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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Hello!

Im planning to buy a Motorized head for my gigapixel panorama shots, and after reading some reviews about the Gigapan Epic PRO, im not really sure if its the best option... maybe anyone can share some personal experiences with this hardware?

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1003/10031603gigapanepicpro.asp


Here are some reviews..., one thing what worries me is that.., it not very "solid" maybe they fixed this ? , i watched several video reviews and it "shakes" with some strong wind or other movements...
for long exposure shots thats terrible.
Although i read that in the newer version of this product they fixed some physical and software problems, can anyone confirm this ?

I have a range of 600$ to 1000 dolars or so to expend, maybe there´s a better suittable option for me ?
(I have a Nikon D7000 18-105mm VR & 300mm sigma)

Thank you!
Regards, Manuel.


Last edited by MFranquelo on Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:25 pm 
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There is a low-cost self-build option using a wooden frame and Lego motors/ controller. Does not look very elegant but does the job.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/73571158@N00/sets/72157623635436569/

Free software available in NXC format (see http://bricxcc.sourceforge.net/ and http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4174373/Woody%20NXC%20ZZ%20V1-3.nxc) which can be adapted to suit your personal requirements.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:42 pm 
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MFranquelo wrote:
I have a range of 600$ to 1000 dolars or so to expend, maybe there´s a better suittable option for me ?
(I have a Nikon D7000 18-105mm VR & 300mm sigma)

Thank you!
Regards, Manuel.

If you made a choice, what did you choose?

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Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:04 pm 
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MFranquelo wrote:
Hello!

Im planning to buy a Motorized head for my gigapixel panorama shots, and after reading some reviews about the Gigapan Epic PRO, im not really sure if its the best option... maybe anyone can share some personal experiences with this hardware?

.

Hi Manuel!

Josefs head is in the final stage - aluminium parts are being anodized black and scales engraved. The head works very fine already- i tested it over the whole evaluation stages.

Described some facts here:
http://www.kolor.com/forum/t12379-josefa-s-head-time-for-spheres
Made some pics and vids here:
http://www.kolor.com/forum/t12057-tadaaa-here-it-is-prototype

Calculating a realistic price is under way - i guess (!) it will be around 1600/1800.-€ in the end.

What you get is a VERY strong head which moves heavy cameras and lenses fast and VERY accurate. And in two selectable Newtonmeter stages. One for normal (fast)
and the other

It contains batteries inside (around 6000 moves/shots with one charge) and with a plugged-in T&C controller in the field you dont need a laptop or something to shoot spheres, angles and mosaics.
Has built-in sensors for anti-shaking and leveling (levelindicator on the touchscreen, sensors fire only if the head/camera do not shake/vibrate) and some other goodies.
And of course it records positioning-xml in the PapyWizard format - which work perfectly in APG as i realized yesterday.

The only shortcoming: its less elegant than the competitors and a bit heavy . . :cool:

But really: ultra-sturdy! Built like a tank and in combination with a T&C handheld you don need anything else in the field to shoot from fisheye-spheres
to gigapixel-spheres or rectangles even using heavy 600/800 mm lenses (no Zenith or Nadir of course . . . :cool: - but i used a 120mm for full sphere and a
500mm mirror-tele also fits for Zenith . . ;))

Josef is just writing a script and i will do some more photographs and a video which show all details.

Details are coming very soon.

best, Klaus

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:53 pm 
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I have used a Gigapan Epic PRO for two years or so to do gigapixel panos, with a Canon 50D and a Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM.
It is heavy and clumsy, but that is only an issue if You have to carry it around (like I do). My experience is good, it works well.
There is one problem though, by now, the mirrror lockup does not work for my 50D. With the former firmware version I could use liveview to lock up the mirror, but not with the latest firmware (to my knowledge).
I would not recommend it for spheres because of the large footprint.

Leif

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:48 pm 
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I bought the Kolor's Panogear just a week ago or so, im still doing some tests, i´ll post some panorama's soon! i reached a global RMS of 1.86 in my last panorama, with the highest control point at 3.4
Thank you for your responses! and thank you too klaus!
Regards, Manuel.


Last edited by MFranquelo on Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:48 pm 
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leifs wrote:
I have used a Gigapan Epic PRO for two years or so to do gigapixel panos..........
..............I would not recommend it for spheres because of the large footprint.

Leif

How large is that nadir footprint?

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Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:53 pm 
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It's large, therefore I have never used it for spheres. The image below show the problem: short distance from the plate to the pitch-axis, and a large plate.
The new VR Drive 2, on lower right image, will make very small footprints :-)
(The down-image is shot with a Panasonic 8mm fisheye on my Oly EP2. No NPP adjustments etc, only for illustration purpose))

Leif



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Last edited by leifs on Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:38 pm 
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here´s a Nadir from Josef´s head - un-retouched:

http://360impressions.de/Nadir.jpg

best, Klaus



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Last edited by klausesser on Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:17 pm 
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here's a small footprint un-retouched
from a sphere shot with 25mm on a E-P3 (50mm 35mm eq) using a VRdrive 2

somebody should make a tripod with transparent legs :-)

Leif



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:16 am 
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Hi new to the forum . I live in Vermont USA, love photagraphy, hate hunting, not a good thing for an american Vermonter, so I use a camera. I wish this country would pull its head out of its but as far as pat. laws, because if they would I would not be having this problem, enough venting.


I ordered your bluetooth head control, read the new goto heads had the shutter snap option, and now with the orion mount in hand I can tell you it is not their, so now it apears I have aproblem.

I love open source and that is why i went with your aproach and the merlin mount. some where I read of a different blue tooth device with focus and exposure control, would that be a possiblity for shutter control.

I'm sure their is a plaise that tells witch mount with what blue tooth just havent found it yet. Going back to reading to be sure I don't ask a really stupid question! :/

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:47 am 
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I see you mention a 'Nextstar 8e' - is this the mount you have or do you have a Merlin GoTo mount?

Can you post a photo of your mount?

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Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:28 am 
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I have a orion track goto head, kolor bluetoth dungle,nokia n800. I just tried my first shots with it tonight. Every thing worked like a charm, well almost I was running the shutter with a wirless remot and on every try i missed a couple of shots. The head was faster then I thought it would be. the shutter sw is on the main board and I put a computer reset conector to bring the wires out of the case, was hopping I could get on the forum tonight and get some magical answers.I have read of plenty of people have acomplish the feat but but no real HOW TO. I also have a celestron C5 spotting scope, was killing two birds with one stone , it will work night and day.


The scope looks just like the one they are selling on KOLOR, except it has a goto hand control. Every thing is functioning fine with papywizard software on windows and nokia n800, the only thing that isn't functioning is me with a remote shutter control. any help with the orion goto mount and wiring this shutter to the apropiat femail 3/32 sterio jack would be greatly apreashatted! now back to reading. Thanks either way.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:31 am 
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Hi all,
not trying to be the smarter guy here, but really, how hard can it be for simple needs (spherical panoramas) to just put two continuos 360 servos/step motors on a Ninja mount and have the camera taking pictures at fast intervals... You just activate the horizontal servo and start the intervalomenter, then stop and take a second burst of shoots with the vertical servo activated.
You can have all this for less than 100$.
Now, if your needs are to shoot precise panogigas thats another matter, but I think it should work for sphericals.
What do you guys think?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:10 am 
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;)

Coming from the RC Helicopters world, we are quite used to work with servos and mounts, and if we can get a spherical pano up there in the air I thought it shouldn't be too hard to figure out a way to adapt to a much better and solid ground. ;)

Have a look at this example:

http://vimeo.com/30518716

and resulting VR:

http://azchoppercam.com/pano_downtown_phx_3.shtm


Destiny wrote:
Hi.. I am soooo glad you said you are NOT trying to be the smarter guy here... Let me know how you went trying it out...

Destiny.... The smarter girl... ;)

dex2009 wrote:
Hi all,
not trying to be the smarter guy here, but really, how hard can it be for simple needs (spherical panoramas) to just put two continuos 360 servos/step motors on a Ninja mount and have the camera taking pictures at fast intervals... You just activate the horizontal servo and start the intervalomenter, then stop and take a second burst of shoots with the vertical servo activated.
You can have all this for less than 100$.
Now, if your needs are to shoot precise panogigas thats another matter, but I think it should work for sphericals.
What do you guys think?



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:58 pm 
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dex2009 wrote:
Hi all,
not trying to be the smarter guy here, but really, how hard can it be for simple needs (spherical panoramas) to just put two continuos 360 servos/step motors on a Ninja mount and have the camera taking pictures at fast intervals... You just activate the horizontal servo and start the intervalomenter, then stop and take a second burst of shoots with the vertical servo activated.
You can have all this for less than 100$.
Now, if your needs are to shoot precise panogigas thats another matter, but I think it should work for sphericals.
What do you guys think?

When shooting sphericals with longer focal length lenses (not fisheye lenses) - a scenario where a robotic pano head may offer significant advantages over a manual pano head - it is highly desirable to shoot fewer images per row when approaching zenith and nadir to avoid excessive overlapping which can cause stitching problems, and to reduce shoot duration.

Few of the current robotic pano heads can handle this - the Merlin/Panogear mount can using Papywizard or the T&C/Panogear touch controller, also the upcoming T&C robotic head. Gigapan robotic heads cannot do this, they only shoot regular matrices of images. I'm not sure whether the two-axis versions of the Roundshot VR, Rodeon and MK robotic heads can do it.

If you are shooting sphericals with fisheye lenses I can see no benefit from using a robotic pano head unless you are shooting aerials from manned or unmanned aircraft, or shooting from poles, where it's not feasible to move the camera manually. In all other instances it's less complex and probably as quick to shoot using a manual pano head.

If shooting higher res. sphericals indoors you also need to factor in extended exposure bracketeing. Currently the best way to handle this seems to be to add a Promote control to the system.

You should also consider whether or not a particular robotic pano head is specifically supported by Autopano Pro/Giga to help with the placement and stitching of 'featureless' images; a major challenge when creating hi-res panos.

_________________
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.


Last edited by mediavets on Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:11 pm 
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I see no advantage to using a robotic pano head - rather than good manual pano head - for shooting sphericals using a Nikon D90 with a fisheye lens.

Robotic pano heads really come into their own when shooting hi-res. panos using longer focal length lenses which require many tens or hundreds of images to cover the pano FOV.

Few of the currently available pano heads are suited to shooting spherical panos because most can only shoot a regular matrix of images with the same number of images on every row. This is fine for hi-res partial panos (panos with a pano FOV of less than 360x180) but not so good for sphericals where it desirable to shooting fewer images per row as you approach the zenith and nadir to avoid excessive overlapping, and to reduce the duration of the shoot.

When shooting hi-res panos with longer focal length rectilnear lenses - whether spherical or partial panos and whether indoors or outdoors - it easy to end up with'featureless' images (because each image has a relatively small FOV) such as when shooting scenes with plain walls/ceilings, or clear blue skies. It is very desirable to use a robotic pano head that is specifically supported by Autopano Pro/Giga in such circumstances to avoid 'featureless' images remaining orphaned and not included in the stitch.

_________________
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:19 pm 
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mediavets wrote:
dex2009 wrote:
Hi all,
not trying to be the smarter guy here, but really, how hard can it be for simple needs (spherical panoramas) to just put two continuos 360 servos/step motors on a Ninja mount and have the camera taking pictures at fast intervals... You just activate the horizontal servo and start the intervalomenter, then stop and take a second burst of shoots with the vertical servo activated.
You can have all this for less than 100$.
Now, if your needs are to shoot precise panogigas thats another matter, but I think it should work for sphericals.
What do you guys think?

When shooting sphericals with longer focal length lenses (not fisheye lenses) - a scaneraio where a robotic pano head may offere advanatrages over a manual pano head - it is highly desirable to shoot fewer images per row when approaching zenith and nadir to avoid excessive overlapping which can cause stitching problems, and to reduce shoot duration.

Few of the current robotic pano heads can handle this - the Merlin/Panogear mount can using Papywizard or the T&C/Panogear touch controller, also the upcoming T&C robotic head. Gigapan robotic heads cannot do this, they only shoot regular matrices of images. I'm not sure whther the two-axis versions of the Roundshot VR, Rodeon and MK robotic heads can do it.

If you are shooting sphericals with fisheye lenses I can see no benefit from using a robotic pano head unless you are shooting aerials from manned or unmanned aircraft, or shooting from poles, where it's not feasible to move the camera manually. In all other instaces it's less complex and probably as quick to shoot using a manual panohead.

If shooting higher res. spehricals indoors you also need to factor in extended exposure bracketeing. Currently the best way to handle this seems to be to add a Promote control to the system.

Hi mediavets,
thanks for replying. Yes, I was mainly thinking of fisheye use which seems to me the most immadiate for sphericals, and coming from the aerial world I was just thinking along that line. But I can see another application where shooting sphericals with fisheye would benefit from fast motorized head: fast moving subjects/scenes like a crowd or sport actions, where you need to take the set of pictures as fast as you can in order to avoid the scene changing faster than you are able to shoot.

Destiny, I cannot advise yet about bits and parts as I just started this morning to dig on the ground-based 360 sphericals, so I need some time (and advises like mediavet's) to know better.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:31 pm 
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dex2009 wrote:
Hi mediavets,
thanks for replying. Yes, I was mainly thinking of fisheye use which seems to me the most immadiate for sphericals, and coming from the aerial world I was just thinking along that line. But I can see another application where shooting sphericals with fisheye would benefit from fast motorized head: fast moving subjects/scenes like a crowd or sport actions, where you need to take the set of pictures as fast as you can in order to avoid the scene changing faster than you are able to shoot..

Agreed. Especially when shooting from a pole which is often desirable in such scenarios.

The low cost Merlin/Panogear mount cannot meet that requirement.

The MK Panomachine and Roundshot VR2 heads both offer higher speed modes.

_________________
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:23 pm 
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I have used my VR drive 2 for a while and are now mostly shooting spheres, because it's easy and fast. Most at 50mm eq.
I used a stopwatch to make this table showing the time it takes to do a sphere with different focal lengths:

Spheres 360x180
Quality mode (that is shoot, move, stop, shoot, move ...)

The time and the number of pics will vary with overlap ofcourse.

Leif



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Last edited by leifs on Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:36 am 
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additional info to Josef's head mentioned by Klaus and by Destiny:

I communicated with Josef from T&C some days before to get updates about the status of his head.
It is really soon ready. currently he'ss doing final programming on the T&C Controller (whith is also included in the Panogear package offered from Kolor). It will have a new/another software onboard, the head itself can move with the precision of 0.039" and Josef Head finally will be for factor 10 more precise than the merlin panohead.
User who do have a T&C Controller can get a new firmware so it can be switched from a Merlin's to a Josef's Head controller (after loading the new firmware its no longer possible to drive a merlin head - if a temporary switch between the firmwares will be possible I dont know) ...

PS: Josefs Head will be (much cheaper than the cheapest VR price shown in DEstinys image... but definitely more expensive than a merlin/Panogear package), something lower than 2000,-€

Liebe Gruesse,
Georg

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Last edited by gkaefer on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:47 am 
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it could be...
... more interesting if the Girocam could record videos... than in combination with Kolor planned Koloreyes (360"x180" videosstitching) software the questions is how to record these videos. And it is no fun to work with available solutions like the GoPro on market...

Georg

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:12 am 
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Destiny wrote:
BTW Georg... I tried to view the Kolor Eyes lots of times but it asks for a WebGL so I installed WebKit but it did not work...

http://www.gigastitch.com/kolor-eyes-1.0/

Destiny....

use an actual google chrome and you're on bright side of life ;-)

cool image. your cad image or a real product? looks expensive ;-)
Georg

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:04 am 
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Nice ball :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:24 am 
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Destiny wrote:
Very expensive Georg..... I will put you down for the first one off the production line.... but sorry to say... its not mine... the image came from here...
http://www.strata.com/products/strata%5Ffoto%5F3d%5Fse/

...but oh man... what a great VR cam it would make....
Destiny...:)

It's been done already...
http://jonaspfeil.de/ballcamera

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-10/17/panoramic-ball-camera

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/360-panoramic-ball-camera-prototype-17626

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Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.


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