Hi to all. I'm a novice at all this motorised head stuff , but can see the advantage of a programable head to take (Matrix) pano's. Being electronically illiterate, is there a simple buy and use solution that doesent require getting electronics made up. From what I have seen the orion head with papywizzard is a solution. Can I buy one , and from where, that is set and ready to program.
Thanks in advance
I don't know where you are located nor what camera/lens you plan to use.
If you wish to use a compact digital camera then the Gigapan Imager, made in the USA, is a 'ready-to-go' motorised head for compact digital cameras:http://www.gigapansystems.com/
If you plan to use a DSLR then there are a couple of expensive two-axis motorised pano heads availabe that are 'ready-to-go'.
The Rodeon VR head, made in Germany, costs upwards of Euros 3,800:http://www.dr-clauss.de/RODEONVRHead_e.htm
The Peace River Studios Pixorb head, made in the USA, costs USD 11,500:http://www.peaceriverstudios.com/pixorb/index.html
Then there is the single-axis MK Panomachine, made in Germany, that costs around Euros 1,800:http://www.marc-kairies.de/0490c39acb137931c/0490c39acb137a81e/index.html
And the single axis Seitz VR Drive, made in Switzerland, that costs 2,300 Swiss Francs:http://www.roundshot.ch/xml_1/internet/de/application/d438/d927/f629.cfm
OR you can assemble the Merlin/Papywizard system which will handle a DSLR and costs a fraction of the price of any of those four, the components required are available world wide. In some markets the Merlin head is also marketed as the Orion Teletrack:http://www.autopano.net/forum/t4794-low-cost-motorised-pano-head-for-compacts-and-dslrs-merlin-papywizardhttp://www.autopano.net/forum/t4778-merlin-papywizard-user-reports
The only 'electronics' required is to be able to solder a few wires to a small circuit board - I am completely clumsy with any sort of DIY but managed it quite easily, the biggest problem I had was that my 60 year-old eyes struggled a bit to focus on the small wires/terminals. And if you don't feel up to the soldering I'm sure you know someone who could do it for you.
You only need to make these wiring connections, and add the two 220ohm resistors, from a 4 conductor RJ11 cable (for example an ADSL cable) to a small ready made circuit board - and, yes, it is nicer to put it into a small box - as shown here:http://www.autopano.net/forum/p30622-2008-10-12-15-57-21#p30622
If you plan to run Papywizard on a Nokia Tablet you will need an RS232-Bluetooth adapter attached to the Tronisoft 4201 RS232-TTL adapter mentioned above. The Tronisoft BTLink is one of the least expensive and it works well and is easy to configure:http://www.tronisoft.com/cat_bluetoothtors232.php
Then download and install the free Paywizard software on a Nokia Internet Tablet, the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet is a bargain if picked up secondhand on eBay, and you are ready to go.
The Papywizard software will also run on the Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets, Windows PCs, Linux PCs, and should run on Apple Macs though no-one has tried that yet AFAIK.
You can run the Papywizard software in simulation mode without having a Merlin head so if you want to get a feel for how it looks and what it can do just download it and have a 'play':http://trac.gbiloba.org/papywizard/
Oh nearly forgot, you will need a set of 8xAA NiMH rechargeable batteries and a charger if you want to run the Merlin head on batteries, or you can use a 12V 500ma mains adapter.