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Old Feb 1, 2012, 2:00 PM   #11
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I never tried to do a Sweep Panorama indoors. Do you have a camera that can do that?
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Old Feb 1, 2012, 2:38 PM   #12
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I do not. I use a Sony A-550. I followed the A55 SLT versus A-580 thread as video and panning sounded like cool options to have.

The A-580 does not auto focus in video and the SLT does not use the standard A-5xx accessories (battery grip et al, BAD SONY! ). The loss of light in the SLT did not look all that appealing either. I could schlep along a couple of portable lights and deal with the loss of a couple of stops of light on an f/2.8 or f/1.7 lens. The short Sigma is f/4.5-5.6 so I am not sure what the ultimate difference might be if using a SLT camera. My A-550 seems to be quite good at resolving changes in lighting conditions. Something else to consider if going to SLT is it is consistently over 100 degrees here in the summer.

I think a panorama seems like a good idea but have no idea how it might display on a web page.


On the B&H link provided by JimC there is review of the Sigma 8-16 from someone doing architectural shots with an A-700 and they seem to approve of its performance.

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Old Feb 1, 2012, 3:21 PM   #13
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Is this an application where one might shoot everything in HD video and go back later to capture stills?
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Old Feb 1, 2012, 7:21 PM   #14
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As a general rule of thumb, the individual frames from video don't look so good.

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I think a panorama seems like a good idea but have no idea how it might display on a web page
BTW, if you take multiple images and stitch them together yourself, the end result wouldn't need to look like a typical Panorama image (where you only one row of images with a much wider end result).

You can take multiple rows and columns of images and end up with one that looks like it was shot with a wider lens (or from further away), with the same aspect ratio you'd have without using any stitching.

I've got Hugin installed in Linux (Hugin is an open source, cross platform GUI front end to Panotools) and it can do that kind of multi-row stitching.

But, so can many of the other free and commercial Panorama applications available.

I'd play with some of them, as many can do most of the work for you.

To get an idea of how automated some of the work can be, give the free Autostich a whirl.

http://cs.bath.ac.uk/brown/autostitch/autostitch.html

Then, you may want to play with some of the commercial software that can use that type of technology and give you a lot more features for correction, etc. See Autopano Pro for one example (and they have demo versions you can download for Windows, OS X and Linux):

http://www.kolor.com/panorama-softwa...opano-pro.html

There are many more around, too.

I don't keep up with much in the way of Panorama software and am definitely no expert. But, note that we do have a dedicated Panorama / Stitching
Forum that you may want to browse through and ask questions in about available tools (as again, there are many around now).
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Old Feb 1, 2012, 7:45 PM   #15
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Stitching, when done properly can look great. I wouldn't mind stitching images together on occasion but that can complicate things especially if you have a client to please.
For interior real estate work I would try to keep things simple. If wide angle is needed maybe investing in a few flashes and radio triggers would be money better spent.

As a prior A-550 user and a current A55 user I can say that the A55 is a much better camera. I used the A580 a couple of times and liked that better then the A-550 also, but for my needs the A55 was the best choice. I can't comment on the use in extreme temperatures yet, but I can that the SLT light loss is insignificant.

Have you checked out Kurt Mungers site? He is a real estate photographer who uses Sony gear and has tutorials on interior photography.
http://www.kurtmunger.com/

Here's a screen shot taken from a video shot with the A55 & Sony 18-250 lens indoors with extreme contrasting light, unedited. As JimC says it's not that good.
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Old Feb 2, 2012, 6:02 AM   #16
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This is a Sweep Panorama shot I took with my Sony TX7:


It's simple to do, but the exposure settings for where you start are used for all the photos that it stitches together itself. In low light, a slow shutter speed could be a problem.
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Old Feb 2, 2012, 9:43 AM   #17
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I feel better knowing I am not the only one that has to shoot in a room with a slanted wall. I was beginning to think they only existed in the houses I was trying to do. Floor to ceiling cabinets can be sneaky also.

Nice example Mike. I have a friend in TV who talks about that sort of thing but the equipment is quite different. IIRC he told me they paid $25,000 for their last camera and that was second hand. It is one of those, it can be done but not with the gear I can buy. Thanks for the link. What do you think of the view finder on the A55? If I were to make the switch to SLT I would most likely choose the series based on viewfinder if there were a difference.

Does the street in your Panorama run in a straight line? I like the idea. I followed the links provided by JimC and scanned the forum here and found more information than I could digest. Definitely something to look into further.
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Old Feb 2, 2012, 5:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Does the street in your Panorama run in a straight line? I like the idea.
Yes. That's Jefferson Drive and the National Mall from the steps behind the National Air & Space Museum. It's about a 120 angle of view. I could have gone further, but I stopped it there.

This one is closer to a 180 sweep:

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Old Feb 3, 2012, 8:06 AM   #19
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I have been to DC on a couple of occasions and the National Air & Space Museum is at the top of the list for things to do.

Looking at the first image it does appear to have altered the perspective. It is a great example with all of the lines for reference. Looking through the links provided there seems to be software that can help. Inside a house I can see areas that would cause trouble. Having looked at some of the images I can also see areas where the results should be quite nice.

Is there an affordable point and shoot that would be suitable?

I think a couple of the houses I have done are up on the association site. I would post a link but that seems to skirt the rules of the forum. I am not personally selling anything but one cannot get much more commercial than a realty web site. May I get a ruling from the judges on that please?
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 8:21 AM   #20
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Go ahead (post a link to the realty site). It's not like you're trying to sell anything or use the forums here for commercial purposes (you're just getting some advise on how to take better photos of the homes). So, I don't have any problem with you posting a link to it.

As for in camera features, I think sticking to your existing camera would be a much better bet than trying to use a point and shoot. Just use a tripod and take photos with plenty of overlap if you really want to do some panorama type photos, then use software to stitch them together (and you can take multiple rows and columns and stitch the together so they have a more typical aspect ratio, versus one very wide photo like you get with in camera stitching.

Although being able to do in camera panoramas can be a neat feature for some things, I have not been very impressed with the results using it personally, using it with cameras like the A33 and NEX-5. You really don't have much flexibility using one that way, not to mention that you'd probably end up with blurry photos from the "sweeping" of the camera indoors in lower light (because shutter speeds would be too slow to prevent blur from the camera movement).

However, with software, you can take multi-row panoramas and stitch them together with more control over the end result.

BTW, if you look through some of the links around for Real Estate Panoramas, another trend is Real Estate Sites offering 360 degree virtual tours of homes. But, that's a bit more sophisticated than just taking some photos and stitching them together.
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