Advice on Panogear purchase  

English support for Panogear kit
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gerryj19
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Advice on Panogear purchase

by gerryj19 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:27 pm

Hi
I am a complete novice to Panoramic photography and would like to buy the software and hardware to try it. However, on reading this site I'm still confused by my options.

I would like to buy the Panogear head with the remote control. But it seems that it only works with Windows software. Is that correct? I have an iMac (with Lion 10.7.2), and don't have a laptop so is there any way for me to just use the Panogear head in the field without a Windows laptop? Also, there seems to another software program called Papywizard which [ul]will[/ul] work with a Mac computer but does this mean I need an Apple laptop to shoot with the head?

The ideal way for me would be to have a head that can be controlled by iPad or iPhone, is there a head that allows this that can then be used with Autopano Pro or Giga?

I apologize for the basic questions, but as I said I'm new to this.
Many thanks,
Gerry

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by johnchoy » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:25 pm

Hi Gerry,

I'm a new panogear owner lately. Perhaps I can share some experience with you. However, I would also like to use this post to ask a few more question.

I bought this for the reason of gaining larger image resolution thru stitching though I'll try 360 with it too.

I didn't bought the touch controller. I thought a mini netbook can do the job and cost less. And I bought an Asus Eeepc 2G surf for around USD$ 80 in HK just for the purpose for controlling the panogear.

Both papywizard and the blue tooth worked flawlessly at first. however, in real life shooting, I found out that not just the panogear need power to operate, the computer that drive it need power too to have the job accomplished. Since the Eee PC battery life is around 2 to 3 hrs, with 2 to 3 scene in a day that inspire to shoot, testing and adjusting those setting before the actual mosaics shooting, battery power may not be adequate enough to have all the shots taken.

Speed is surely will not be faster than manually using a nodal ninja NN5 especially for 360 pano, it even not as flexible too, but it is not about speed but accuracy that I want to use this head. Again, however, I found out that things were not working right when I'm practicing with it. I encountered this behaviour
http://www.kolor.com/forum/t8952-merlin-does-not-center-correctly-when-taking-shots
From this post, the advice is to uncheck the papywizard's " alternate drive " option but the downfall is 50% longer capture time. ANd as I said ealier, my Eee PC will suffer as battery life is scarce. May I know if this issue had solved?

I'll buy the touch controller soon. Like bringing a spare set of battery for backup, it will be the same to have 2 controller.

for i-device integration, visit
http://www.kolor.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=11702&p=1

As for Mac, papywizard don't support Lion. I have a macbookpro running snow leopard but I was not successful in tuning it with papywizard. I decide to abandon the mac option and will remain to windows and the touch controller.

john
Last edited by johnchoy on Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by johnchoy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:05 pm

after browsing thru the forum and wiki again, I discovered that papywizard doesn't support " snow leopard " too.

Since I don't know MacOS 10.5 is not " snow leopard " and what I knew from the info is that it won't support " lion ", the info that I 'd got I thought is not quite clear to newcomer.
Last edited by johnchoy on Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by gerryj19 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:04 am

John
Thanks for your reply. It and a response I had from Kolor have helped me to decide that the Panogear head is not for me. It doesn't have device support that is convenient for me so I'll look at other solutions for a motorized head. I may still get Autopano Pro or Giga, but if they don't release Lion support soon then I may try other software instead. 4 months delay in getting Lion support seems excessive.

Thanks again for your reply though.
Regards,
Gerry

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by klausesser » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:53 pm

johnchoy wrote:after browsing thru the forum and wiki again, I discovered that papywizard doesn't support " snow leopard " too.

Since I don't know MacOS 10.5 is not " snow leopard " and what I knew from the info is that it won't support " lion ", the info that I 'd got I thought is not quite clear to newcomer.

OS 10.5 is "Leopard", OS 10.6 is "Snow Leopard", OS 10.7 is "Lion" all they´re supported by Kolor and afaik by PapyWizard. I´m not using Lion at the moment - i have some killer-apps
which are very critical.

Neither APG/APT nor PapyWizard are that critical. Besides i suggest the use of Papy on a mobile device like the Nokia N800/810. I wouldn´t like to carry a notebook or MacBook around just
for shooting panos.

That´s why i prefer the T&C handheld controller with the Merlin and with Josef´s head. More simple and straight going is impossibe.

best, Klaus
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel

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by mediavets » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:01 pm

gerryj19 wrote:John
Thanks for your reply. It and a response I had from Kolor have helped me to decide that the Panogear head is not for me.

What was it that made you decide that Panogear head was not for you?
It doesn't have device support that is convenient for me so I'll look at other solutions for a motorized head.

I am not aware of any motorised head that can be remotely controlled from an iPad or iPhone.
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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by gerryj19 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:40 am

Hi,
My reasons were that the reply indicated that I would either need to use a laptop to control the head (a non-starter for a variety of reasons) or I would have to buy the controller and then create a "virtual Windows" on my Mac to program that as Panorama only runs on Windows. That's more technical than I want to handle. Also, while I appreciate the input from one of the earlier posts, I don't know what a T&C controller, a Merlin or a Josef's head are. Perhaps the latter is the Panogear.

I'm looking for a simple, reliable, foolproof, out-of-the-box solution to allow to novice like me to set-up a camera in the outdoors and program it with a portable, hand-held device or controller (it doesn't need to be an iSomething) to take a large panorama of hills or a harbor or something. I've found some professional products that do this with a hand-held controller but they are way, way too expensive.

According to my email from Kolor this product requires some technical effort on my part that doesn't suit my requirements right now. The closest I've seen is something called the Automate and I'm investigating that right now. I still plan to get the Autopano software, but right now the website (the download page) specifically states that it only works with Leopard (MacOS 10.5) or Snow Leopard (10.6), and I can't find any specific date for Lion (MacOS 10.7) support.

It would be great if Lion support were already available and confirmed as I would like to try it on some images I took using a manual tripod/head setup.
Best regards,
Gerry

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by mediavets » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:03 am

Gerry,

It sounds as if you wish to use a motorised head to shoot high res. partial panoramas - that is panoramas with less than 360x180 degrees field of view.

Is that correct?

What camera and lens(es) would you plan to use?
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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by mediavets » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:08 am

gerryj19 wrote:I still plan to get the Autopano software, but right now the website (the download page) specifically states that it only works with Leopard (MacOS 10.5) or Snow Leopard (10.6), and I can't find any specific date for Lion (MacOS 10.7) support.

It would be great if Lion support were already available and confirmed as I would like to try it on some images I took using a manual tripod/head setup.
Best regards,
Gerry

It is my understanding that APG 2.6 RC1 runs on OSX Lion - with exception of exposure fusion preview:
http://www.kolor.com/forum/t13504-autopano-engine-v2.6-rc-1
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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by mediavets » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:04 am

gerryj19 wrote:Also, while I appreciate the input from one of the earlier posts, I don't know what a T&C controller, a Merlin or a Josef's head are. Perhaps the latter is the Panogear.

Panogear is the brand name Kolor uses to market their 'plug-n-play' package of third party components to offer a robotic pano head 'package'.

These various components include:

1. The Merlin mount
http://www.sherwoods-photo.com/acuter_spottingscope/acuter_merlin_mount_fs.htm

2. The Deltawave PapyMerlin BT Bluetooth-TTL adapter
http://www.papymerlin.com/interface-%C3%A9lectronique/
http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/recepteur-bluetooth.html

3. The T&C Lithium Ion rechargable battery conversion system for the Merlin mount
http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/adaptateur-batterie.html
http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/battery.html
http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/chargeur-batterie.html
http://www.typeandcolour.de/index.php?tp=Produkte&up=batt

3. The T&C camera mounting rail
http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/rail-droit-panogear.html
http://www.typeandcolour.de/index.php?tp=Produkte&up=cont

4. The Papywizard software
http://www.papywizard.org/

5. The optional T&C Touch controller - a standalone controller system, an alternative to Papywizard.
http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/controleur-tactile-autonome.html
http://www.typeandcolour.de/index.php?tp=Produkte&up=cont

6. The shutter trigger cable package
http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/trigger-cable-package.html

7. A USB-Bluetooth adapter
http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/panogear-bluetooth-dongle.html

Prior to Kolor sourcing, assembling and marketing these components under the Panogear brand users had to source components from multiple sources and assemble systems themselves.
...........

'Josef's head' is a new upcoming robotic pano head from T&C, currently in prototype:
http://www.kolor.com/forum/t12057-tadaaa-here-it-is-prototype
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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by mediavets » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:54 am

gerryj19 wrote:I'm looking for a simple, reliable, foolproof, out-of-the-box solution to allow to novice like me to set-up a camera in the outdoors and program it with a portable, hand-held device or controller (it doesn't need to be an iSomething) to take a large panorama of hills or a harbor or something.

Two Panogear/Merlin-mount configurations could meet this requirement:

1. Merlin mount with appropriate rail, and the Papymerlin Deltawave BT adapter, and Papywizard running on a Nokia N800 or N810 Internet Tablet. This configuration offers a robotic pano head with a handheld wireless controller. Nokia N800 and N810 INternet Tablets are no longer in production but they are available secondhand via eBay, or I could sell you one with the Papywizard software installed.

2. Merlin mount with appropriate rail, and the Panogear/T&C Touch Controller. This configuration offers a robotic pano head with a small standalone wired controller which is considered 'foolproof' in field use. However the software used to configure the controller firmware is Windows-based. So if you are using Macs you will need to set up Windows on the Mac to run the controller configuration software; I understand there are various ways of doing this.
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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by gerryj19 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:14 pm

Andrew
Thanks for the detailed clarifications. This is a great summary of the product and these help a lot - they should consider adding your explanation to the product details page. You are absolutely spot on in that I don't have 360x180 panoramas in mind. What I actually want are large, detailed landscapes. I would like to try the 360x180 some day but it's not on my short-term goals.

The 2 configurations you present nicely explain the options that I got down to (in concept) that with this head I either need to pair it with a new portable phone/tablet device, or configure a controller with a Windows-based program.

Now I need to weigh cost, learning curve, time and effort to figure out the best option for me.

It sounds like they are close to full Lion support and hopefully they'll fix that remaining bug soon. I'll download a trial and just make sure that I don't use the feature that causes it to crash. As I've never used the software before I expect that I won't be using any advanced features soon.
Many thanks,
Gerry

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by Destiny » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:32 am

Oh man.. I am surly going to get a big headache when I buy my Panogear or cause some.. ;).. At least after reading some of these threads I understand a bit more about the naming Merlin and Panogear but I am sill a bit confused about that... I noticed a few issues regarding the Mac OS.. to be honest, my advice on that would be to install Bootcamp.. its fine.. and if you download the latest Windows protector and firewalls for free and only use your internet mostly on the Mac side, you will be fine... I have been using Bootcamp for about 6 months now and wish I did it sooner.. There are others.. I believe Klaus using something else on his Mac for Windows.. Soon I will be upgrading to Lion, I have been told by Apple that nothing will be effected... however, some 3rd party software might need to be either upgraded or reinstalled.. I went from Leopard to SnowLeopard with no issues at all.. Apple said it will not effect my Bootcamp Windows either... I am running Window 7 no probs.....

Destiny...


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