Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 [2]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Why don't they make an affordable panoramic digital cam?  (Read 7390 times)
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5171


« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2013, 09:24:11 AM »
ReplyReply

Something like the old Xpan film camera for $3500 or so? Even $4800 may be doable.
...
Yes, i know about stiching. But I'd rather have it in one shot.
If the question is about cameras like the XPan that record the whole image at one moment, rather than with rotating mechanisms, then probably the dominant issue is that this would require a custom sensor in an unusual, low-volume shape, whereas with film, perfectly normal rolls of 35mm or 120/220 film can be used.

Bernard has a good point too, that the lenses for cameras like the Xpan send light to the edges of the frame at a very off-perpendicular angle which film can handle but normal sensors cannot, but once the sensor is a custom design anyway, a sensor maker like TrueSense (the former Kodak sensor division) could probably hande that with off-set micro lenses as on the sensors that Kodak made for Leica. Or a lens with a design more like a modern SLR wide angle lens could handle this better. However, adding a custom lens design also pushes the price up.

On top of all that, even though the desire to avoid stitching is understandable, the fact that
(a) panoramic crops from a camera like the D800 probably about match the IQ of the Xpan and
(b) stitching is so much easier with digital than with film
have surely reduced the number of people who would pay for such a camera, which hurts the economies of scale when there is a large sensor development cost to recover, which further pushes up the retail price needed to break-even, which depresses sales volume even more ... the vicious pricing spiral that has prevented so many nice "special interest" film camera options from making the transition to digital.
Logged
Chockstone
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12


WWW
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2013, 11:02:18 PM »
ReplyReply

If someone made a digital 6x17 with at least 80MP for around $10k I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Freedom from stitching is a frequent dream of mine. Usually whenever the light is changing quickly and I'm pleading with the camera to hurry up and finish the last shot of a series to be stitched. 8 shots (left to right) x 3 bracketed (to recover highlights and clean Canon's noisy shadows) x 2 for long exposure noise reduction at a few seconds each, means I'm not so much "capturing the moment" as I am "capturing the last 10 minutes".

I dream of stopping cresting waves with a nice half-second blur, instead I'm forced to flatten them out with at least 15 seconds so they stitch nice, but lose all sense of texture. I dream of not spend ages in front a computer making sure each frame is the same brightness, even though it may have received less light, or worse a different hue of light. And don't get me started on stitching errors.

That said you can get some incredible results with a good stitch, when everything goes to plan and fates align in your favour. Three metre prints look out of this world good. And to be fair 9 times out of ten things do work out perfectly. It's that 10th time though, the one that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth as I hit the delete button in frustration that has me asking, as the OP did, why someone won't build this camera for us.
Logged

hjulenissen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1713


« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2013, 11:39:53 PM »
ReplyReply

It depends on the shutter speed really. No problem with long shutter speeds.

Cheers,
Bernard

If you have rapid erratic movement (waves, leaves blowing in the wind) and slower directed movement (clouds moving, the sun moving below the horizon), then I imagine that there is a trade-off between the desire to have short exposures (consistent lighting) and long exposures (blur waves to facilitate stitching)?

-h
Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7919


WWW
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2013, 11:47:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

The better digital bacs cower around 645 formate and cost about 20000USD, so you just stitch 4 of them. Each of those 4 needs different microlens design.

A Sony Alpha 99 or a Nikon D800 has much cleaner shadows AFAIK. I never bracket, I do expose for the highlights and that takes some exposures. You can shut down long exposure noise reduction.

Or you could buy an IQ180 and use it with a Hartblei HCam using a Canon 17/4 TS and just crop or put the IQ180 on an Alpa and use a very short Rodenstock lens like the 23 mm HR. Yes, I'm pretty sure you can put a Canon 17/4 on an ALPA FPS or a Rodenstock 23 HR on the Hartblei.

Now that combo is not like 10K more like 40K+. Ten grand gets you a used P45+, the Hartblei Canon Combo goes for something like 12k, I guess.

Best regards
Erik


If someone made a digital 6x17 with at least 80MP for around $10k I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Freedom from stitching is a frequent dream of mine. Usually whenever the light is changing quickly and I'm pleading with the camera to hurry up and finish the last shot of a series to be stitched. 8 shots (left to right) x 3 bracketed (to recover highlights and clean Canon's noisy shadows) x 2 for long exposure noise reduction at a few seconds each, means I'm not so much "capturing the moment" as I am "capturing the last 10 minutes".

I dream of stopping cresting waves with a nice half-second blur, instead I'm forced to flatten them out with at least 15 seconds so they stitch nice, but lose all sense of texture. I dream of not spend ages in front a computer making sure each frame is the same brightness, even though it may have received less light, or worse a different hue of light. And don't get me started on stitching errors.

That said you can get some incredible results with a good stitch, when everything goes to plan and fates align in your favour. Three metre prints look out of this world good. And to be fair 9 times out of ten things do work out perfectly. It's that 10th time though, the one that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth as I hit the delete button in frustration that has me asking, as the OP did, why someone won't build this camera for us.
Logged

AreBee
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 138



WWW
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2013, 01:48:35 PM »
ReplyReply

Rhossydd,

Quote from: Rhossydd
On true rotating panoramic cameras...

Does a rotating panoramic camera project a rectilinear image onto the sensor?
Logged

Rhossydd
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1991


WWW
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2013, 01:56:05 PM »
ReplyReply

Does a rotating panoramic camera project a rectilinear image onto the sensor?
Using the term 'rectilinear' might not be appropriate in the case of rotating lens cameras as the extreme angle of view will inherently create perspective distortion.
Logged
AreBee
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 138



WWW
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2013, 02:37:16 PM »
ReplyReply

Rhossydd,

Quote from: Rhossydd
Using the term 'rectilinear' might not be appropriate in the case of rotating lens cameras as the extreme angle of view will inherently create perspective distortion.

Thank you. Unfortunately I failed to make myself clear in my previous post. What I meant was: for a given field of view that can be replicated by a rectilinear wide angle lens, is a crop from a rotating panoramic camera with identical field of view identical? I now understand the answer to be: no. Rotating panoramic cameras do not render lines that are straight in reality as straight in the captured image.

This difference is, to me, fundamental. After all, the human eye is rectilinear.
Logged

Rhossydd
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1991


WWW
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2013, 04:13:07 PM »
ReplyReply

for a given field of view that can be replicated by a rectilinear wide angle lens, is a crop from a rotating panoramic camera with identical field of view identical?
If you give the matter some consideration you'll realise that you're asking a question that doesn't make sense.
There's no 'rectilinear wide angle lens' that offers, for example, a 270 or 360 degree field of view.

Rectilinear, in practical terms, means correcting for perspective. With a rotating lens camera that becomes effectively impossible.
Logged
AreBee
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 138



WWW
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2013, 06:28:58 PM »
ReplyReply

Rhossydd,

Quote from: Rhossydd
If you give the matter some consideration you'll realise that you're asking a question that doesn't make sense.

On the contrary. Within the context of this thread I consider my question to you valid.

The OP and the majority of discussion in this thread which has followed has concentrated on cameras that overwhelmingly adopt rectilinear lenses. A rotating panoramic camera was offered as one alternative to stitching. While it is true that a rotating panoramic camera can capture a field of view that far exceeds that capable of being captured by a rectilinear lens, a crop from the former that matches the field of view of the latter will not return the same image. In my view this is important. Others may take a different view.

Quote
There's no 'rectilinear wide angle lens' that offers, for example, a 270 or 360 degree field of view.

True, but I don't get the impression that the purpose of this thread was to discuss extreme field of view.
Logged

Rhossydd
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1991


WWW
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2013, 03:02:38 AM »
ReplyReply

The OP and the majority of discussion in this thread which has followed has concentrated on cameras that overwhelmingly adopt rectilinear lenses.
This become an issue of semantics; How do you define a 'panoramic' image ?
It would be easy to argue that using rectilinear projection simply makes wide angle images, rather than a 'true' panoramic image.
The wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panoramic_photography) probably gives a reasonable enough definition.
Quote
True, but I don't get the impression that the purpose of this thread was to discuss extreme field of view.
See above.

Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7919


WWW
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2013, 03:14:25 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

Just some comments on the thread.

I don't think it is correct to discuss the human eye, it is more about human vision. The human eye actually has a very narrow area having sharp vision (like a 100 mm lens). The wide area of sharp vision is achieved by eye motion and the image is built in the brain. So human wide field vision is based on rotational panoram technique with postprocessing in the brain. It is augmented by peripheral vision but that is monochrome and quite fuzzy.

A peripheral object will be further away than a central object if both are located in the same plane parallel to the sensor. If we assume 90 degrees of horisontal view and an object that is 20 m from the camera, right and left edge would be at 28 m distance. So, academic rectilinear perspective would need to enlarge an object at the edge 1.414 times. Rectilinear panos stretch objects. Because objects cannot be stretched the widest 135 mm rectilinear lens, the Hologon 12, covers 112 degrees horisontally, that is about maximum achievable with lenses.

A rotational pano makes the processing in the computer, not in the lens, like the human visions does.

Best regards
Erik
Logged

Rhossydd
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1991


WWW
« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2013, 04:09:49 AM »
ReplyReply

A rotational pano makes the processing in the computer
<cough> A rotational panoramic camera doesn't use a computer to post process at all.
The digital rotational cameras just use a computer to stick the bits together. (as do some compacts* with sweep panorama mode)
The film ones just record life in one sweep.

*Actually one problem with some of the compacts that offer a sweep mode panorama is that they are too cheap.
When used carefully the results are fantastic, but the final quality is limited by the limited range of in-camera options; no raw output primarily.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 04:14:05 AM by Rhossydd » Logged
AreBee
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 138



WWW
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2013, 04:38:03 AM »
ReplyReply

Rhossydd,

Quote
This become an issue of semantics; How do you define a 'panoramic' image?

How I define a panoramic image is neither relevant nor important. What is important is that a person that starts a thread lamenting the lack of a digital panoramic camera appreciates that a rotating panoramic camera is not a direct substitute if the original desire related to, in your parlance, a wide angle image, which in my view it did.

Erik,

I have some understanding of the way in which the eye works and brain sees. The point I make is simply this: we see straight lines as straight.
Logged

rosswarner@rosswarner.com
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 26


« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2013, 09:32:19 AM »
ReplyReply

Here is a cropped shot at 35mm, Sony A900:
http://rosswarner.com/ADSC01768.html

Here is an Xpan shot with the standard 45mm lens:
http://rosswarner.com/X13_22.html

I could have matched them better by going wider with the A900 (I was using the Minolta 17-35 G lens). The Xpan is from the bell tower, the Sony is from ground level.

I sure got tired of scanning those slides, sold all my Hasselblad gear after I got into digital photography.

-Ross Warner
Logged
LKaven
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 840


« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2013, 12:50:40 PM »
ReplyReply

Really did like the size and feel of the XPanII.  As good as cropping can be, it'd be very cool (and astronomically expensive) to have a digital sensor with the full 60mm on the long side.  But in a more practical way, it'd be very nice to have a couple of more options for crop-masking on the 35mm FF digitals.  The panorama would be one nice addition.  The other would be a square crop.  I don't know why the Nikon can do a 5x4 crop-mask, but not a 1x1. 
Logged

NancyP
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1055


« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2013, 03:41:35 PM »
ReplyReply

The other option might be to buy 3 DP2M cameras ($2,700.00) and bolt them to a frame with maybe 20% overlap. Then figure out how to get simultaneous shutter firing, preferably radiofrequency related. The truly stupid thing about Merrills is that no-one made provision for external shutter control - you have to use the auto-timer for tripod work! If Sigma ever comes out with a version 2 of the Merrill cameras, those cameras need to have shutter release options. The other issue with post-processing is that you have to convert to tif files to use the pano programs (however this may well have changed).

One thing that is challenging is trying to shoot panos of flocks, herds, schools, etc of animals. Waves are a PITA, but birds are a greater PITA for panos.
Logged
hjulenissen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1713


« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2013, 04:00:35 AM »
ReplyReply

So you have the (digital) options of using
-one large sensor + large image circle lense
-several smaller sensors with one lense each
-One camera, manual panning
-One camera with a shift-lense
-Use a camera with a digital scan back + large image circle lense

One option that I have never seen mentioned is to use a 2-d sensor (e.g. something similar to the Nikon D7100 APS-C) mounted on a suitable movable mechanism to cover a large image circle (either "wide" or "large"). This would seem to allow the use of off-the-shelf CMOS sensors at sensible prices with very good specs, a large image circle lens (no doubt expensive) and a complicated electro-mechanical sled/movement thing that would be hard to do and expensive, but would not involve establishing a $1 billion silicon factory.

The question is if a moving APS-C sensor could cover the image circle sufficiently fast so as to cover some shots that are impossible with manual movements, but offer some benefits over digital scan backs. For panos, you might need movement in only one direction, greatly simpliyfying things. If the sensor is to move at any sensible constant speed, without having insane readout rates, you would have multiple samples of the same spot smeared out slightly differently, mkeing for an interesting deconvolution problem. Albeit one with many known variables.

-h
Logged
Peter McLennan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1695


« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2013, 10:46:21 AM »
ReplyReply

..You can get virtually the same effect in digital with a Nikon D800. stick on an ultra-wide lens, stand well back and then top and tail the resultant image.


This is not quite the same image as would result from stitching several telephoto images.  Note the relative size change of the buildings from L to R. 

That's one of the primary and unique advantages of stitching. You can get "wide angle telephoto" shots. Very useful.
Logged
Pages: « 1 [2]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad