Can you give me some tips for shooting panorama photos?
Olympus point-and-shoot cameras provide options for shooting a sequence of frames to make a stitched panoramic photograph, by using either the in-camera function or the Olympus software that comes with the camera. The Panorama function locks the exposure setting from the first frame for subsequent images in the sequence. Locking the exposure is necessary so the appearance of the frames across the image matches after it’s been stitched. Many newer models (released since 2009) do not require an Olympus-branded card to access the Panorama functions. In these new models, any brand xD-Picture Card, SD/SDHC card or microSD card (used in combination with the MASD-1 adapter) can be used.
Depending on the model of the camera, the following panorama options may be available:
COMBINE IN CAMERA 1 – Three frames are taken and combined by the camera. The user only composes the shots so that the target markers and pointers overlap, and the camera automatically releases the shutter. The shooting settings are already preset to the optimum settings for panoramic shooting. Newer models only.
COMBINE IN CAMERA 2 – Three frames are taken and combined by the camera. The user composes the shots by using the guide frame and manually releasing the shutter. Newer models only.
COMBINE IN PC – The frames that are taken are combined into a panoramic image using the provided Olympus software. Up to 10 images can be taken to be stitched into a panoramic image. If your camera does not have the COMBINE IN CAMERA options, it will default to the COMBINE IN PC setting.
The COMBINE IN CAMERA options create stitched images of lower resolution than the COMBINE IN PC option. If the panoramic image will potentially be printed as a large format print, the COMBINE IN PC option should be used.
A few pointers for shooting panoramic sequences:
The camera should be positioned so that the back is perpendicular to the ground to avoid a curved horizon line. If possible, use a tripod to keep the rotation of the camera stable. If hand-holding when shooting, concentrate on keeping the camera level as you turn.
The Panorama function’s default setting assumes a left-to-right direction of turn. It can also be set to right-to-left, up-to-down and down-to-up. If the sequence is shot in a direction other than what the camera is set to, the panorama tags cannot be changed after the fact, and it will not be possible to have the images auto-stitched using the Olympus software. However, the images can be stitched manually using third-party software.
The vertical direction options (up-to-down, down-to-up) can be used to get more vertical room in a horizontal stitch by holding the camera sideways and rotating the direction of the turn for the sequence left-to-right or right-to-left.
Be aware of the possibility of a cloud covering the sun while shooting the sequence. If a cloud covers the sun, there will be dark frames and the sequence should be reshot.
Be aware of objects or people moving in the stitch. A fun effect is to have the same person appear in different places from frame-to-frame.
Once the stitch is completed in the Olympus software, it is possible to do post-processing on the entire image in the Edit Palette.
Panoramas can result in dramatic and imaginative results that are more impressive than normal single-frame photos and convey much more information about the setting. Have fun creating panoramas.
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