iris360: New 360-degree automatic camera puts new possibilities at your fingertips

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I still remember the very first 360-degree photograph I ever saw.  I believe it was around the turn of the century on a Grolier Encyclopedia CD-ROM (for you youngsters, that’s what progressive folks had before Wikipedia).  I can’t recall where the image was from, exactly, but I do recall that it was some large plaza in Europe.  I was mesmerized just wandering back and forth, up and down throughout the 450px-wide image.

Since then, technology has come a long way.  We’ve seen 360-degree images in online marketing campaigns and real estate listings, and we’ve been able to travel the world on Google Street View for years.  But, the standard process has been to hire a professional with specialized gear and software to shoot, combine, and publish the images for suitable use.  That, however, could change with the iris360, an automated imaging system for capturing, compiling, and publishing 8k (in other words, wicked high res), 360-degree images to the web.

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How I Built A Huge Mega Giga-Panoramic Robot

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Today I want to share how I created a few huge, Gigapixel photos, using a DIYed panoramic head. Actually, it is not a panoramic head because it not only goes right and left, but also up and down.

I’ve been a big fan of panoramic photography and of landscape in general for a long time. But four years ago I was climbing a mountain and the view from the top simply took my breath away. I felt an urgent need to share the image with people don’t climb and therefore will never get access to such views.

Here is the thing though, standard photos do not have enough details. Our eyes have far more resolution that your standard digital camera, so a new project began: I wanted to build the best Gigapan Robot – an automated panoramic head for DSLR.

[editor’s note: things get highly nerdy techy from this point on]

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An XXL sized, motorized DIY pan-tilt-head for large-sized lenses

There are a lot of panning heads out there, ranging from cheap and light all the way to uber-expensive and heavy duty. None did a decent job with a D800 mounted with a Nikon 400mm f2.8 beast. This is the story about a building a dedicated motorized Pan-Tilt-Head, used for automated panoramic shooting, if you’re not sure what those are check out our world biggest Where is Waldo project.

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