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Sony's panoramic feature v.s. wide angle lenses

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by squeegee, May 28, 2010.

  1. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    I have neither the new sony camera nor a wide angle lens, I might go into a sony store later and see if I can try it out.

    But... for those of you who are more knowledgeable, is automated quality panoramic stitching going to effectively replace super-wide angle lenses for scenic / landscape pictures? (or at least for the home-users? not true-professionals?)

    Why or why not?

    It's cheaper for me to go out and buy one of the new sony panoramic cameras than it is to buy a wide angle lens. As for carrying it around, it's roughly the same size as a :43: lens, maybe smaller. It may have worst low light abilities but for landscape pictures, what proportion would be during the day v.s. during the night? I have no idea what the resulting quality is yet...

    If I'm thinking of buying a wide angle lens for scenic / landscape pictures, price per result, this is a very real option to consider even right now already - panoramic camera ($450) or wide angle lens ($750)...

    Part of me says, if my olympus had that ability right now, I don't think I'd even be considering a wide angle lens for landscapes.
  2. BlairMacKay

    BlairMacKay Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2010
    Calgary, Alberta
    Hi, I am not an expert or experienced with angles ( I have never used one), but I am also looking at purchasing one.

    From what I have read, the ultra-wide angles are not used for fitting everything in but for isolating/distorting? an object in the foreground with the background. While panoramas are for fitting everything in.

    This Ken Rockwell article was very informative for me, and I think it shows how ultra-wide angles are used, and how they are different than pano's.

    How to Use Ultra-Wide Lenses

    Hope it helps!
  3. laptoprob

    laptoprob Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 28, 2010
    software stitching is getting better and better, but it is still a workaround. A true pano is captured in a single shot, so action shots are possible. Try that with separate shots...
    And a true pano rotates, a wideangle does not. OK, maybe like a fisheye. But a rotating pano doesn't show the usual wideangle distortions, because it doesn't use the corners of the frame or side of the lens. A true rotating pano has a vertical slit moving circularly.
  4. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    thanks, nice article. Unfortunately I think it's trying to tell me I need to buy both :rofl:

    But, seeing as how you said you were going to buy one, please report back so I can learn about it with out spending the money :smile:

    I don't believe this is the case with the new sony method of pano's. I think it's taking relatively continuous images as you pan, similar to taking a video. I think the joining is less of a slit than a continuous gradient. I was under the impression that it would be more like taking a video and panning the camera, then for each frame just add the pixels that were missing on the previous frame. This reduces the sudden exposure/distortion "slit" as you call it as it's a continuous gradient of change. As an example, if you try taking a normal pano of your room with say 4 pictures (360 degrees), the join points of your pictures won't really work without massive correction because the angle of the objects at the join point just won't match up. If you take say 36 pictures of your room at 360degrees, and just use 1/36th of the centre part of each image, there will be relatively no distortion at the centre of each image making the entire photo join properly - making your room look flat. I'm going to see if I can find one in a store to try out to see if this is in deed true or if it was just marketing chatter.
  5. Carol Stee

    Carol Stee Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2010
    This is off the topic but Sony is bringing out a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, the NEX-3, that is available from Willoughby's Established 1898 through amazon.com (USA) for preorder, available June 30. It is smaller than any of the M4/3 cameras, comes in black, silver, or red, and is availble with a choice of two kit lenses, either a 16 mm f/2.8 for $549.99 or an 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 for $599.99. It has an APS HD CMOS sensor that is bigger than the 4/3 sensor and the lenses aren't compatible with the M4/3 cameras. dpreview has previewed it. Does anybody have thoughts on this new camera? Is it a serious contender to M4/3?

    Amazon.com: Sony a NEX 3A - Digital camera - prosumer - 14.2 Mpix - Sony 16mm lens - supported memory: MS Duo, SD, MS…

    Amazon.com: Sony a NEX 3K - Digital camera - prosumer - 14.2 Mpix - Sony 18-55mm OSS lens - optical zoom: 3 x - supported memory: MS Duo, SD, MS PRO Duo, SDXC, MS PRO-HG Duo HX, SDHC, MS PRO-HG Duo - black: Camera & Photo

    Sony NEX-3 Preview: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
  6. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    I know, I tried it out at the sony store a couple of weeks ago when it was announced. It's "good" (not excellent, not horrible, just "good").

    As a format it has a lot going for it, i.e. size, image quality, interchangeable lens etc, but as a camera, controls were awkward at best and the functions were limited to that of a point and shoot - a mid range one at that, not even a higher end point and shoot. My thoughts were that it would depend on their target, if their target is squarely the point and shoot crowd then it'll do fine for that target. They won't impress any higher-end consumers with it though, not at least with the nex-3/5 bodies. (They could in the future with the rumoured nex-7 or something with more functionality etc...)

    As for the panoramic on the sonys, I went into a store and tried the tx5 and the HX5 (I think). The HX5 was not that impressive, I think it took 4 or 5 pictures for a 210 degree panoramic, I could clearly see the join points. The tx5 seemed to do much better (I though it was ranked lower, but maybe it's newer or something). The tx5's join points weren't visible unless I really did something to show it like wobble the camera around. Even at that it did a very good job of smoothing it over, it looked like the room was wavy. I took a picture of the floor which was tiled with 1 foot square tiles, I was expecting the tile-lines to show the join points but they didn't. They all matched up perfectly - in a fish-eye like distorted manner, but impressive none the less. Even with people in the photo it looked normal unless some one was moving too quick at a join point, then they looked a little thin - or was missing a leg ahaha. I think it'd work "well" for scenic pictures where there's no people in it. The image quality was ... what you expect from a 14mp point and shoot though.

    I don't think it's good enough to go buy a camera for, but I can see the potential if they can get it to something high like 20 frames for 200 degrees - on an olympus m43 :) , I think I'd use it - more than I use the existing "art filters".

    • Like Like x 1
  7. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    This whole thread has led me to wonder....

    If I put the camera in movie mode, then spin in a circle, say 360 degrees.

    It should not be "too" difficult, to say extract the frames from the video and create a panoramic image from it all. It would give 30fps for how ever long you took to do the video.

    Hrmmm... in theory you could get a camera, wave it around like a flash light, and the captured frames should be merge-able into one huge picture.

    The quality of the image would be limited to your video quality - but an interesting concept none the less... hrmmm.....
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