360° Panoramic images are made by taking multiple images of a scene and digitally stitching these images together to create an immersive and interactive view of a given location.
When viewed on a web site, these images allow the viewer to look all around the scene, look up or down, or to zoom in or out, simply by dragging their mouse or by using their keyboard
The scenes can also be linked to other related scenes to create a virtual tour, with each scene being linked by a series of "hotspots" or by image links contained within the scene, allowing the viewer to move from room to room.
The 360° Panorama's on this site are produced by "me" as an amateur with a mundane day job. I do what I do here because, I enjoy it!
This little lot took me a while to build up and as far as general photography equipment goes, my little collection is by no where near complete. I do have an extensive "wish list" of stuff I would like to buy at some point and no doubt shall when I can afford it.
Mainly purchased out of some sense of brand loyalty. I have used Canon cameras on and off for many a year and find them to be reliable, versatile and robust. However, I am comparativly new to doing 360° panorama's and my opinion on what camera to use is "any make or model will do". If seeking to purchase a Digital SLR consider the sensor. The 400D has a cropped sensor of 1.6 (most pro-sumer cameras have a cropped sensor) this cropping means that when using a lens of a given focal length, you can effectivly multiply the focal length by 1.6 i.e. an 8mm fisheye lens would effectivly become a 12.8mm fisheye and the image circle would be cropped at the edges. For panorama's, this is not a major problem, but it is a consideration when purchasing a digital SLR. Any lenes attached have therefore have an effective increase of focal length of 1.6
This is quite a weighty bit of glass and quite pricey too, but I find it to be well worth it with the saving of the time it takes to make 360° views. Before I was using my bog standard Canon 18-55 lens and with that I needed to take 32 photographs to cover the whole sphere of the view. Now with the Sigma 8mm I take 4 (5 if I want a nadir shot) photos to cover the same area. This not only means a saving of time to take the images, but an enormous reduction of time taken to process those images. There are far less seems between images and so far less oppertunity for visable paralax errors to creep in.
Aways reminds me of Wurzel Gummage when I say what head I am putting on; However, the Panohead is quite an important bit of equipment, though arguably, not essential as panoramas can be made handheld, with a little thought applied. The Panohead holds the camera in the optomum posion relative to the no paralax point of the lens and rotates around this point, where as a non-panoramic head would rotate the camera around the film/sensor plane which is not of much use for making panorama views. The Nodal Ninja 3 is a solidly built unit and I would give my fullest recomendations about both the unit and also the company Fanotec who make them for thier excellent customer services, though I do want one of the newer "Ring Mount" systems Fanotec are now making, it is on the list of wants!
A good solid tripod, if a bit on the weighty side and can I find a camera bag that it fits onto? Not a chance. I have jerry-rigged some straps to fix it onto the back of my bag and it pokes up in the air like some little flag pole. I also find a problem with the Ball Head becoming stuck on and frequently have to give a whack to the head with a lump of wood to jerk it off (there is never a lump of wood around when you need one). Also, I find the twist lock legs to be a bit of a pain and have tore the skin off my fingers a few times pushing the damn legs in. So, am in the market for another tripod, aka wish list again!