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Thread started 19 May 2017 (Friday) 16:27
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Help me with setting of the canon 550D - 360 panorama

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Joined May 2017
May 19, 2017 16:27 |  #1

I have read a lot of materials and tutorials how to shooting a virtual tour 360 degree with canon 55d and fisheye lens.
I understand how to do it ,but I can not set the correct camera settings.
Somebody now how to set up the camera
1. correct white balance ? how to control it when i shoop in front of windows and in walls ?
2. exposure or something like this in the options - how to set it correctly ?
3. the best ISO setting?

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Post edited over 1 year ago by mcoren.
May 19, 2017 17:31 |  #2

I'm assuming you're talking about a still image panorama, not a panning video panorama. I've only done a few small panoramas but here are my thoughts:

- Don't use a fisheye lens. The curvature makes it more difficult to stitch the individual images together. Something in the "normal" range of around 30-40mm or more for the 550D would work well.

- Set the exposure manually (M setting on the command dial) and use the same exposure for all of the images. The same for ISO. Pick an exposure and ISO value that won't overexpose the brightest parts or underexpose the darkest parts. Sometimes that's easier said than done, especially if you're trying to create a panorama indoors that includes both indoor elements and a window.

- Like exposure, white balance should also be set manually and should be the same for all of the images. Again, this can be difficult if you have a window (daylight) and indoor lighting mixed.

- Shoot RAW instead of JPEG so you can adjust white balance (and lots of other things) more easily when post processing.

- Use a tripod and carefully level both the tripod and your camera on the tripod.

- Allow a good amount of overlap between successive shots, like about 1/3 of the image. The more overlap you have, the easier it will be to stitch them together.

Here is a panorama I made a few years ago. This is the Sandia mountains and Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, seen from the volcanoes on the west side of the city. Sorry it's so small, I believe forum rules restrict the longest dimension of posted images to 1200 pixels. The original is more than 18,000 pixels wide and was made from 10 images taken with a 550D (Rebel T2i in the US) with the lens set to 46 mm. The images were processed in Lightroom 5 and exported as JPEGs because that way they take up less memory. I stitched them together using a program called Hugin on MacOS X.

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Hope that helps!

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Post edited over 1 year ago by BigAl007.
May 20, 2017 09:47 |  #3

All the above is great, exactly what I would suggest. One other way to get a "taller" panorama is to turn the camera vertically. This will of course result in the need for more images to work with, but you can get even more detail in the image this way. If you do chose this option you might want to use a slightly longer focal length, i.e. zoom in a bit, so that the vertical angle of view remains about the same.

When it comes to exposure settings it is not really possible to make to many suggestions, since they will depend on the conditions. Ideally you want to use the lowest possible ISO value. However it is very important to never underexpose the image so that you have to push (brighten) it during processing. Ideally with RAW you should endeavour to shoot ETTR: Expose To The Right. This will produce a brighter image, with more pixels over on the right hand side of the histogram. You can then pull this down a bit in processing, which as the effect of making the noise look less. With the 550D, as with all the Canon cameras released before the 80D it is much much better to increase the ISO to keep the histogram over to the right, all the way up to the maximum non expanded ISO value.

If the scene has a very wide brightness range it can also be a useful tool to shot each section of the panorama as a multi shot HDR image. You would then process each HDR image using the same settings for all, then stitch the pano.

I don't shoot many panoramas, and actually most of the ones I have shot I did so handholding the camera. This has even included multi row panoramas with over 60 frames joined together. When I do this I usually significantly increase the overlap, I tend to make it at least 50% for every exposure. This much overlap makes it much easier for the stitching software.

I used to process my images in LR, and then do the stitching in PS. LR CC now has a RAW panorama stitching option, which creates a new DNG format RAW file from your RAW originals. For the images I have tried it on it has worked very well indeed, I think it was even better than the tools in PS, when they are left to get on with it. The only thing with the LR option is that it is a fully automated merging function, so no manual intervention possible. If you run Windows the the Microsoft ICE stitching software, which is free, seems to work quite well too. I would probably pick that over PS, but not the RAW stitching in LR. The other advantage with LR is that you can combine the Pano stitch with the RAW HDR function, to produce an HDR DNG file that is still holding the image data in the RAW format.

Here are a couple of handheld panos, stitched as RAW in LR from my old 20D. The first was shot at a focal length of 20mm, and is a single row.

IMAGE LINK:​2A  (external link) Avro 683 Lancaster Mk X (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

The second is a multi row, from 66 images. This was shot at 28mm again on the 20D. Although shot with manual exposure, for this one I did re focus using the center AF point for each frame to try to maximise front to rear focus.

IMAGE LINK:​dG  (external link) Avro 716 Shackleton MR.3, Handley Page Victor BK1A (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

Finally two versions of the same set of images. In this case a 360 pano. I also shot it at 20mm but this time on a tripod. You will notice that even with manual exposure that there is a difference in hte brightness of the sky. This is casued by the differences in the polarisation of the light showing, even though I didn't use a CPL filter on the lens. When doing a 360 pano with blue skies you should never use a CPL filter, as the differences will be much more extreme. I shot them as three shot HDR's, and the first version I merged each set to an HDR DNG file, then had those stitched to form the RAW pano DNG file.

IMAGE LINK:​Tb  (external link) Stickledown Panorama (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

Then finally the original version I did, using IIRC just the middle exposure, and stitching in PSCS5. The differences in the height of the two images is down to the differences in how the stitching is done. Also since I was in PS anyway I was able to include some areas that had no included pixels, I just cloned bits back in.

IMAGE LINK:​W8  (external link) Stickledown Panorama (external link) by Alan Evans (external link), on Flickr

Again the POTN posting limits of 1280 pixels on the long edge do restrict the sizes of the images. As a matter of policy I never post images to the web larger than this size.


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Help me with setting of the canon 550D - 360 panorama
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