Artisan S. wrote:
A Gigapan pro bot should do the trick quite nicely....especially if Gpixel pano's of the non spherical variety are your piece of cake...spherical and the Gigapan is sort of a no no, since it can't reduce the number of shot in the nadir/zenith region.
Quite - it's not too good for 360 HFOV panos either.
Price-wise the Gigapan Pro sits somewhere between the Panogear system, and the Seitz VRDrive 2 and the Panoneed, but is not as versatile as any of them. It is designed to shoot partial panos only - panos with a pano FOV of less tan 360x180 - by shooting a regulkar grid of images. If that meets your needs then that's fine.
The Panogear, Seitz VRDrive 2 and the Panoneed can all record shooting positions and that data can then be used by APP/APG (via their repscetive Import filters) to assist the stitcher in placing images that lack features for automatic control point detection (plain blue sky shots for exaxmple) which might otherwise be left out of the stitch. The Gigapan series of robotic panoheads can't do that, they can only shoot a regular grid in a limited number of patterns and that 'information' can be used by the Giagapan Stitcher and APP/APG (via the Gigapan Import filter) but it's not as 'clever' as using shooting position recorded data.
I would check whether I could use my 300 F4 in the portrait position though (physical I mean, since shooting portrait is advisable in order to minimize stretching).
The Gigapan series of robotic heads is designed to mount the camera/lens only in landscape orientation, as far as I know. And the Gigapan Stitcher software and the Gigapan Import 'filter' in APP/APG assumes landscape orientation of the images.
Be aware that the shooting of gigapixel images using a robotic pano head is in many ways the easy bit. The stitching and post-processing can be very challenging and requires considerable computing power, not to mention a lot of patience.