Grey Cup GigaPixel Panoramas – GigaPan Epic Pro Review

Posted by ryanjackson on Dec 2, 2010 in 360 Panoramas, photos |

Find yourself in the crowd at Grey Cup!


Click the (+) sign and use your mouse to zoom-in and move. The north view of Commonwealth Stadium during the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alta. on November 28, 2010. GigaPan by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal


Click the (+) sign and use your mouse to zoom-in and move. The west side of Commonwealth Stadium during the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alta. on November 28, 2010. GigaPan by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal


Click the (+) sign and use your mouse to zoom-in and move. The east side of Commonwealth Stadium during the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alta. on November 28, 2010. GigaPan by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

Each of these panoramas are over 2 gigapixels (over 2,000 megapixels). To create them I used a GigaPan Epic Pro with a Canon 7D and a 300mm f2.8 IS.

A GigaPan is basically an automatic pan and tilt head that moves and triggers your camera automatically to shoot a panorama. Instead of taking one picture of a landscape with a wide-angle lens you can use a GigaPan to take hundreds of zoomed-in photos and then stitch them together to create a gigantic image.

I set the GigaPan to take 300 individual still images and then the included software automatically stitched all the pictures together to create one giant panorama with incredible resolution. Why take one photo when you can take 300?

A big thanks to Don’s Photo for lending me the GigaPan for the Grey Cup. I’ll definitely be trying to convince the Journal to buy one for the photo department. It only costs $899 CAN and can make some pretty crazy cool panoramas.

It only takes about 15-minutes to shoot a GigaPan like this which is the easy part. Stitching the images together takes over an hour depending on the size of the image and about six hours to upload to gigapan.org depending on the size. Since I needed to have the GigaPans on the Journal website by the next morning I had three laptops in the media centre all crunching images at the same time to speed things up.

Here’s me with my three laptops and GigaPan. Photo by Chris Bolin.

So what’s my GigaPan Epic pro review? I was very impressed with how well-built the device was. It had no problems holding my 300 2.8 IS and 7D. The battery held up well in the cold weather. The menus are pretty easy to use. Setting up the device to shoot the panorama is pretty quick. The software for stitching and uploading the GigaPans couldn’t be easier to use. Of course you could take hundreds of pictures manually and use different software to stitch but the GigaPan shoots way faster and way more accurate that a human can. Gigapan.org also hosts the panoramas for you. You just embed the player in your own website. Pretty neat. For $899 it is well worth it. There are also less-expensive models designed for lighter point-and-shoot cameras. I’m normally not a fan of shooting landscapes but this would make me get out there more.

Here is one non-Grey Cup GigaPan I did as a test the day before. Pretty crazy resolution.

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2 Comments

Chris Hills
Dec 13, 2010 at 1:25 am

I enjoyed your site and will track what you are up to. Please review GigaPixel360.com when you get a chance.


 
Rick
Jul 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm

What settings did you use for the rig? I just picked up a Epic Pro for use with my 7D and 70-200 zoom and need to the the entrance pupil/nodal point. Thanks for sharing the great images!


 

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