I've no idea how you would have 'merged' five full spheres using APP/APG.
No matter where you start end: a sphere always means a regular pattern.
So he´ll get four identical patterns.
Doing this a mosaics would mean to calculate very precisely the start/end position
for each of the four shootings to match afterwards.
The whole thing would be much easier when he uses full spheres - it also would be
possible build a pattern simulation easier than with a mosaic which *needs* a start/end
point. Even when you use a mosaic bigger than needed.
I saw good examples of shootings from a tower using different positions and which
let you look straight downwards without seeing the tower at all.
The slowliness of the Merlin is a big issue here. A Rodeon is much faster and also are
Panoneed and Seitz.
But - as all users of it noticed - the T&C handheld in combination with the accu-set also make
the Marlin faster.
The biggest problem are the gears/motors of the Merlin: they are not precise enough to
allow a better move-to/go-to strategy.
This way the Merlin stays in the slowest mode all the time using lenses over 100mm.
I did a mosaic using a 180mm lens - about 45x45°, so a very small area. It took the Merlin several hours
to shoot. The Panoneed did it in about 10 minutes . . .
Shais mosaic of 270x180° is done in about 20min using 105mm on the panoneed as you can see in the XML i linked to.
As Shais mentioned it took him more than an hour to do the same thing with the Merlin . . .
Let´s not forget that the Merlin is a brilliant device related to the price - but it has many limits due to that.
Let´s have a look at the price-relations:
Merlin costs around 450.-€ including the TC-handheld (idon´t have the price of the Panoshoot in mind)
Panoneed costs around 2000.-€ including ALL accessories - only a (quite massive) L-bracket comes as an option,
Seitz *starts* at around 2700.-€ needing some accessories - which can come quite expensive.
Rodeon *starts* at around 3500.-€ needing some accessories - which can come quite expensive even more than with the Seitz.
But: seeing it from the perspective of costs is only ONE view. After all you definitely SAVE money having a RELIABLE device
providing very high accuracy and reliable XML files which make your stitching VERY much faster.
What´s also *vital* when you use such devices for producing: a RELIABLE support . . . . I´m sorry, but i can´t see this on the Panoshoot´s side.
Besides of that i´m a bit irritated not to read a word from Kolor related to the issues several users post here regarding the use of Panoshoot - afaik Kolor is one of the distributors at least in Europe . . wrong?