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03-06-2010, 04:36 AM   #1
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K-x and Panoramas How-To

Hey guys.
I am a new photographer, and the K-x is my first real Dslr.
I have seen posts about some really nice panorama shots, and only some of them describe as being pieced together with Photoshop. I am not very saavy with PS yet, and I am wondering if the K-x has setting internally to be able to create amazing panoramic photos or not.

Thanks for any help!!

03-06-2010, 05:15 AM   #2
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if you're a windows user, download "Microsoft ICE", it will produce the image for you, from multiple shots.

one thing to keep in mind when taking pictures for your panorama is to make sure to only move the camera in one axis at a time. for example with a pan/tilt head, only pan or only tilt, don't pan and tilt or you wind up with a mismatch on one of the axis. you can pan X number of degrees and then tilt up/down, and pan again, to create a larger stack.... ICE will take care of all of that for you.

the other thing to keep in mind is each frame needs a reference to the frame before it, and if doing a larger stack, the frame above/below it. this is so the program's math can match up and correct for angles and such.

here's a 60 megapixel panorama I shot at the beach, but screwed up by tilting the camera (changing more than one axis) about half way through:
03-06-2010, 05:44 AM   #3
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The kx does not have the ability to create panoramas in the camera. You can easily piece them together using a lot of different software like Photoshop Elements. I shoot in manual mode so that the camera doesn't change settings on me throughout and use a constant focal length, shooting in portrait mode, overlapping the images by about twenty percent. One other thing that is helpful is to make certain that there isn't anything in the foreground. Software has a lot of trouble piecing things together if there are foreground elements. With a little practice you'll find it simple!
03-06-2010, 09:44 PM - 1 Like   #4
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let me push Autostitch

AUTOSTITCH is freeware for Windoze; just google for it.

AUTOSTITCH mostly doesn't care whether the camera is horizontal (landscape aspect) or vertical (portrait aspect). AUTOSTITCH mostly doesn't care what axis you're panning on. (I often make both horizontal and vertical sweeps of the area of interest.) AUTOSTITCH does care that you keep the camera in about the same place as you pan -- this is especially important if you're shooting stuff much closer than a horizon -- and as mentioned above, beware of what's in the foreground, to avoid alignment mismatches.

The one flaw I find: AUTOSTITCH doesn't handle single-line vertical panos very well. If you've shot a building or tree or person vertically, rotate all the pictures 90 degrees before you feed them to AUTOSTITCH, then rotate them (and the output stitch-up) back when it's done.

AUTOSTITCH mostly doesn't care that all your pictures are exposed consistently; it'll do its best to blend exposure variations. And AUTOSTITCH mostly doesn't care about precise color tones. I can feed it mixed B&W and color images, if I want a schizophrenic patchwork chimera of a final picture.

AUTOSTITCH can look in the folder you point it to, and pick out all the pictures (JPG/JPEG, please) it can piece together; or you can tell it just which images to use. AUTOSTITCH has a complicated-looking MENU/OPTIONS screen, but the only fields you'll care about are JPEG QUALITY (bottom right), which I usually set to 99, and SCALE % (upper left) which controls how big the output stitch-up will be.

AUTOSTITCH (or any stitching software) needs some image overlap, to know what to stitch where. AUTOSTITCH isn't magic; if you have a lot of overlap, and/or lots of big input files, and/or you set the SCALE for a big stitch-up, it can take a LONG TIME to finish. But if I give it just a few 15mpx files or a couple dozen 5mpx files, and let it set it's own SCALE default, it'll usually take no more than a few minutes on my not-the-fastest laptop.

I have no connection to AUTOSTITCH's makers. I'm just a happy user of several years. I got tired of stitching/panorama software that required precise alignment and consistency of all the input pictures. I like its free-form style. Try it.

03-07-2010, 01:16 AM   #5
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Another vote for Microsoft ICE...the best free pano software I have tried.

11-20-2011, 10:55 PM   #6
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Awesome!!! Thank you soooooo much Rio Rico!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11-21-2011, 02:05 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by shrntate Quote
Awesome!!! Thank you soooooo much Rio Rico!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why sure, no problem. It's been 1.75 years since I posted that but it's still true.

(If you really want to thank me, hit the thumbs-up icon, eh? I'm just here for the lulz.)

11-21-2011, 06:47 AM   #8
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old message

Yeah, I know it's been awhile since that post but how amazing is that Autostitch program? Why use anything else?
11-21-2011, 09:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by shrntate Quote
Yeah, I know it's been awhile since that post but how amazing is that Autostitch program? Why use anything else?
I use Photoshop CS5. I admit, it's not competitive on price. I think its biggest advantage over the freeware options is lens correction profiles. If I feed it a series of photos taken with my DA 16-45/4, it really does an amazing job. When it's done, it produces a layered image which makes further editing easy. I only have to edit when people are walking through a scene and show up twice in the combined image, but with the layers already there, it's much easier.

CS5 is not practical for everyone, of course. Make life easier on other stitching programs by choosing lenses with minimal vignetting or distortion, keeping the camera from changing settings from shot to shot, and optimize the camera position. It's like using a better lens: better input means better output.

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