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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Apapane
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by Apapane » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:56 am

And here's a link to a SURREAL gigapixel "panorama".

http://share.gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=6284

480 out of 1200 frames - I hope to try it soon with the 64 bit V 2.0 Alpha of APPro.

Apapane = Richard Palmer, Honolulu

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by Apapane » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:24 am

BTW, just to make it clear, many of the panoramas posted to gigapan.org were NOT taken with a GigaPan unit. Many are single row hand helds (usually less than 0.1 GigaPixels), and some were taken with other panorama units, including homemade ones (Aeriscera's panos, until very recently). The GigaPan team allows anyone to post there as part of the egalitarian principles behind the Global Connection Project, a joint project of Carnegie Mellon University, NASA, National Geographic, and Google. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~globalconn/
Some on this board have very strong ideas about how a panorama should look, and that's fine. Personally, I try to challenge those long held, and arguably outdated, definitions whenever I can. I would rather see a well intentioned, albeit less that pro quality, panorama of a remote village in a far away land, taken by one who lives there and has local insight, than some slick travel brochure style image that may capture fine detail, but misses the essence of the place. Just my druthers.

Aloha,
Richard (flame retardant on)

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by klausesser » Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:35 am

Apapane wrote:I would rather see a well intentioned, albeit less that pro quality, panorama of a remote village in a far away land, taken by one who lives there and has local insight, than some slick travel brochure style image that may capture fine detail, but misses the essence of the place. Just my druthers.

Just have a closer look into this forum´s gallery - you´ll find some!

The "essence of the place" is a very good term, i mean! In my opinion it doesn´t mean the transportation of very, very many pixels but of the mood of the place. A panorama can do that very fine - can show the "essence of the place". To zoom to a level where you hardly can recognize anything in my eyes rather distorts the "essence of a place" than it could transport the mood of the "essence of a place".

Again: photography isn´t just an amount of more or less muddy information . . :P:cool: - so the gigapan-people better would limit the zoom-factor to max. 100%. That is hard enough to reach in good or just acceptable quality - obviously.

best, Klaus
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by klausesser » Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:42 am

Apapane wrote:And here's a link to a SURREAL gigapixel "panorama".

http://share.gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=6284

480 out of 1200 frames - I hope to try it soon with the 64 bit V 2.0 Alpha of APPro.

Apapane = Richard Palmer, Honolulu

very impressing . . . the amount of stitching-errors and blurry zones . . . :cool: and the extremely "refined" way of using tonmapping . . :rolleyes:

best, Klaus
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by Apapane » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:37 pm

klausesser wrote:
Apapane wrote:And here's a link to a SURREAL gigapixel "panorama".

http://share.gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=6284

480 out of 1200 frames - I hope to try it soon with the 64 bit V 2.0 Alpha of APPro.

Apapane = Richard Palmer, Honolulu

very impressing . . . the amount of stitching-errors and blurry zones . . . :cool: and the extremely "refined" way of using tonmapping . . :rolleyes:

best, Klaus

This is a wysiwyg gigapan, NO tone mapping at all! Perhaps the Giga-friendly APPro V2.0 will clean up most of the stitching errors, and maybe I WILL be able to use tone mapping ( not that I think the image needs it, mind you). Actually, I look forward to being able to produce a completed 1200 frame stitch. As an original Beta tester for the GigaPan unit, it is/was my responsibility to "Take it to the Limit" to test both hardware and software.

regards,
Richard

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by klausesser » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:52 pm

Apapane wrote:
klausesser wrote:
Apapane wrote:And here's a link to a SURREAL gigapixel "panorama".

http://share.gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=6284

480 out of 1200 frames - I hope to try it soon with the 64 bit V 2.0 Alpha of APPro.

Apapane = Richard Palmer, Honolulu

very impressing . . . the amount of stitching-errors and blurry zones . . . :cool: and the extremely "refined" way of using tonmapping . . :rolleyes:

best, Klaus

This is a wysiwyg gigapan, NO tone mapping at all! Perhaps the Giga-friendly APPro V2.0 will clean up most of the stitching errors, and maybe I WILL be able to use tone mapping ( not that I think the image needs it, mind you). Actually, I look forward to being able to produce a completed 1200 frame stitch. As an original Beta tester for the GigaPan unit, it is/was my responsibility to "Take it to the Limit" to test both hardware and software.

regards,
Richard

Please, Apapane: don´t try to fool me. This definitely IS a tonemapped picture! Every photographer on earth will recognize that in a second. And he also will recognize a very bad stitching.
There´s no arguing around that.

Nevertheless a nice looking piece!

best, Klaus

btw.: what the hell is a "wysiwyg-gigapan"??

"( not that I think the image needs it, mind you)"

I´m sure the image wouldn´t have need it. But clearly it was done . . or how would you explain the very unnatural cloudy lights? Maybe someone tried to use exessive masking - and failed. Using masks for working on lights/shadows
can look like tonemapping. Something this kind was done to the image - in a very ragged way.

P.S.: you don´t have to wait for a giga-APP: the current APP would have handled that image perfectly. 480 or even
1200 frames are no big deal for APP - you just need the right machine.
Last edited by klausesser on Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by klausesser » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:42 pm

Apapane wrote:This is a wysiwyg gigapan, NO tone mapping at all! Perhaps the Giga-friendly APPro V2.0 will clean up most of the stitching errors, and maybe I WILL be able to use tone mapping ( not that I think the image needs it, mind you). Actually, I look forward to being able to produce a completed 1200 frame stitch. As an original Beta tester for the GigaPan unit, it is/was my responsibility to "Take it to the Limit" to test both hardware and software.

seriously Apapane (i really don´t want to start a flame here . . ):

I can´t judge the gp-stitcher. But my experience in pano-photography tells me that the gp-head´s ability to set a camera exactly into the NPP is somewhat limited - to say it in a nice way.
Those heavy, very heavy stitch-errors as we see in your "surrealistic" image in my eyes result from a badly aligned camera/head setup! Did you check the correct lineup before shooting?

I can´t imagine the gp-stitcher´s ability to work on correct lined-up could be THAT bad . . so i think the lineup was faulty.

Could you tell us a about your exact lineup? Did you match the NPP in both axis? (what´s the plural of "axis" in english? :cool:)

best, Klaus
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by Apapane » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:09 pm

klausesser wrote:
Apapane wrote:
klausesser wrote:very impressing . . . the amount of stitching-errors and blurry zones . . . :cool: and the extremely "refined" way of using tonmapping . . :rolleyes:

best, Klaus

This is a wysiwyg gigapan, NO tone mapping at all! Perhaps the Giga-friendly APPro V2.0 will clean up most of the stitching errors, and maybe I WILL be able to use tone mapping ( not that I think the image needs it, mind you). Actually, I look forward to being able to produce a completed 1200 frame stitch. As an original Beta tester for the GigaPan unit, it is/was my responsibility to "Take it to the Limit" to test both hardware and software.

regards,
Richard

Please, Apapane: don´t try to fool me. This definitely IS a tonemapped picture! Every photographer on earth will recognize that in a second. And he also will recognize a very bad stitching.
There´s no arguing around that.

Nevertheless a nice looking piece!

best, Klaus

btw.: what the hell is a "wysiwyg-gigapan"??

"( not that I think the image needs it, mind you)"

I´m sure the image wouldn´t have need it. But clearly it was done . . or how would you explain the very unnatural cloudy lights? Maybe someone tried to use exessive masking - and failed. Using masks for working on lights/shadows
can look like tonemapping. Something this kind was done to the image - in a very ragged way.

P.S.: you don´t have to wait for a giga-APP: the current APP would have handled that image perfectly. 480 or even
1200 frames are no big deal for APP - you just need the right machine.

Klaus,

This image received NO pre or post stitching modification.
WYSIWYG = what you see is what you get. Sorry if you can't accept that fact.
I just got lucky with nice late afternoon lighting and cool reflections. I used a Canon Powershot S5-IS at ~400mm, F8.0, 1/160 sec.
This image crashed APPro (Windows XP-pro(32 bits) & 4 GBytes RAM), but I'll try again soon with a 64 bit OS and more RAM.
What do you mean by "very unnatural cloudy lights"?

Perhaps we can move this conversation to email so we don't clog up the board. ;^) I registered my email address, so you can reach me directly from this board.

See http://share.gigapan.org/viewProfile.php?userid=319 for more of my panoramas, from initial hand-held tests to my most recent addition to the GigaPan site (most recent first).

Aloha,
Richard

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by klausesser » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:36 pm

Hi Richard!

Of course we can do that per email - but i think it´s of a comon interest regarding not only the gp-head but also the Merlin and others and also it concerns the stitchers. So i think it should be public.

I´ll analyze the picture and show you what i mean, ok?

The meaning of "wysiwyg" is already familiar to me ;) - but i don´t understand your meaning in this special case.

Does the gp-stitcher do some automatically light/shadow-compensation or so on a set of pictures (besides of stitching it of course)?

Here´s what i mean - in my eyes the usual signs of tonemapping/fusing/DRI.

best, Klaus


Last edited by klausesser on Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by marco-pano » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:23 pm

klausesser wrote:... So i think it should be public...best, Klaus

Sure Klaus, we are interested in many exchanges as we learn a lot from this. As we are all cool users, we don't fear to expose our opinion in a respectable way. :)
Marco, Paris ;)
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by klausesser » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:49 pm

marco-pano wrote:As we are all cool users, we don't fear to expose our opinion in a respectable way. :)

right you are . . :cool:

best, Klaus
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by hankkarl » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:07 pm

Hi Klaus,

If no other tone=mapping was done, it must have been done in the stitcher.

I think of tone-mapping as "local contrast enhancement" (and perhaps local color saturation enhancement). This image was made from 480 images, so it may be 48 x 100 images in size. Look at the size of each of the cloudy lights and compare to what you guess the size of each source image is.

The OP claims to have used f/8 at 1/160, but some areas of the sky are darker than other areas. There are few shadows and no clue as to where the sun is. IMO, the big clue is the halo around the building and other things -- the sky doesn't change color like that, especially not in square chunks.

I think somewhere in the OPs workflow, some luminance adjustment was done. It may have been done by the stitcher, but my first guess was that the photographer used an auto mode.

The OP claims to have used a Canon S5. And there is a lot of dynamic range in the image. I don't think the 14 bits of range you get with a 1DMIII could have captured this scene, let alone a P&S like the S5.

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by klausesser » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:16 pm

hankkarl wrote:Hi Klaus,

If no other tone=mapping was done, it must have been done in the stitcher.

Jep - and here is an example . . which i mean looks a bit familiar:

it´s a simple RAW file put into Photomatix and tonemapped as pseudo-HDR (i emphazised it very much to show the effect).


Last edited by klausesser on Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Apapane » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:40 pm

hankkarl wrote:Hi Klaus,

If no other tone=mapping was done, it must have been done in the stitcher.

I think of tone-mapping as "local contrast enhancement" (and perhaps local color saturation enhancement). This image was made from 480 images, so it may be 48 x 100 images in size. Look at the size of each of the cloudy lights and compare to what you guess the size of each source image is.

The OP claims to have used f/8 at 1/160, but some areas of the sky are darker than other areas. There are few shadows and no clue as to where the sun is. IMO, the big clue is the halo around the building and other things -- the sky doesn't change color like that, especially not in square chunks.

I think somewhere in the OPs workflow, some luminance adjustment was done. It may have been done by the stitcher, but my first guess was that the photographer used an auto mode.

The OP claims to have used a Canon S5. And there is a lot of dynamic range in the image. I don't think the 14 bits of range you get with a 1DMIII could have captured this scene, let alone a P&S like the S5.

This image is a 16 column x 30 row section of a 30 column x 40 row image.

FYI, I waited until the sun moved behind another building (to the left-west-as you view the image), so the lighting was fairly uniform in the lower part of the building. Since it took over 1 hour to take the individual frames for this image, clouds did move.

I will repeat, I made no modifications to the image pre or post processing. Exposure settings were manual, focus auto. What you are most likely seeing is the result of blending between the overlap of successive frames where the intensity of the reflection changes with the angle of incidence, and with the movement of clouds. Another factor is the many different angles/layers of the glass on the building, which will have a large effect on how the light is reflected/refracted, and the depth to which one can see THROUGH the reflections to the inside of the building.
While the Canon S5 does have its limitations, I have been most pleased with it so far.

See http://gigapan.org/viewProfile.php?userid=319 for more examples of gigapans taken with the S5 and also the Olympus E-510.

Aloha from the middle of the Pacific Ocean,
Richard

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by klausesser » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:43 pm

Apapane wrote:
hankkarl wrote:Hi Klaus,

If no other tone=mapping was done, it must have been done in the stitcher.

I think of tone-mapping as "local contrast enhancement" (and perhaps local color saturation enhancement). This image was made from 480 images, so it may be 48 x 100 images in size. Look at the size of each of the cloudy lights and compare to what you guess the size of each source image is.

The OP claims to have used f/8 at 1/160, but some areas of the sky are darker than other areas. There are few shadows and no clue as to where the sun is. IMO, the big clue is the halo around the building and other things -- the sky doesn't change color like that, especially not in square chunks.

I think somewhere in the OPs workflow, some luminance adjustment was done. It may have been done by the stitcher, but my first guess was that the photographer used an auto mode.

The OP claims to have used a Canon S5. And there is a lot of dynamic range in the image. I don't think the 14 bits of range you get with a 1DMIII could have captured this scene, let alone a P&S like the S5.

This image is a 16 column x 30 row section of a 30 column x 40 row image.

FYI, I waited until the sun moved behind another building (to the left-west-as you view the image), so the lighting was fairly uniform in the lower part of the building. Since it took over 1 hour to take the individual frames for this image, clouds did move.

I will repeat, I made no modifications to the image pre or post processing. Exposure settings were manual, focus auto. What you are most likely seeing is the result of blending between the overlap of successive frames where the intensity of the reflection changes with the angle of incidence, and with the movement of clouds. Another factor is the many different angles/layers of the glass on the building, which will have a large effect on how the light is reflected/refracted, and the depth to which one can see THROUGH the reflections to the inside of the building.
While the Canon S5 does have its limitations, I have been most pleased with it so far.

See http://gigapan.org/viewProfile.php?userid=319 for more examples of gigapans taken with the S5 and also the Olympus E-510.

Aloha from the middle of the Pacific Ocean,
Richard

Hi Rick!

To close that theme here (we can discuss it via email if you like it): i very often deal with moving clouds and continously changing light. All of us do.
But i never had such an effect. It really looks like a tonemapped pseudo-HDR. It shows the typical halos and the over-equalized mid-tones.

Maybe there ist a filter working, that you´re not aware of?

here´s another resembling (?) picture of over-exaggerated HDR:


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by beeloba » Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:51 pm

Maybe he only uses shadows an Hi-light filter… No HDR like method. This is very common in that filter not to decrease the radius that shows Halo… not a big deal…
Don't worry that much guys… The Gigapan gear is nor made for NNP or DSLRs, this cannot be a flame war, because it as been conceived for other purposes - Using a thin compact camera - As far as I have read on the global project, there is no aim on making perfectly stitched and well balanced pictures. read again the project overview on Gigapan.org
Last edited by beeloba on Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Apapane » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:52 am

Aloha all,

I repeat my claim that there was no tone balancing pre or post stitching, but, just to check on my statement about using manual exposure for the 1100 Alakea Street gigapan, I went back and checked the exif data on the original frames. Mea Culpa - I used aperture priority exposure - F8 with variable exposure. My humblest apologies.

Richard Palmer
Honolulu

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by klausesser » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:02 am

Apapane wrote:Aloha all,

I repeat my claim that there was no tone balancing pre or post stitching, but, just to check on my statement about using manual exposure for the 1100 Alakea Street gigapan, I went back and checked the exif data on the original frames. Mea Culpa - I used aperture priority exposure - F8 with variable exposure. My humblest apologies.

Richard Palmer
Honolulu

Hii Rick!

I understand that - but something has happened there, sorry for being so curious. The point of interest to me is "does the stitcher do something uncontrolled - and maybe uncontrollable by the user?"
The fact you used aperture priority doesn´t explain the effect at all.

I´m so interested in that point because i basically like the project´s aim and idea. And i like the panning to the selectable thumbnails. That´s nice!

As a Mac-user i can´t use the upload interface - i just tried to find information about alternating upload process and so on, but the gigapan.org site is empty at the moment.
So, do you have some clues to test the upload an processing?

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by hankkarl » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:27 pm

IMO, Aperture Priority (Ae since we're talking Canon) will cause this effect.

Think about what tone mapping does--it takes the dark areas and makes them lighter, takes the light areas and makes them darker, and (I think) tries to keep a lot of contrast in each part of the image.

Imagine an over-simplified tone-mapping, one that cuts the image into a table of 16 colums by 30 rows (sound familiar? :) ) You may take each cell in the table and adjust the white and black point, and perhaps the gamma.

That's effectively what Rick did when he used Ae mode.

The blender created the soft edges that look like, but are not exactly, halos.

So in the original image, we see areas that we, as photographers, know should be in shadow, or much, much brighter that are all properly exposed. And we say "tone-mapping was used". And this statement may be true depending on how broadly you define tone-mapping.

Now it would be really interesting to see what APP can do with this image. Rick, can you put the originals on some FTP site (preferably as a single zip file), at least for the 16 x 30 row section?

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by klausesser » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:35 pm

Hi Hank!

"That's effectively what Rick did when he used Ae mode."

Yes - i see! Don´t know the camera and/or it´s modes :cool:

"Now it would be really interesting to see what APP can do with this image."

right - that would be very interesting!

best, Klaus
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by beeloba » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:25 pm

Apapane wrote:I used aperture priority exposure - F8 with variable exposure.

Aloha Richard
Have a look at the the workflow in the "Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project" It may help Gigapan unit users :)

All the thread is here

Terry-

We used G9's w/ the Canon tele-extender set to an equivalent of around 300mm in 35 terms (a bit less than full). Each team shot around 500 images per pano, most doing 180 deg hfov. The good news is that most succeeded, but we did get stung by the camera still doing an AF function even when fully set to MF. So some shots w/ close proximity trees lost the background. I believe the settings were correct, so for me this is a real problem w/ using point and shoots, there seems to be a lack of reliability due to their over-programming vs SLR's. Luckily most were distant shots, so we still got what we needed. Here is the final results of the 20 panos shown in Silverlight DeepZoom:

http://www.xrez.com/yose_proj/Yose_result.html

We have also completed 1/2 of the 3d rendered orthographic view, we don't have it online yet, but here are some blogs that show it:

http://www.hdrlabs.com/news/index.php?id=9148207231190947809

http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/events/sigg_blog/quite_the_sight/

We'll get more online in the month to come..

Best,
Eric Hanson
xRez Studio

Image
Last edited by beeloba on Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by gerardm » Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:45 pm

I mentioned this earlier. But someone seemed to think I was in error. I was there. I shot a 17GP image with my pixorb.

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by gerardm » Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:47 pm

gerardm wrote:The Newest canon -G9 was used with the teleconverter on xrez's yosemite project. The RAW files seem ok for a PS.

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by klausesser » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:29 pm

gerardm wrote:
gerardm wrote:The Newest canon -G9 was used with the teleconverter on xrez's yosemite project. The RAW files seem ok for a PS.


a Canon G9/teleconverter on a PixOrb just seemed a bit strange to me . . ;):cool: - i saw a picture on the xrez site where a 1DsMkxx was mounted on the PixOrb.

best, Klaus
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by gerardm » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:41 pm

I use a D3 and D300 with a 300mm & 600mm VR and TCs.

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