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By Used Camer Buyer, Sep 26 2014 09:46PM

Everyday photography compared to panoramic photography


Everyday photography usually capture a single emotion or situation. Panoramic photography on the other hand can capture the same high quality images but you can include many angles in one single image.


An increasing number of smartphones and apps now allow you to create panoramic photos. While 360° photos from a smartphone often work well for private use they are seldom good enough for commercial usage. To get really high quality images it’s essential to use a digital camera with around 15 mega pixels or more.


How to succeed with 360° photography?


There are a few essential rules to follow in order to create successful panoramic photos and virtual tours. First of all you need the right digital camera, use appropriate panorama equipment, learn the technique and get the suitable panoramic software. Here are three simple steps to get you started becoming a 360° photographer:


Getting Started with 360° Photography

Step 1: Cameras to consider for 360° photography


One of the most popular cameras for panoramic photography are Canon 5D, Mark II. There are undoubtedly many around and you can get a second hand camera for around £1000-1200. Other popular second hand Canon models include EOS 7D, EOS 500D and EOS 550D. If you’re buying a new Canon DSLR I’d probably go for Canon EOS 5D, Mark III if you can spare around £2000. For Nikon users, both D7000 and D90 are widely used. If you’re buying a second hand model I’d consider D90 (around £450 on eBay). For those looking to purchase a new Nikon DSLR for 360° photography I’ll recommend D5200 or D7000 because of their price (around £600-800) and lightweight body. Make sure your feel comfortable with your camera and get one that’s suitable with your own style and preferences.


Step 2: What additional equipment is required?


Assuming you already have a decent DSLR camera, let’s get into the accessories:


A. Get a Fish Eye Lens


In order to create virtual tours you need a fisheye lens. Canon users can for instance go with Canon Fisheye 8-15 mm f/4 or Sigma 8 mm f/3.5 which also fits Nikon DSLRs. If you have a Nikon DX camera you can choose between models such as Nikon AF DX 10.5 mm, f2.8 or the 16 mm, f/2.8 version.


Getting Started with 360° Photography


B. Tripod & Panoramic head


Buy a stable tripod if you don’t already have one. Most 360 photographers I know use Manfrotto tripods such as 055XB (about $200) with a ball head. Alternatively, try Induro Carbon CT214 (around $400) or Giotto MTL-series.


In order to rotate the camera in 360 degrees and overlap the photos no-parallax point you also need a panorama head. Basically, all photos should be taken from the same spot and therefore it’s essential to use a tripod and panoramic head. Otherwise it’s impossible to stich the photos together.


360 Precision (360precision.com) have a wide range of panoramic heads for all types of photographers. I use the model called Atome and am very happy with it. Other brands include Nodal Ninja, Pinnacle VR, Novoflex, Kaidan and Manfrotto.


C. Finding a remote switch


The next required tool to shoot good virtual tours is a remote switch. Using a remove switch is required so the camera don’t move position while taking photos. There are wireless models for around £200 or cheaper models with a cable such as Canon RS 80N3 (about £25).


Step 4: Learning the 360° photography technique


360 photos with a DLR cannot be shot handheld like with some other types of photography. You need to set-up your tripod and pano head following mounting the camera in portrait mode. The camera should lean upwards about 7-8 degrees. Usually you get a detailed manual when purchasing a panoramic head. Most photographers prefer to shoot in raw format. If you use exposure bracketing it’s possible to create HDR images which can enhance the lighting and details of your photos. To get a consistent exposure make sure to use manual mode.


Which software should I use?


If you plan to create virtual tours with HDR images it’s worth trying PtGui (http://www.ptgui.com/) (personal license from £107, commercial from £200).


In order to stich the images together there are four popular tools to choose between; Pano 2 VR – (http://gardengnomesoftware.com/pano2vr.php) KrPano (http://krpano.com/), EasyPano (http://www.easypano.com/) and Kolor (http://www.kolor.com/). You can often download a trial version and evaluate for 30 days before purchasing a full version.


How to get new 360 photography business?


In this fast growing sector, there are several different routes to earning money from 360° photography. The quick growth of Google business photos (http://maps.google.com/help/maps/businessphotos/) allows photographers in U.S and several European countries to become Google trusted photographers. If approved to join the program, you need to do some practical and theoretical tests. A few weeks after joining you can go out and bring in new business. All businesses with a Google+ Page are potential customers; (with a few exceptions).


Getting Started with 360° Photography


Alternatively, you can focus your 360 photography efforts on a specific sector such as real estate or hotels. Millions of properties are on the market and if they have a virtual tour they are more likely to sell. Forward-looking estate agents and property developers already know this while you might need to use your creativity to convince the rest.


If you'd like to sell any of your camera kit inculding 360 degreee photgraphy kit then get a free valuation from us to sell your camera or other photography equipment,

By Used Camer Buyer, Sep 14 2014 03:28PM

Nikon has announced a new compact camera with a penchant for selfies, the Nikon Coolpix S6900.


Selfies have been hitting the headlines since the famous Oscar selfie and Nikon isn't going to let the smartphones take all the face-on glory.


The new Coolpix S6900 has a range of features that will support selfies, both from the camera's design to the software features within.


There's a built-in stand for starters, so you'll be able to support the camera on a table or bar and then the display will fold out so you can make sure you're in shot.


Then, to take a shot, the S6900 supports gestures. That also means that things like family photos will be much easier to capture, as you won't have to press the button and run into place - you'll just get everyone arranged and then use a gesture to take the shot.


There's a range of beauty options to smooth your skin or whiten your teeth, but you'll also find NFC in place so you can tap the camera to your smartphone and share those high-quality snaps in a flash using Wi-Fi.



Selfie Madness


It's not all selfie madness though. The Nikon Coolpix S6900 has a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor with Expeed C2 processor, and a 25-300mm (equiv) lens on the front - that's 12x optical zoom.


There's a 3-inch 460k-dot display on the rear, and as we said, this is articulated to move through a full range of positions.


Vibration reduction, lots of scene modes, as well as a 8fps continuous shooting option make for a compact camera that has plenty to offer, whether you're shooting groufies or not.


Nikon is yet to put a price on the Coolpix S6900 and its availability is still to be confirmed.


By guest, Feb 19 2014 09:31PM

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