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Forums » Digital Cameras on Gigapan » Recommendations sought for new super-zooms

 
Recommendations sought for new super-zooms
The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661" The Gigapanogra...
Total Posts: 107

When I started gigapanning I had a lot of fun and success with my Epic 100 and a $300 Sony super-zoom (15x optical). I’d like to replace the Sony as it is only 8Mpix but I have lost touch with the super-zoom market. I’d be interested to hear how people are getting on with newer super-zoom cameras on the Epic/Epic 100.

Mosley Hardy Mosley Hardy
Total Posts: 138

I for one have been very happy with my Panasonic FZ-150, even though I had to build a trigger cable for it.

Hamdi Guzelis Hamdi Guzelis
Total Posts: 3

I have newly a Nikon Coolpix P510 and consider to buy Epic 100 very soon. I am happy with my Nikon with 42x zoom and will be able to use it with Epic 100. I probably will be shooting very detailed GigaPixel Panoramas.

The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661" The Gigapanogra...
Total Posts: 107

From what I recall of using my Sony at 15x on the Epic 100, the stepper motors were only just accurate enough to set the field of view for one image. @Mosley, can you successfully set the gigapan up with the zoom set at 24x? @Hamdi, I will be amazed if you can set up a Epic 100 to use the Nikon at 42×. You might want to check this with Gigapan Systems before you buy one.

Glen David Short Glen David Shor...
Total Posts: 46

Hmmm… great tip Kilgore, I never thought about that before: the Epic 100’s minimum field of view limiting the useful range of zoom. Was going to buy one of the new Lumix DMC-FZ70 superzooms with 60x magnification, but I guess its zoom overkill, you could only utilize it on the Epic Pro model, and if you have invested in a Pro, you might as well use a DSLR and telephoto. Now, as an Epic 100 owner, I should be on the lookout for a compact with 14x zoom and more megapixels… unless gigapan release an Epic 100 with smaller gear increments.

Mosley Hardy Mosley Hardy
Total Posts: 138

I’ve only shot at 600mm a few times, but here’s an example.

http://gigapan.com/gigapans/105189

The problem isn’t servo accuracy (at least not on my unit), the problem is that the EPIC 100 doesn’t have a pre-shot delay to allow that long lens time to settle. The only way I found to work around that was to shoot at least 2 exposures per position using an electronic release instead of the button pusher. The reason I opted for the Panasonic wasn’t primarily the zoom reach though it was a factor. I was looking for good image quality, good glass (leica), RAW, no DiGiC processor, and the ability to use an electronic release on the EPIC 100. In the case of the Panasonic, i had to build one, but that wasn’t too hard, even for someone with my horrid soldering skills.

Glen David Short Glen David Shor...
Total Posts: 46

Hi Mosely

you wrote “The problem isn’t servo accuracy (at least not on my unit), the problem is that the EPIC 100 doesn’t have a pre-shot delay to allow that long lens time to settle.”

So would I be right in thinking you could use a 600mm superzoom if the camera itself had a 2 second start delay that did not need to be reset after every shot? My Pentax DSLR and little Ricoh point and shoot has this useful feature, but my Lumix TZ30 with 20x optical zoom does not, unless you want to reset the delay button after every shot. All you have to do is increase the time between shots, which the Epic 100 can be programmed to do.

Mosley Hardy Mosley Hardy
Total Posts: 138

I would think that would work. I tried using the self timer on the FZ150, but had the same experience you had with your Lumix – the setting clears after each shot.

Glen David Short Glen David Shor...
Total Posts: 46

Gigapan has confirmed you can use 42x zoom on the Epic 100: http://gigapan.com/forums/8/topics/517?page=1#p…

The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661" The Gigapanogra...
Total Posts: 107

I looked at that thread and I don’t think Customer Services were aware of the significance of “42x”. I have forgotten how to work out the field of view of a zoom lens but I am sure that at 42x the fov is a small fraction of a degree and this is much too small for my Epic 100 – maybe newer models are more accurate?

What is the smallest step in fov you can reliably set on your Epic 100s? Mine doesn’t have any batteries so I can test mine, but I think it was 1.6 degrees.

Glen David Short Glen David Shor...
Total Posts: 46

Yes, it would be helpful if gigapan clarified this, and added the maximum zoom for each Epic model to their spec sheets.

Customer Service Customer Servic...
Total Posts: 67

Apologies for my oversite on that lens type. Correct, we don’t think it would work at full zoom. We don’t think there are enough steps in the motor to get correct placement for repeatably correct overlap. Our engineer is adding this to his “to do” list to find out what the smallest field of view our imagers can accommodate.


Forums» Digital Cameras on Gigapan » Recommendations sought for new super-zooms