bradtem wrote:Not that it hurts, but I want to make the unit light, portable and cheap.
bradtem wrote:Looks fun. The pro models should try to emulate a design similar to this. While I like one you can take apart for travel, an "L" shape is usually not too hard to pack into a suitcase of backback, or even camera bag.
While I can't buy his DIY unit, someday I might be able to I suppose. I see that he's just scrounged a wired cable release (these are damned overpriced) for shutter trigger. Much better than servo but not nearly so nice as USB, or even infrared (which many cameras do, including the 5D finally.) As I write, USB trigger allows you to do things quickly. You would just put the camera on at any focal length and let it take a test picture (or first picture) and learn the focal length from the exif, and thus know what interval to space the photos. This would allow an interface of setting the focal length, setting one corner, moving to the other corner and pressing "go." For single row, I could just put it at the left and press "go", stopping it when I want to or letting it stop after doing 360.
When I shoot manually, I can be doing more than one shot per second, and I want an automatic panohead to do even better.
bradtem wrote:Well, you would be surprised how cheap powerful, fast, accurate servos have gotten of late in the robotics field. The only thing keeping these mounts expensive is the fact that they sell in low volumes......................
...............Maybe I am missing something but I remain confused as to why we see the shutter servo everywhere. Yes, it can press any camera's button but otherwise it's a loser.
bradtem wrote:Now I have learned just this minute that many cameras have been taking out IR control (the 5D just added it) and some have taken out USB shutter control. That just sucks. So the right thing is to make the shutter servo a plug-in, screw-in, option that is only used by people who don't have a camera that can do remote release.
bradtem wrote:I don't expect there to be a common protocol. You just have to know the major protocols. I doubt there were more than a tiny number of IR protocols. A library like libgphoto2 already speaks all the known USB protocols I think. For USB control you don't need UI as the camera will identify itself when plugged into USB. For IR you need a UI to shuffle through the different control protocols, or you try them all until the camera takes a picture and the user stops you, like in TV setup.
Now I have learned just this minute that many cameras have been taking out IR control (the 5D just added it) and some have taken out USB shutter control. That just sucks. So the right thing is to make the shutter servo a plug-in, screw-in, option that is only used by people who don't have a camera that can do remote release.
bradtem wrote:Well, you would be surprised how cheap powerful, fast, accurate servos have gotten of late in the robotics field.
bradtem wrote:My criticism of the gigapan was that the shutter servo seemed to forbid more cameras than going with USB would have, but that might not be true in that they may know something about the cameras they expect people to use. The gigapan (and most other motorized heads) is vastly larger than a super-compact P&S, so it seems odd to make it only work with them. (It does work with the new compact G series Canon but not the older ones which are too big due to their grip.)
mediavets wrote:Of course it isn't a mass market product right now. Instead it was taken up by the more 'experimental' pano and robotics enthusiasts and they don't typically use 'run of the mill' cameras. So users have been 'hacking' the Gigapan Imager, for example to mount DSLRs, to adapt to an electronic shutter release system, and so on in an effort to oversome what they see as the limitations of the system.
That's fair enough but it isn't the type of use that the designers originally had in mind when considering a device suitable for a mass/consumer market.
The short product life cycle of consumer pocketable point-n-shoots makes it difficult to design in camera/brand specific control features - so their solution had to be rather generic - hence the mechancial shutter servo.
Yes the current Gigapan Imager has its limitations (the battery mounting/connecting seems to be a particularly horrid weak point) - and I'm sure I would find them very annoying too - but I feel that they put quite a lot of thought into making an integrated, complete and useable system - robotic head, stitching software and web hosting service for panos - for an unsophisticated mass market at an acceptable price.
The resulting panos may often be photographically and aesthetically uninspiring and lack image quality but that's not really the point - which I believe was more in the nature of an experiment in mass market participation in the creation, publishing and sharing of hi-res panos using low cost easy to use photographic equipment , or am I mistaken?
From that standpoint I think they can be considered to have had a very considerable success. I expect they have sold many more robotic pano heads, and enabled the creation, publishing and sharing of more hi-res panos, than all the other pano hardware and software makers put together.
But I still don't want one, at least not one of the current generation (Merlin+Papywizard+APP suits me fine). A Gigapan Imager V2 might be another matter.
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