Need high quality gigapixel automated panoramic imaging – try a GigaPan Epic 100

Written by Gary on June 30th, 2009

Forget your 25 mega pixel, full frame dSLR’s with their edge softness and tendency to vignetting.

Some people out there want to do the ultimate landscape shot – a panoramic stitch of dozens of images to create gigapixel images which are sharp edge to edge and with minimal vignetting and can be printed to wall sizes not just 20″x 30″.

Now, you could laboriously do this with a special panoramic stitching head and manually alter the camera’s view for each shot, but now there is an automatic robotic mechanism to make life so much easier (thanks Dean for alerting me to this product):

Epic 100
shutter mechanism

The GigaPan Epic 100:

  • for $US449 for this unit, you can sit this unit on a normal but sturdy tripod and attach a small dSLR (eg. Olympus E620 or Micro Four Thirds such as a G-1 or E-P1)
  • the camera needs to have focus set in manual, white balance set manually, exposure set manually – to ensure the camera does not make adjustments between frames
  • after a little calibration and adjustments to ensure the unit will take images with at least 30% overlap – well perhaps more than just a little – the unit has a mechanical mechanism which will depress the camera’s shutter button at programmed intervals and automatically move the camera for each shot
  • the unit also comes with its own software to stitch the images

Now, I haven’t tried this unit but it sounds a very interesting option and the small dSLRs, particularly the Olympus ones with minimal vignetting and edge to edge sharpness and presumably the even smaller Micro Four Thirds cameras will be the optimum cameras to use on such a system as their weight will be less likely to stress the mechanism.

Currently, there is no unit for larger dSLRs.

Check out these stitched infrared landscape shots taken by fellow Melbourne photographer here.


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