Advice sought on cameras for use with Gigapan unit  

In the panorama field, hardware is also part of the success. You can discuss here about it: camera, computer, pano head, anything
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klausesser
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by klausesser » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:48 pm

Aeriscera wrote:Pretty poor stuff by the standards of some people here but until I can afford the Hassleblad they will have to do :-)

Well - you don´t have to spend 30000.-€ for a Hasselblad . . a used Canon 20D with a good lens will do.
See here (Canon 20D with a 35 years old Nikon 85mm on a Manfrotto-head):
The point is a perfect lined-up lens/head-combination.

http://www.klausesser.de/Aufsicht_A.html

50%-75% are ok - at 100% you see JPG-artifacts caused by the Zoomify-process. In the oroginal file there are none.
Last edited by klausesser on Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by klausesser » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:05 pm

A word about the Gigapan thing:

Could it be that this GP-Site shows a scaling of images of more than 100%? I saw so much very bad results there when zooming in totally that i suspect the viewer scales the images far too much.

Am i wrong? Are the images REALLY of such a mediocre quality? I hardly can believe that.

best, Klaus
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by beeloba » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:43 pm

klausesser wrote:A word about the Gigapan thing:

Could it be that this GP-Site shows a scaling of images of more than 100%? I saw so much very bad results there when zooming in totally that i suspect the viewer scales the images far too much.

Am i wrong? Are the images REALLY of such a mediocre quality? I hardly can believe that.

best, Klaus

I globally agree with you Klaus there are two problems:

The photographer's choice of snapshots made is generally decided with too much zoom, above the limit in quality, a bit like the 100 % used in zoomify.

The second issue comes from the fact that when you send a link from Gigapan.org, the snapshots are not shown in the window. You have to click on Most Recent|Most Popular| Creator which is quite boring if you don't know it. This is a real bug from my point of view.

This idea of snapshots is very clever when it will work because it leads the visitor to few main subjects you want them to see, which is not the case with zoomify.


http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=7583
Last edited by beeloba on Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by klausesser » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:47 pm

beeloba wrote:
klausesser wrote:A word about the Gigapan thing:

Could it be that this GP-Site shows a scaling of images of more than 100%? I saw so much very bad results there when zooming in totally that i suspect the viewer scales the images far too much.

Am i wrong? Are the images REALLY of such a mediocre quality? I hardly can believe that.

best, Klaus

I globally agree with you Klaus there are two problems:

The photographer's choice of snapshots made is generally decided with too much zoom, above the limit in quality, a bit like the 100 % used in zoomify.

The second issue comes from the fact that when you send a link from Gigapan.org, the snapshots are not shown in the window. You have to click on Most Recent|Most Popular| Creator which is quite boring if you don't know it. This is a real bug from my point of view.

This idea of snapshots is very clever when it will work because it leads the visitor to few main subjects you want them to see, which is not the case with zoomify.


http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=7583

Hi Beeloba!

Yes - i see! That´s a problem handling such large image-files - i think it should be limited to max. 75% (which is much information still . . )

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Aeriscera » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:14 pm

klausesser wrote:Could it be that this GP-Site shows a scaling of images of more than 100%? I saw so much very bad results there when zooming in totally that i suspect the viewer scales the images far too much.
Klaus

The gigapan viewer does indeed allow you to zoom in more than 100%, and many people take their snapshots at with the viewer in this state. I think this is because for many people gigapan images are for fun and general interest rather than being intended as art or technically "good" (or even competent) photography, and occasionally you can make out details if you zoom in over 100%. Even if the "detail" is just one pixel you can at least say "oh look, you can see ...".

You are also right in observing that many gigapans are poor images from a technical point-of-view. There are a number of reasons. First, some people are not competent with a camera. Second, many people use the gigapan stitcher without any pre- or post-processing - this is especially true of the largest gigapans where it is not feasible to post-process using regular domestic PCs because the complete image files are simply too big. Third, the only way of viewing (zooming in and out) one's completed gigapan that most people know about is the gigapan viewer. Until recently there were only two possible states for an uploaded pano: shared or not shared. If you made your image "shared" then it appears in the lists of recent panos and everyone can see it. If you made it "not shared" then it does not appear in the list of recent panos and only you can see it. This state of affairs was unsatisfactory for those of us who don't want everybody to see it because it is an unfinished project, but do want *some* other people to see it to get feedback etc. So to cut a long story short, people will make their panos shared so they can get feedback at the risk of others saying "why has this dreadful picture been uploaded?"

Now there is a third state to help with this problem: "private". A private pano is like a "not shared" one except that anyone who is a member of gigapan and knows the url can see it. (If you're not a member the url resolves to a non-such-gigapan page.)

Unfortunately not many people know about this and even those that do have to make the time to go back over all their shots deciding which are private and which are not, which is fairly tedious business.

HTH

Aeris
Last edited by Aeriscera on Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Aeriscera » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:21 pm

beeloba wrote:The second issue comes from the fact that when you send a link from Gigapan.org, the snapshots are not shown in the window. You have to click on Most Recent|Most Popular| Creator which is quite boring if you don't know it. This is a real bug from my point of view

I use gigapan all the time and I would say that the interface is far from perfect, and this is not helped by the fact that if you want to do anything more than click a few buttons and start trying to find out more then gigapan.org starts to seem like some sort of secret organisation. Presumably if you are a beta unit owner then life is easier.

However, I'm not sure what you mean Beeloba about "Snapshots are not shown in the window". Can you explain and/or include a screendump?

A
Last edited by Aeriscera on Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by DrSlony » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:46 pm

Truth is most photos uploaded anywhere are either blurry or terribly blurry at 100% and they begin to look satisfactory the more you zoom out. More so with panoramas. People try to make the biggest one possible, which means using your lens at its maximum, which is never good. Add to that the fact that zoomify and gigapan seem to set the real 1:1 ratio at around 50%, '100%' looks like its 2:1, and you end up with garbage.

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by gibie76 » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:47 pm

With your link http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=7583 , I see the snapshots

Image
Last edited by gibie76 on Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Aeriscera » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:54 pm

beeloba wrote:Here is what I see when I click on one of my links…
I have noticed that your snapshots appears in the window, maybe I have missed something in the embedding or the link process…

OK, I see what you mean and I had the same problem with my gigapans, but I am not completely sure what fixed it! The interface steers like a cow imho. It may be something to do with the "Game" settings ...

beeloba wrote:What means this sentence?
Is a Game? (this causes the snapshot filter on the View Gigapan page to default to "My Snapshots" for scavenger hunts)

This is not well-explained by gigapan.org because they are a secret society. However, using my arcane powers[1] I can divulge the true meaning of this mysterious statement.

Some gigapans are explicitly posted with intention that they are games for people to play. The game is to spot funny things hidden down in the details. There was an easter-egg hunt for example, and there is of course, the now-legendary "Gigapigapans" of Kilgore661 in which viewers have to "Spot the Pig" as in Spot the Pig No. 8. Some people feel that the game is spoiled if you spot the thing you are asked to look for and take a snapshot because then the puzzle is solved and so no-one else can play. So, if you tick the "is this a game" box then any snapshots you take are only visible to you. This applies even if the owner of the photo gets a message saying "X spotted the pig" - the owner can't see the snapshot.

So, if your image has "is a game" ticked then you won't see any snapshots unless you took them.

However, I don't think your image is a game because I do see snapshots if I click on the link. So I conclude that it's a bug or witchcraft is involved.

Could it be a browser issue? I am using Firefox/Windows.

HTH

Aeris.


[1] I sent an email to customerserves@gigapan.org.


Last edited by Aeriscera on Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by GURL » Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:22 pm

With your link http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=7583 (and no coma ;) ) I see the snapshots too (included when I use an old window IE version.)

Large mosaics (or gigapanos ?) are something new. A long period is always necessary to learn how to use those things properly! In my opinion nobody is mastering the practice of 'large still images on small screens' yet, this is only the beginning and nobody really knows where this will end. If a trend one don't like is successful, the ones he likes more can stay in the background for a while, or not, and the reasons for that are often non obvious ones...
Georges

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by n6mod » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:39 am

DrSlony wrote:More so with panoramas. People try to make the biggest one possible, which means using your lens at its maximum, which is never good.

The other thing to consider is the sort of cameras that the Gigapan imager can use. The only camera I own that fits on the imager without modification is an A640 (and it doesn't fit right). This is a 10MP point-and-shoot with a 4.6 crop factor (tiny sensor). At 1:1, these images are pretty soft to begin with.

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by Aeriscera » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:16 am

beeloba wrote:But I really don't get what it does…

It's like looking forward to doing the crossword in the newspaper and finding that someone else has already done it. Or rather, the "Is this a game?" option is to prevent this kind of disappointment.

beeloba wrote:Can you make a snapshot that i'll see, or don't see!

Added a snapshot for you. Please return the favour and spot a pig :-)

Aeris

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by Aeriscera » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:20 am

GURL wrote:If a trend one don't like is successful,

Good point. Many people think YouTube is fantastic but every time I go there to see something that someone has recommended the first thing I think is "What a terrible picture - how can anyone watch this?". I find it difficult to get beyond that and pay any attention to the content of the video.

A

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by GURL » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:51 am

Aeriscera wrote:I think is "What a terrible picture - how can anyone watch this?". I find it difficult to get beyond that and pay any attention to the content of the video.[

The story matters, the images don't.

Once upon a time TV sets were fitted with severals knobs to adjust brightness, color, etc. This was needed because making TV sets where brightness and colors were not changed after extended use was not possible. Most watchers didn't care, many of them getting angry when the knobs where adjusted and the image was improved. Or, at last, this is what I remember from my childhood :/

I just read a book about languages where one of the authors says, not without arguments, that human languages are a rather poor tool to desribe something (many ambiguities, etc) but are highly suited to tell stories because this is their first and main purpose. Still images being useful mostly when the story don't matter, why not, after all...
Georges

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by beeloba » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:45 pm

Aeriscera wrote:Added a snapshot for you. Please return the favour and spot a pig :-)

Aeris

Ok Aeris, I sow it… It doesn't bother me to have new snapshots, as my pictures are very recent and not yet very much visited. I'll manage that…
Thanx for your help :)

PS. I'm going to delete my previous posts, not to pollute the thread anymore with my personal problems, there is no need to have so many screen pictures :)

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by klausesser » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:57 pm

n6mod wrote:
DrSlony wrote:More so with panoramas. People try to make the biggest one possible, which means using your lens at its maximum, which is never good.

The other thing to consider is the sort of cameras that the Gigapan imager can use. The only camera I own that fits on the imager without modification is an A640 (and it doesn't fit right). This is a 10MP point-and-shoot with a 4.6 crop factor (tiny sensor). At 1:1, these images are pretty soft to begin with.

One way might be to limit the zoom . . who profits from a zoom at 400% where you litterally can recognize nothing?
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by Apapane » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:04 am

Aloha all in APPro land,

Apapane here from Honolulu, wanting to put in my 2 cents regarding the GigaPan unit. Besides Aeriscera (Kilgore661), has anyone on this thread actually read the philosophy behind the development and use of the GigaPan? I've read more than a few posts here that sound very elitist - once you are familiar with GigaPan and Carnegie Mellon University's Global Connection Project, then feel free to be more critical.
Has anyone on this forum used APPro to stitch 1750 frames? see http://share.gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=5322 for an example. My largest APPro stitch has been 386 frames - more than that and it crashes.
Along with my Canon S5-IS, I can also mount my Olympus E-510 onto the GigaPan unit (btw- GigaPan is the unit, a gigapan is the product). The GigaPan has its limitations, for sure, but it was not developed, necessarily, as pro, or semi-pro, hardware. In this regard, the GigaPan group is well aware of the desire for a DSLR friendly unit, but does not yet have a time-line for its development. Certainly, GigaPan is not the only panorama game in town. Each individual must choose for him/her self the optimum "package" for their needs.

Full disclosure - I recieved a Fine Outreach for Science grant from Carnegie Mellon to perform beta testing of the GigaPan here in the wilds of the mid Pacific Ocean. I'm a botanist with interest in using high resolution panorama photography for habitat documentation and long term ecological monitoring. on soapbox< Hawaii comprises just 0.2% of the land area of the USA, but is home to nearly 1/3 of all the threatened and endangered species in the entire country.>off soapbox

Several months ago, I sent Alexandre Jenny frames from several of my gigapans as raw material for developing a GigaPan friendly version of APPro - still no update. It sure would be great to have the combined ability to align images as in the GigaPan stitcher, with the pre-rendering capabilities of APPro. The GP unit takes individual frames in columns, building up rows as the unit moves down, taking more columns from left to right. The stitcher asks for the number of rows in the gigapan, then automatically aligns the frames in the correct sequence - the program doesn't need to "hunt" for matches.

A question: What is your definition of a panorama? Does it depend on angle of view, field of view (a broad landscape vs a single building vs a subject 20 cm x 20 cm), image size, or "explorability". Maybe this can be spun off into a new thread?!

Apapane

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by Paul » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:40 am

I am wondering why the most stitchers around do not have an simple approach of preordering pics by rows and columns.

Just choosing a scheme or template, which asks if the pano is done column or row first, from left to right or right to left, rectangular or sphere, with or without zenit and nadir, could preorder the pics and shorten the alignment process.

This would be independent from the panodevice, even a manual or motorized.

May be I forgot certain aspects and things are more complicated.

Cheers
Paul
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close, but no cigar ... ... ...

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by fma38 » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:44 am

Paul, APP 2 will propose such feature.
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by Aeriscera » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:43 am

Apapane wrote:A question: What is your definition of a panorama? Does it depend on angle of view, field of view (a broad landscape vs a single building vs a subject 20 cm x 20 cm), image size, or "explorability". Maybe this can be spun off into a new thread?!

Done that here.

Aeris

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by klausesser » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:38 pm

Apapane wrote:A question: What is your definition of a panorama? Does it depend on angle of view, field of view (a broad landscape vs a single building vs a subject 20 cm x 20 cm), image size, or "explorability". Maybe this can be spun off into a new thread?!

Apapane

in my eyes a "pano" just has a very much wider horizontal than vertical angle. My panos usually have around 120-140deg or spherical.
A pano doesn´t have to have gigapixels at all . . . that´s a nice feature but also a toying around.
I shoot panos with my 6x17cm camera also. Drumscanned the 50ASA transparencies give me files for prints of about 20m lenghts in a very good quality.

Being able to shoot spherical panos for interactive use is much more important - doing that highrez provides the opportunity to select recvtangular cutouts in high quality.

In my eyes a motorized head with limited movement and without the capability to have DSLRs attached with long lenses seems somewhat useless. Just have a closer look at the GP: it´s vertical mount is far too short and it would unlikely match ANY NPP.

My experiences with good manual heads are very positive even in the gigapixel-range. My experiences with the 250.-€ Merlin controlled by Frédéric´s amazing (and open source) program is comparable with high-priced and highly professional heads of the 3000.-€ range. Providing full 360x180deg movement, exact positioning and shooting untethered. I used it on a 4m pole and controlled it from the ground via Bluetooth. A heavy DSLR with handgrip and 300mm is no problem.
The Merlin you can buy for 160.-€ from Austria - add 30.-€ for a connection cable and you´ll have a very versatile and nearly professionel motorized head. Even adding a handheld device with Bluetooth you wouldn´t exeed the GP´s price . . . which is in my mind too expensive regarding it´s limitations compared to the Merlin.

I think the GP has to go a long way to reach these features . .

best, Klaus

P.S.:

What i expect from a pano:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/postgallery.php?pid=27924&filename=Rechteck_C_Cut_small.jpg
http://www.autopano.net/forum/postgallery.php?pid=27786&filename=Oben_Nachts.JPG

what i expect from a mega/giga-pixel image:
http://www.klausesser.de/Aufsicht_A.html
http://www.autopano.net/forum/t4365-catha-drale-de-rouen-966-megapixels
Last edited by klausesser on Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by hankkarl » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:15 pm

klausesser wrote:in my eyes a "pano" just has a very much wider horizontal than vertical angle. My panos usually have around 120-140deg or spherical.
A pano doesn´t have to have gigapixels at all . . . that´s a nice feature but also a toying around.

I think of panos as either rectangular-aspect ration of at least 1:3 and containing a subject that "fills the frame", or circular - 360 degrees, spherical being a special case of this.

For example, I could stand near a wide building and use a camera/lens system that gives a FOV of 111x88, and crop the image vertically to get a panorama. Or I could stand far away and use a 500mm lens and take the same image, and crop it.

The two images would be different because of foreshortening, parallax, and other issues.

For example, say you shot a "U" shaped palace with a statue in the courtyard, and stood outside the opening of the "U". Using the WA lens, the statue would seem much larger than the building than in the picture taken with the telephoto lens.

So perhaps another definition of panorama would be a picture that shows what you would see if you rotated your head from left to right for xx degrees. (this would be very different than the telephoto image.) More formally stated, a panorama shows an arc of a circle that is xx degrees.

But not all panoramas show arc's.
Last edited by hankkarl on Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by klausesser » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:55 pm

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by Aeriscera » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:09 pm

Just a quick post to let people know that others having been contributing to the "What is a panorama" thread here: http://www.autopano.net/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=28889

A

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by Aeriscera » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:15 pm

klausesser wrote:btw.: here´s another REAL gigapixel example:

http://johanneskopf.de/publications/gigapixel/paper/FinalPaper_0371_light.pdf

Amazing stuff. It's a pity we don't have the specialised monitors needed to see it in its full glory. Still, the research may lead to useful technological innovations in software.

A

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