Panorama Made Easy - Lenspen and Fuji
Well, that is an unusual combination - a major camera manufacturer and a firm that makes cleaning supplies - but bear with us and you'll see.
I bought a Fuji X-10 earlier this year and took it away as a tourist camera - thoroughly pleased with the results of shots taken in the normal 2:3 aspect ratio in all lights. If you can stand looking at my hot rod photos come in and see the results here in print form in the shop - you'll see that the Fuji is a very capable performer.
One of the bells and whistles parts of the X-10 is a panorama feature. Basically, you tell the camera whether you would like to take a 120, 180, or 360 degree photograph - then you follow the screen prompt to turn yourself and camera around evenly in a small period of time and the camera stitches it all together into a panorama. It really DOES work, as evinced by the picture heading this post. I do not claim art, as I have not yet got my head around seeing the world as a panorama, but I am going to start looking.
It pays to keep your horizon level, as this stops the bowing in the middle or the world sliding off the edge.
Please note that there also seems to be a setting to do vertical panoramas but I am not courageous enough to use it yet.
If you don't have a Fuji X-10 but do have another small digital camera, may we suggest the Lenspen Panamatic Plus accessory. It is a turntable that goes onto a tripod with a bubble level to keep the horizon straight and a click stop mechanism to let you expose successive shots with your camera around in a circle.
It is supplied with software to allow your computer to stitch these pictures into a panorama file as long as you have overlapped each view enough to give the computer information to go on. It is surprisingly accurate, though if there are things happening throughout the frames there may be a few anomalies in the final spread. You are advised to take your camera off of automatic exposure and set one constant manual exposure setting for the series - this will lead to a more natural sky image.
Please note that Adobe and a number of other software makers have incorporated similar stitching programs in some of their image-editing products. My Photoshop Elements has provision for quite accurate stitching in several perspectives, though I note that my ability to add extra frames is limited by the capacity of my basic computer. I can do three big frames easily but five strains it.
The Panamatic Plus kits are available right now in our shop for your Christmas holidays.