameras have a very good panormara function in my opinion, although (as Phil said) it is only available when you use Olympus branded media cards.

Any camera that has an exposure-lock feature can be used for panoramas though. Even though my Oly C-730 has the proper pano mode, I don't have any Oly media cards other than the small one supplied with the camera so I generally take my panos 'manually' by setting the exposure wherever I want in the frame, locking it, and using a tripod that is set up carefully with it's spirit level. I then use Panorama Factory to stich all the photos together which I think is a brilliant peice of software.

You can see some examples of Panorama Factory's output on my website by clicking here. The only ones done with the camera's pano mode are the photos of the harbourside cranes, the weir, the sunset and the garden/fountain. All the others on that page were just done on a tripod by manually locking the exposure settings.

Ed
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 7:29 PM   #7
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I like the Olympus panorama system. When you import the panos into the Camedia software they are identified as panos and numbered in sequence for the pano. It is easy to just drag panorama images into the stitch box in order. The software does a nice job with various modes to compensate for things like barrel distortion.

I have heard many positive comments on the Canon system with part of the previous image in the LCD so you can line up the stitch and get the overlap right. I wouldnít use it if my Oly had it. The optical viewfinder shows 85% of the scene. If I align the edges from one shot to the next the 7 Ĺ% on either side provides enough for the Camedia software to make a perfect stitch. Panorama Factory requires a lot more overlap than that and wonít stitch images I take that way.

The reason I wouldnít use the Canon system in the LCD is that I donít use a tripod even for a 360 pano. I find that I can do that with the optical viewfinder where I canít use the LCD without a tripod. It might be helpful in a camera with an EVF.

For some shots I use manual rather than the dedicated panorama mode to lock the exposure. I think the Oly system allows only 8 panoramas in a sequence and a 360 with the camera held vertically requires more shots than that. You also canít use flash in pano mode and there are times when you want to use the flash for them. But the panorama mode is good for quick grab shots when you need more width.

At the time I bought my camera the Oly xD cards were as cheap as anything else. But the coding in the card that allows the panorama mode to be used is a scam. There arenít any extra functions in the card the pano mode needs. There is just a short string of code that identifies it as an Oly card and the camera wonít engage the pano mode without that code. It is a blatant move to peddle Oly cards.
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 8:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathilde uP
What Canon does is this; In Panorama mode your last shot is displayed at the edge in the LCD giving you more oppertunity to match the next shot.
My Casio QV-5700 also has this panorama feature, placing a strip of the last image down the edge of the LCD monitor image. I find it very useful & successful. However, I have to use my improvised viewer/hood to use it, as the LCD monitor is uselessly dim in ordinary outdoor lighting.

Also the panoramic feature locks the exposure to that of the first frame of the panorama, when it may well be better to fix the exposure at a different value. I know from still camera/filmscanner panorama experience that it *is* necessary to fix the exposure for all the frames - the question is "at what value should you fix it?" The automatic facilities on my camera mean you expose for the first frame whether you like it or not.

There is a whole discussion forum here in Steve's Digicams called 'panoramas & stitching' where very little gets posted, with several resident experts on techniques, software, etc.
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 10:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan T
I know from still camera/filmscanner panorama experience that it *is* necessary to fix the exposure for all the frames - the question is "at what value should you fix it?" The automatic facilities on my camera mean you expose for the first frame whether you like it or not.
I usually do OK by guessing where my average lighting might be and pre-metering by pushing the shutter release halfway at that place.
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Old Nov 21, 2003, 11:16 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for being so helpful in your responses.
Janet, I am referring more to the still photo "stitching".

The way I interpret the answers that were given to me is that with good software and practice I should be able to manage with almost any camera.
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