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Panoramic Photos

edited April 2016 Posted in » Canon 60D Forum
Newbie here, wanted to know if someone could help with settings to take panoramic photos.

Thanks in advance.


  • edited April 2016
    A sort of general rule for panoramas, not too specific to cameras:

    First, try to make sure the camera is panning on the level. You can take freehand panoramas, but they will often need lots of cropping. If you use a tripod, make sure the base on which the head pans (i.e. tripod itself) is level. The more on the level you get it, the less you'll have to trim to get a rectangular result. If there's a horizon, pay attention to it, and try to keep it at the same level throughout. It's easier to get an ocean or prairie panorama freehand.

    Overlap generously.

    Some programs (for example Microsoft ICE) allow composites both horizontally and vertically. If you use a somewhat narrower lens, it may distort less to do a pan in two sweeps. Don't forget too that you can pan with the camera in vertical position.

    A basic swinging panorama will inevitably be distorted into a curve. That's no big deal usually, but if there's a lot of foreground, it can be odd. If you're standing on a curb, for example, the curb will appear to be an arc.

    If you shoot a panorama without a specific pan head, foreground objects will come out wrong owing to parallax. The further away your subject is, the less an issue. Scenic panoramas will come out fine, but if you have trees or the like close up, they may be distorted. Dedicated pan heads are designed to pivot the camera at the lens's "nodal point", to avoid parallax.

    Find an exposure that works for the main part of the subject, and then set that manually, so that the meter does not vary exposure as you pan.

    Microsoft makes a free stitching program called "ICE" which works very well, though it operates only on JPG files. The latest versions have some pretty nice options for shape adjustment, and the ability to fill out unsquare corners which works moderately well for sky and the like (a mess with complex backgrounds). Worth a try, since it's free.
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