Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

  1. #1
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Universe
    Posts
    5,991

    Default [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    A long overdue review of the Panosaurus v2.0 that I got from Photosphere (Facebook) quite some time ago.

    Some of you may ask: why do I need this big clunky tool or others like it? Some may even have the impression that handheld panoramas can be done, after all, you've seen a lot of people doing it successfully. The fact is, unless you're a machine, the likelihood of a handheld panorama stitching well is pretty low, at least when viewed large. Of course, if all you do is post 1200 pixel wide panoramas then by all means, perfect your handholding panorama techniques. A panorama head like the Panosaurus allows you to rotate the camera around its nodal point. In physics, the nodal point is basically where those nifty light rays coming from the scene intersect within your lens before diverging to form the image on the screen (read: sensor) within your camera (image from Panoramafactory's page below for illustration).



    The image above is a negative example of how to shoot images that make up a panorama. Basically, you aren't going to be rotating about the nodal point, and between frames, the different objects in the scene start moving relative to each other. You can see why it's going to be difficult to stitch a good result if that happens. Just imagine - scene 1 where a tree covers an object entirely, but scene 2 (next frame), the object is peeking out. So is the object in or out? How does the software manage the frames? The end result is going to be a photograph full of stitching errors and ghost artifacts (half-in, half-out objects). In fact, the diagram illustrates clearly the usual case of mounting the camera on top of a ballhead.

    Now that we understand why there is a need for this tool, let's cut to the chase:



    This is the Panosaurus v2.0 fully assembled. It's basically a very simple set up at about 900g and can support cameras with weight up to 10 pounds (~4-5 kg) so for most people's purposes, it will work. There are some caveats of course, which you can read about on the maker's page. Everyone has their own way of stowing this, but I like to keep it in 2 parts for easy assembly. Here's what it looks like assembled:



    To me, the easiest way to take this apart is to remove the screw and washer that you see, which connects the vertical arm and the additional appendage on top to the base, then fold the top section onto itself and reattach the screw and washer. I usually use this with a single camera-lens combination, so just a single marking on the base scale (see below) to remind myself where I should stop at with a permanent marker does just fine. If you intend to use this with multiple lenses, then you'd have to make more markings or remember it somehow.



    When taken apart it really isn't that large, it's just clunky. The main issue is that the Panosaurus is definitely not built to stow nicely together. It will deliver the bread and butter, but it's strictly no frills.



    While clunky, the Panosaurus doesn't cut any corners on build. It's largely aluminium and feels solid. I can see how this will last a long time, though aesthetically speaking, over time the rubbing of parts within the pouch or bag you put it in will cause paint to easily wear out, as can be seen from the images in this thread. I purchased this unit for less than a year, and it's holding up very fine despite the abuse. I don't really take care of it. In fact, it's so solid it's caused two of my GGS screens on my ol' K5 to crack after some swinging resulted in the screen tapping (yes, tapping, I take good care of all my cameras) moderately on the Panosaurus. So I handle my cameras a lot more gingerly now around it.
    Last edited by edutilos-; 6th April 2014 at 08:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Universe
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    I’m always very impressed by the innovation shown in using a magnet to ensure that the main tool that you would need to deploy your camera on the Panosaurus is never lost:



    This nifty tool is used to make all sorts of adjustments, like shifting the forward/backward position of the camera, and mounting the camera on the Panosaurus. I usually only use it to mount my camera since I don't switch lenses or cameras here.

    How does the Panosaurus compare against other options out there? Well, it definitely kicks everyone else’s butt price-wise at a steal of $170. The next cheapest head that I know of is the Nodal Ninja 3 that Photosphere also carries at $299 (almost twice the price) but that’s fairly restrictive in its own way (I had to swap out my Tamron 10-24mm that I was pretty happy with, because somehow, I couldn’t get the settings right on the NN3), can’t manage as heavy a weight. That said, the NN3 is a lot more well thought-out and has the little frills that make panoramic shooting more enjoyable and easier. I’m actually doing a review on it soon too. It also stows much better, as you can see above (it’s the little pile within the bag next to the Panosaurus and iPhone in one of the pictures above). The next few options from Benro, Sunwayfoto, etc will require you to fork out more than twice the price of the Panosaurus. It’s an affordable way to enter into the world of panoramic photography.

    To be honest, the cheapest alternative if you happen to have a workshop somewhere is to DIY:

    http://www.diyphotography.net/how-to...amic-360-head/
    http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Panoramic-Tripod-Head
    http://www.peterloud.co.uk/nodalsamu...alsamurai.html

    It’s of course questionable how the outcome may be, and these guides tend to give you an output which doesn’t allow for adjustment, not to mention some amount of time spent in crafting the things required.

    Another point to note is that the base doesn’t have click-stops like some other models have – you’d have to remember where you’d left the marker on when shooting multi-row panoramas. Not a big deal, but a useful feature that this model doesn’t have.

    Yet another consideration would be that if you already have a tripod plate mounted to your camera, you’d have to always take it out before mounting it to the Panosaurus. Also not a big deal, but some of the other alternatives offer this feature.

    The long and short of it:
    The Panosaurus v2.0 comes highly recommended as a starter kit for anyone who’s interested in panoramic photography but doesn’t want to blow the bank to try it out. It’s well-built, pretty well designed and does its job of ensuring that you can take the frames you want for building that panorama in a fuss-free manner. It’s relatively easy to set up once you’ve assembled the parts. The cons are that (i)it misses out on some of the frills that some other models have (e.g. compatibility with Acra-Swiss plates, click-stops); (ii) it’s clunky and (iii) doesn’t stow well which limits its portability if you like to travel light and compact like me. Whatever the case, it’s still undeniably good value for money.
    Last edited by edutilos-; 6th April 2014 at 08:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Universe
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    Just some examples of photographs that would not have been possible without the use of the Panosaurus:










  4. #4

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    agree that the panosaurus is really a value for money pano kit. the only major gripe is that it takes up quite a bit of space in my bag.

  5. #5
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Universe
    Posts
    5,991

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tecnica View Post
    agree that the panosaurus is really a value for money pano kit. the only major gripe is that it takes up quite a bit of space in my bag.
    Agreed, also the same reason why I'm looking to switch to NN3 so that I can bring a pano head for my travels. It fits nicely into one of the Hadley Pro's compartments unlike the Panosaurus, which will stick out and clang around.

    That said, if not for this travel aspect, I'd stick to Panosaurus.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    East
    Posts
    5,158

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    I find it very accurate for its purpose. Like you said, it's no-frills and gets the job done.

  7. #7
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Universe
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by hjbyeo View Post
    I find it very accurate for its purpose. Like you said, it's no-frills and gets the job done.
    And does it well.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Override2Zion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Singapore/Bangkok Thailand
    Posts
    2,111

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    This is an accurate review of the Panosaurus 2.0. Thumbs up. Been using it since last year and its working well. Did all sorts of panoramas with it, from single to multi-level ones, serves its purpose. For that kinda price, can't complain much
    Nikon D200/D700/D800 User :)
    [www.PositiveStudioProductions.com]

  9. #9

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    Thanks for your effort!

  10. #10
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Universe
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Override2Zion View Post
    This is an accurate review of the Panosaurus 2.0. Thumbs up. Been using it since last year and its working well. Did all sorts of panoramas with it, from single to multi-level ones, serves its purpose. For that kinda price, can't complain much
    Thanks for the reaffirmation of my opinion!
    Quote Originally Posted by KCsnapshot View Post
    Thanks for your effort!
    Cheers, I thought I should highlight this cost-effective option for us photographers.. Sometimes it's hard to justify spending so much on a hobby.

  11. #11
    Senior Member richiemccaw1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    3,101

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    Just some examples of photographs that would not have been possible without the use of the Panosaurus:
    Just to sidetrack a little: these are amazing photos.

  12. #12
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Universe
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by richiemccaw1 View Post
    Just to sidetrack a little: these are amazing photos.
    Thanks I'm glad they work for you!

  13. #13
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    3,335

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    There are many DIYs using the macro-slider set up for panorama. Need to programme it (like the real thing) with the appropriate lens and document the results for the various focal length positions... Cheap light and effective

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=aq9k3LuTPeo

  14. #14
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Universe
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by shierwin View Post
    There are many DIYs using the macro-slider set up for panorama. Need to programme it (like the real thing) with the appropriate lens and document the results for the various focal length positions... Cheap light and effective

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=aq9k3LuTPeo
    Now, I won't be so quick to paint this as an alternative to a full panoramic head that the Panosaurus is.

    This will only allow you to take single-row horizontal position panoramas. The Panosaurus and other full panoramic heads will allow you to take multi-row vertical position panoramas. I most often take single row vertical panoramas and multi-row on occasion. So which tool works for me? Not the macro slider set-up. That said, if you just want to do long long horizontal frames, then yes, that solution works. I had considered it before, but didn't go with it. Incidentally, it's pretty easy to convert the Panosaurus into that if it floats your boat too.

    P.S. None of the examples above can be done with the macro slider set up.
    Last edited by edutilos-; 8th April 2014 at 09:16 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    3,335

    Default Re: [edutilos] Review of Panosaurus v2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    Now, I won't be so quick to paint this as an alternative to a full panoramic head that the Panosaurus is.

    This will only allow you to take single-row horizontal position panoramas. The Panosaurus and other full panoramic heads will allow you to take multi-row vertical position panoramas. I most often take single row vertical panoramas and multi-row on occasion. So which tool works for me? Not the macro slider set-up. That said, if you just want to do long long horizontal frames, then yes, that solution works. I had considered it before, but didn't go with it. Incidentally, it's pretty easy to convert the Panosaurus into that if it floats your boat too.

    P.S. None of the examples above can be done with the macro slider set up.
    Agreed. In fact the presenter did specifically mentioned that the setup only allow landscape capture.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •