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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has anyone used Sonys Intelligent Sweep Panorama feature (example here)? Now I don't know anything about photography, so you guys could probably say its a gimmick, but do you think this would be useful in an underwater camera?

I could have completely the wrong idea (which is usually the case ;) ), but could you do away with a wide angle lens with a feature like this (my thinking being wide angle lenses are really expensive!!) - as you would just pan the camera instead?

Whats your thoughts?
 

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I'd guess that these things work best with static subjects - landscapes etc - and will struggle with moving stuff - kelp, fish anyone?
 

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Ive seen an android and nokia application that does exactly this with the camera. Works ok for things that dont move with clearly defined lines.
Given how powerful photoshop and other stitch software is these days though i dont see the need for "serious" photos.
 

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As has been said, this feature doesn't work well if the subject is moving. My Canon G9 also has this feature built in, but I've only ever played with it rather than found it helpful.

Regarding using this as opposed to a w/a lens, consider these:
a w/a lens gives you a greater field of view vertically as well as horizontally
a w/a lens captures more light and so gives a better exposure.
a w/a lens lets you get closer to the subject and avoids the water particles which reduce the quality of the shot

So my answer would be, no it doesn't act as a cheapo alternative to a good w/a lens, but it might be well worth playing with.

Cheers, Chris
 

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mari usque ad mare
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i will take mine out when i finish work this afternoon i will take a shot at 25mm and then take a shot using the panoramic feature
personally i think it would only be useful for landscapes
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks chokdeekap that would be useful.

Yeah I've seen the stitching programs, but they are quite a lot of effort taking lots of pictures, and then expertly trying to put them together. Doing it this way seems to avoid those problems?

Looking at the marketing blurb (and we all know how reliable that is..) the new 'intelligent' sweep mode apparently can deal with moving subjects - see this example (click on Intelligent Sweep panorama when the video has finished). It can also be used vertically as well as horizonatally. So in my mind this means you could still get close to the subject (say a wreck or something) and just use the camera to 'sweep' up and down to get the whole picture in?
 

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mari usque ad mare
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shot 1 @ 25mm



shot 2 panoramic


shot 1 crop


shot 3 @25mm



shot 3 crop


shot 4 panoramic



i would have took some more shots ,but we have heavy sands storms coming in at the moment, the problem when using this feature is you can not zoom in, do i think it is useful no i do not , personally i think it is a gimmick but i still stand by the camera has i have said before it is a great Little point and shoot
 

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It's a gimmick if you don't use it. I think Duxy's photos show it has potential, but as others have pointed out it has limitations.

I do full spherical panoramas and have wanted to one underwater for years - but it is very idfficult to do. If I had the feature I'd use it. I don't have the feature and don't miss it.
Rob
 

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This series of shots was taken by a friend of mine. IIRC Mal used a Nikonos V with 15mm Nikkor lens (in those days). For those of you that may not know, that's a film camera.

That dive site is about two hours from my place by road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks chokdeekap for taking those photos, much appreciated. I can see what you mean about not being able to zoom in. I suppose the feature could be useful in some situations, but I can imagine it might also be difficult to pan the camera underwater whilst keeping perfectly still! I think you mentioned that if you move to fast then it doesn't work, so that would be issue maintaing the correct buoyancy!

Thanks again though (and everyone else for their comments), it helps to focus my decision :)
 

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I find it useful occasionally, it's a bit of fun too but does mean you don't have to swap to a fisheye lens to fit all that landscape into shot. I used to do the occasional panorama stitch on the computer with my previous camera but this is sooo much easier.

I've even tried it underwater (how do you post a picture again?). One limitation it seems to have is that it auto exposes each shot so you can sometimes see the joins if you pan too quickly. Poor viz seems to show this up as I've not seem the problem with landscape shots topside.
It wasn't that tricky holding it steady enough, the camera seems to have a bit of up/down tolerance built in.
 
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