panorama photos gx85

Lumix GX85 In-Camera Panorama Photos

If you follow me and my work you’ll find I enjoy capturing panoramic photos. Maybe it’s because I live in wide-open spaces. Whatever the reason they give a slightly different viewpoint of an area that doesn’t come across in storytelling in any other format.

Today I wanted to share a couple ideas about the in-camera feature in a lot of the Panasonic cameras. Stitched panoramic photos and how I use them. When I want a full-on capture of a panoramic scene I will tell you I shoot multiple images and stitch them together using Photoshop or another program. That is what will get the best quality beyond a shadow of a doubt. I will also, depending on the density of the scene shoot bracketed exposures to ensure the highest quality rendering for a print including the highlights and shadows.

Let’s give you a little preview of one of my favorite spots to photograph here in Sedona.

sedona voc panoramic photoCastle Rock formation with Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte in the Village of Oak Creek in Sedona, Arizona
This image came out of the camera 6100 pixels wide 1/2000 sec ISO 800 f13 with Lumix Vario 35-100 f2.8 lens

When I want a full-on capture of a panoramic scene I shoot multiple images and stitch them together using Photoshop or another program. That is what will get the best quality beyond a shadow of a doubt. I will also, depending on the density of the scene, shoot bracketed exposures to ensure the highest quality rendering for a print including the highlights and shadows.

I use the in-camera pano feature more as a ‘sketch’ of a scene. Why is that? Number one – When making the pano capture there can be some slight stitching errors. You’ll sometimes find these in very simple areas like plain blue sky or conversely in very, very detailed areas. Number two – The files are rendered as a jpeg which means that the camera settings are baked into the file and that information will be stripped during the compression process. Number three – Finally, the files are not that large. Panoramas tend to need to be printed large to appreciate them.

So why do them in camera at all? I mentioned the ‘sketch’. Number one – This finished jpeg stands as a quick reference of the scene which can be filed with the RAW captures. Number two – It can be uploaded via the in-camera Wifi to send off to others to share what I’ve just seen. Number three – There might not be time, for example when traveling with others to complete a full-on capture of the frames. Number four – Sometimes I am just looking for a ‘record’ of the area to remember to go back to because there weren’t great conditions. I do this when scouting locations.

sedona arizona panorama photo

An overcast day in Sedona. This image ends up with quite a bit of ‘depth’ due to the weather and distant mountains. In-Camera Pano 7600 pixels wide. 1/100th at f7.1 ISO 800

Hope this give you some ideas on how to leverage features in a way you might not have considered before.

Yours IN Creative Photography,       Bob

 

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