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Thread: In-camera panorama vs dslr panorama

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    Member El Baroda's Avatar
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    In-camera panorama vs dslr panorama

    I have always wanted to take panoramic photos but held back because of the complicated procedure involved when using a DSLR. Yesterday, whilst clearing my desk, I picked up my old Olympus Stylus 5010 and noted that it has a panorama feature. I tried the feature for the first time today (bought the camera in 2009) and I was impressed with the result. It actually takes 3 photos and combines them in-camera. I was wondering what members of the forum thought of this and similar pocket cameras vs the DSLR as far as image quality of panoramic photos is concerned. Your comments will be much appreciated. Thanks.

    PS I am asking the question before I upload any pano from my Olympus pocket camera.
    Last edited by El Baroda; 14-03-2013 at 10:38pm.

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    Ausphotography Veteran martycon's Avatar
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    I think we are talking of the same function. I had an olympus compact which enabled a (camera function) pair of images to be stitched together using external software. Results were rather poor. My current SONY compact has a panorama feature where lots of images are recorded, as I pan, and are combined in camera. I just now sat on swivel chair and made 180 deg pano (under fluro room light), and results are reasonable. I find that the facility is really useful in a room where only walls are of interest. I will now have to have a closer look at detailed image quality regards marty.

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    Hi Marty. My Olympus takes two or three shots and processes the pano inside the camera, not by external software (although there is an option to process it on a computer). I press the shutter for the first photo, and then the camera trips the shutter when the two markers on the screen overlap. I have the option whether to take 2 or 3 shots for the pano. The quality of the photo is really good. Still, I want to hear what people here think about in-camera panos. I think I will use it as my dedicated pano camera.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    How large do you intend to print the panorama images?
    Andrew
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    Hi Andrew. The Olympus produces 1.8 MB pano with about 4 x 1 ratio. I'd like to print it 40 inches (L) x 10 inches (H) for framing, if the IQ will still be okay. What do you think? Thanks.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Andrew brought up the point of most importance. Output quality!!

    Output doesn't specifically need to be print, but that is only one option to consider.

    The point is, how fussy are you about the quality of output?

    I've done only a small handful of multi-image stitched panorama shots, and each one has been something of a labour of love. That is, the job of doing it right, processing it properly, removing flaws .... no matter how small and insignificant .. etc, has been something more about the ideology of it all. That is the means to the end, not the end itself.

    99.9% of my pano images are simply crops, and the output of which is usually small time 24" HD screen resolution only, not large prints. Although, I have also done one 30x17" cropped print as well .. gave it away as a pressie.


    Recently, I got a smart camera for my daughter, and it has this panorama feature too, and it usually works badly, with too many stitching errors, and exposure inconsistencies .. but they can be fun to do .. especially if you're a 10yo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Baroda View Post
    Hi Andrew. The Olympus produces 1.8 MB pano with about 4 x 1 ratio. I'd like to print it 40 inches (L) x 10 inches (H) for framing, if the IQ will still be okay. What do you think? Thanks.

    1.8Mb sounds too small for a nice high quality print of that size.

    the image I sent to the printer(pro printer, not my home printer!) was approx 80 or more Mb Tiff file from a 20Mb raw file.

    Whoever you choose to print this image will know better, but I'm sure 1.8Mb is going to be a wee bit too small for a high quality 40" print.

    .. maybe on canvas tho!! Canvas has it's own texture to it and is not like paper, on which you usually expect to see a high level of detail.
    So, with a lower res image printed on canvas there's a different expectation of detail and texture rendering, and it's not all about seeing intricate details as it is on fine paper.
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Baroda View Post
    Hi Andrew. The Olympus produces 1.8 MB pano with about 4 x 1 ratio. I'd like to print it 40 inches (L) x 10 inches (H) for framing, if the IQ will still be okay. What do you think? Thanks.
    I think Arthur summed it up very well.
    To my way of thinking, panorama images are meant to show vastness in landscapes and work best when printed large and viewed at normal sort of distances relative to their size.
    I would suggest that you have one printed at a smallish size that you are happy with on a screen, view it at a distance appropriate to the image size and then consider whether the quality is what you expected before you spend too many $$$ having one or more printed large.

    Given the in camera processing of panoramas that I have seen I feel that the quality will ultimately disappoint from such a venture printed at the size you envisage.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Both AK and I@M have heralded output quality, but what about input quality?
    Taking successful panos (and I have learnt this mostly in the default) DOES involve a good initial imaging technique as well.
    (There are threads about this here and there.)

    Certainly, sitting in a swivel chair in a confined space is NOT conducive to the makings of a good panorama.

    To the OP: there are lots of panorama stitching programs, not all will always produce a good pano.
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    Ausphotography Regular knumbnutz's Avatar
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    IF you want to shoot a pano, and its a fair distance to the subject like a large vista then a tripod is ok you wont need a pano head, and just shoot with a 30% overlap. There are plenty of free programs to stitch like ICE.

    If you like what you are getting and want to go further get the pano head.

    The phones and cameras that stitch are generally pretty small images generally and are ok for say a 24inch wide shot, but just dont expect much. n the contrary, start shooting a DSLR and even 1x 12mp image cropped will give you a better result. the other reasons they will be better too is things like dynamic range and noise.
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    If not using a pano head as Knumbnutz said, at least 30 percent overlap on each shot. Also, shoot in full manual mode with exposure, shutter speed and white balance set so they do not change for each shot. Keep each shot level as well with no close objects otherwise you will get stitch errors. Best free stitching options are Microsoft ICE, Hugin and Autostitch or if you already have PS, use that.
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    1.8MB is definitely way too small to print anything like the quality you're after. I'd go with shooting individual images for the pano in your highest image resolution which on that particlar camera will churn out a better file size at 4288 x 2416 (10.4 MP, 16:9) and stitch them in your editing software or like the one's mentioned above.
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