Monday, May 27, 2013

Panorama Sweep Explained with Fuji X-E1

I've had a few requests to explain the difference between vertical and horizontal panorama sweep, as well as the difference between sweep and panning in this mode. I posted this picture inside my review of the Fuji X-E1 but I thought I would re-post again for the benefit of those who didn't read my review. Click on the image to make it bigger and see the difference between the different styles...

The first picture is simple: a straight on shot at 27mm wide on the zoom lens.

The second picture I'm holding the camera vertically (or sideways), so that the 27mm angle of view is top to bottom, instead of the typical side to side. This is done so I can get as much "height" to my image. As you can see, I can get the ground, and right to the top of the graffiti art. In addition, since I am shooting while sweeping while standing in the same spot, the image looks curved, like shooting with a fisheye lens. You can see I get the most image in this shot, although the edges are distorted. But since I'm standing still, the lens captures about 50-60 feet of the wall.

The third image I'm still holding the camera sideways (or vertical), but instead of standing still and sweeping, I'm actually walking and panning across the wall. Since the lens is image stabilized, it's not blurry, but I still have to watch how I hold the camera or the camera won't be able to stitch the image together clean. Like the second image, from the center, you can see that I can get from the ground to the top of the clock, but since I'm walking sideways, I can only move so far and get less horizontally than my sweep image. If I had a skateboard, I'm sure I could get more!!

The fourth image I'm holding the camera normally, with the 27mm lens shooting from left to right, and I walk and pan across the wall. I get less vertically in the image, but I get slightly more width.

Fuji is the only manufacturer that I've tested so far that allows for both vertical and horizontal shooting for panorama sweep. It's great if you're trying to get more vertical into an image, and I would love to try this feature with a super wide angle lens in the future. Imagine using a close-to-fisheye angle lens (180 deg) on the vertical, and still sweep horizontally? You could get a lot of image in a very tight space, like a small apartment, a small retail store, or even inside a car!! Remember that Fuji allows you to get multiple angle settings, so you don't always have to shoot full-width (270 deg I think...). As well, you can always crop the image horizontally, as I usually do.

I hope this explains things a bit better. Don't hesitate to email me if you still have questions. Happy shooting!!

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