Gigapan Epic Pro for DSLRs  

In the panorama field, hardware is also part of the success. You can discuss here about it: camera, computer, pano head, anything
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Gigapan Epic Pro for DSLRs

by mediavets » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:07 am

Gigapan Epic Pro for DSLRs - available in April - cost $895 in US:

http://gigapansystems.com/gigapan-products/gigapan-epic-pro.html
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 klausesser » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:05 pm

mediavets wrote:Gigapan Epic Pro for DSLRs - available in April - cost $895 in US:

http://gigapansystems.com/gigapan-products/gigapan-epic-pro.html

Well - finally they seem to become a bit more usable for DSLRs. Took them a long time, did it . . . :cool:

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

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by mediavets » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:19 pm

klausesser wrote:
mediavets wrote:Gigapan Epic Pro for DSLRs - available in April - cost $895 in US:

http://gigapansystems.com/gigapan-products/gigapan-epic-pro.html

Well - finally they seem to become a bit more usable for DSLRs. Took them a long time, did it . . . :cool:

best, Klaus

But not cheap - and what price would it be after import to Europe with import duty and VAT to add.

No way to mount the camera in portrait orientation it appears.
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 Paul » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:23 pm

capable to drive more load, but some details lack again like the vertical locking bolts

and even far away from wireless functionality

I am glad to have papywizard :-)
Paul

close, but no cigar ... ... ...

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by mediavets » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:00 pm

Paul wrote:and even far away from wireless functionality

Apparently it has something called a 'remote trigger port' which poermits one to start a shoot using an optional remote trigger - whatver that might be.

I am glad to have papywizard :-)

Me too.

A bit short sighted of them perhaps not to have made it Papywizard-compatible?
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 Photosbykev » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:32 pm

mediavets wrote:
klausesser wrote:
mediavets wrote:Gigapan Epic Pro for DSLRs - available in April - cost $895 in US:

http://gigapansystems.com/gigapan-products/gigapan-epic-pro.html

Well - finally they seem to become a bit more usable for DSLRs. Took them a long time, did it . . . :cool:

best, Klaus

But not cheap - and what price would it be after import to Europe with import duty and VAT to add.

No way to mount the camera in portrait orientation it appears.

Just change the $ sign for the £ sign and you won't be far off :(

For gigapixel panoramas the need for a portrait mounted camera isn't really needed I would of thought.

If the fore/aft sliding plate was replaced with an L-shaped plate portrait format could be utilised and with the forward position of the tilt axis the footprint should be fairly small?
Last edited by Photosbykev on Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by kalain » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:51 am

mediavets wrote:Gigapan Epic Pro for DSLRs - available in April - cost $895 in US:

And weight less than 8 pounds !!!

Probably strong but quite heavy!

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by klausesser » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:00 pm

mediavets wrote:
I am glad to have papywizard :-)

Me too.

So am i! :cool:

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

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by sdphoto » Mon May 10, 2010 5:39 am

To address some of the comments in this thread:

The Gigapan Pro is a Gigapan machine. It has its own control system built it, and it does what it is meant to do perfectly. It doesn't need the ability to use Papywizard. Papywizard is for machines that don't have their own control system (machines that aren't necessarily meant to be used for panoramic photography). It would be like asking a PC manufacturer to include the ability to use a MAC operating system.

As for the ability to use a camera in portrait mode, you wouldn't want to use a fisheye lens on the Gigapan Pro. If you are wanting to make Gigapan images, you would want to use a telephoto lens. A long lens with a tripod mount would have the ability to shoot in portrait mode (80-200 2.8 or similar lens). The Gigapan platforms are made to shoot columns instead of rows, and the logical camera orientation for doing so is landscape, which the control system uses.

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by tived » Mon May 10, 2010 9:16 am

sdphoto wrote:To address some of the comments in this thread:

The Gigapan Pro is a Gigapan machine. It has its own control system built it, and it does what it is meant to do perfectly. It doesn't need the ability to use Papywizard. Papywizard is for machines that don't have their own control system (machines that aren't necessarily meant to be used for panoramic photography). It would be like asking a PC manufacturer to include the ability to use a MAC operating system.

As for the ability to use a camera in portrait mode, you wouldn't want to use a fisheye lens on the Gigapan Pro. If you are wanting to make Gigapan images, you would want to use a telephoto lens. A long lens with a tripod mount would have the ability to shoot in portrait mode (80-200 2.8 or similar lens). The Gigapan platforms are made to shoot columns instead of rows, and the logical camera orientation for doing so is landscape, which the control system uses.

Well, he does have a point. Two different systems both offer similar results. Maybe the remote control is still an issue.

Henrik

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by mediavets » Mon May 10, 2010 9:24 am

sdphoto wrote:To address some of the comments in this thread:

The Gigapan Pro is a Gigapan machine. It has its own control system built it, and it does what it is meant to do perfectly.

It appears that some Gigapan Pro users would not agree that "it does what it is meant to do perfectly", some say it is not as robust as they would like, others perceive some disadvantages in having the controller built in to the unit, and so on - but there you go some people are never satisfied. :rolleyes:

It doesn't need the ability to use Papywizard. Papywizard is for machines that don't have their own control system (machines that aren't necessarily meant to be used for panoramic photography). It would be like asking a PC manufacturer to include the ability to use a MAC operating system.

Aside from the fact that it probably wouldn't be too difficult to make OSX run on PC hardware now that Macs use Intel CPUs, not that anyone would want to, we do understand that Gigapan robotic heads don't need Papywizard.

I think the points being made here are that users feel that Papywizard is superior to the Gigapan control firmware in many ways; for example there are a lot of advantages to having a separate controller rather than having it built-in; and Papywizard offers considerably greater functionality and flexibility, it is not simply geared to shooting regular matrices of images; and Papywizard's ability to record shooting positions in a data file is very powerful when it comes to assisting stitching software to place 'featureless' images that would otherwise be 'orphaned' and not included in the stitch.

Papywizard is free, and Open Source with a plug-in based architecture that is not tied to any particular OS platform nor any particular robotic pano head hardware; it already runs on Nokia's Maemo, Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux and supports Merlin, Pixorb, Gigapanbot and a variety of 'home brew' robotic pano heads.

As for the ability to use a camera in portrait mode, you wouldn't want to use a fisheye lens on the Gigapan Pro. If you are wanting to make Gigapan images, you would want to use a telephoto lens. A long lens with a tripod mount would have the ability to shoot in portrait mode (80-200 2.8 or similar lens).
I'm not sure I would wachoose to use w fisheye lens on Merlin?papywizard eitrher - but you can.

As you seem to agree Gigapan is only geared towards shooting regular matrices of images, which Merlin+Papywizard handles very well too; but with Gigapan robotic heads there's no scope for also shooting high res. spherical panos with non-fisheye lenses which is quite 'doable' with Merlin+Papywizard.

{quote]The Gigapan platforms are made to shoot columns instead of rows, and the logical camera orientation for doing so is landscape, which the control system uses.

I believe you can choose to shoot by-column or by- row with Gigapan robotic heads? Or am I mistaken?

I don't understand why mounting the camera in landscape orientation should be considered 'logical' for shooting by-column with a robotic head.

The latest generation of Gigapan robotic heads seems to be quite an improvement on the earlier models but I don't think they are perfect and they are certainly, sadly, not so inexpensive as to be 'the robotic head for the everyone', and I feel that in attempting to deliver ease of use for the 'man in the street' they inevitably fail to deliver some the features sought by enthusiasts. The Gigapan robotic heads are not widely available outside the US and even now are only available with US-standard battery chargers.

But, like Merlin+Papywizard+Autopano Pro/Giga+Autopano Tour, the Gigapan head + Gigapan Stitcher software + Gigapan web presence/community should I believe be seen as a 'panoramic photography system' and it is a very powerful, and empowering, system. I admire the thinking, ambitions and goals that inspired the development of the Gigapan system.

There is quite enough 'room' for both the Merlin+Papywizard+Autopano system and the Gigapan system - and for productive mixing and matching of elements of both systems. The Gigapan Import filter in Autopano Pro/Giga enables Gigapan robotic head users to avail themselves of the Autopano Pro/Giga stitchers; Autopano Tour will soon be able to handle gigapixel images from either system so that they can be displayed using krpano's powerful multi-resolution technology; panos shot with Merlin+Papywizard and stitched with Autopano Pro/Giga can be displayed using Gigapan's on-line community system, and so on.
Last edited by mediavets on Mon May 10, 2010 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 klausesser » Mon May 10, 2010 12:24 pm

sdphoto wrote:It would be like asking a PC manufacturer to include the ability to use a MAC operating system.

Guess you´d be surprised to know how many of them would like do so - if they were allowed.

sdphoto wrote:As for the ability to use a camera in portrait mode, you wouldn't want to use a fisheye lens on the Gigapan Pro. If you are wanting to make Gigapan images, you would want to use a telephoto lens. A long lens with a tripod mount would have the ability to shoot in portrait mode (80-200 2.8 or similar lens). The Gigapan platforms are made to shoot columns instead of rows, and the logical camera orientation for doing so is landscape, which the control system uses.

Of course. But buying a device of twice the price of a Merlin at least i would like to have no lesser options . . .

In many cases it´s good to have more option than being fixed to just one.
Using portrait mode is valuable when using short lenses.
Being able to shoot spheres using the portrait-mode with wide angle- or fisheye lenses is a basic expectation when i buy a
head for about 1000.-€.
Being able to remote-control it also a basic feature.

After all i wouldn´t expect to need sophisticated mechanical skills to adjust a 1000.-€ head just for being as precise as other heads provide for about 500.-€ including comfortable Bluetooth remote control and VERY flexible settings.

With all due respects to a great project like Gigapan.org - the heads are somewhat limited related to the price i mean.

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

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by sdphoto » Tue May 11, 2010 5:16 am

I agree with all of you that the Merlin/Papywizard is a superior combination. I am building one now.

I was involved in the Gigapan Beta program, and, although the system worked, there were many flaws (based on the fact that the engineers and rocket scientists that built the thing were robotics experts, but NOT photographers. They didn't understand the needs of photographers, and still generally don't. I had to re-engineer my Beta unit to get it to work satisfactorily, and it still is too weak to hold all but the smallest cameras. I need to do a balancing act to get it to hold a Panasonic Lumix G1, but it works.

One thing Gigapan doesn't do well is listen to the suggestions of their Beta users. Very few of the improvements I saw suggested in their forums were used. The biggest flaw of the Beta and Epic models was the mechanical button pusher, and the logic circuitry inside the machine that kept the button pusher from being replaced. The placement of the button pusher also kept larger cameras from being used. To get the G1 to fit, I replaced the entire camera tray and mounted the button pusher to the side of the platform, where it pushed a button on a radio remote.

After posting above, I found I was mistaken on one point - the Gigapan Pro CAN shoot rows if you want it to. By the way, what I meant by the comment about shooting Gigapans in landscape is that for the Gigapan robot, landscape is logical. The camera platform on the Beta and the Epic were too close to the base of the unit to allow proper alignment in a portrait orientation. The units were made for point-&-shoot cameras, and many of the target users are not familiar with photo editing, and the hundreds of photos per Gigapan would need to be rotated before they could be stitched. The Merlin audience is the more advanced shooter.

What Gigapan did for panoramic photography was to bring its awareness to many people. People were doing it before, but not on such a large scale.


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