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What is the best solution for 360 panoramic photography?

I would like to know what camera, lens and tripod you guys think is the best solution for 360 panoramic photography, with the objective of making virtual 360 tours.

Is it better to buy a fish eye 28mm lens or maybe a single shot 360 degree lens, such as:

http://www.panoramic-imaging.com/products/EyeSee360_GoPano_Single_Shot_360_Optic.htm

Also, I am interested in fully viewable (up and down, ceiling and floor), high resolution photos.

Please do not refer me to expensive equipment, I’m looking for something that will cost me less than 3,000 US Dollars.

Thank in advance !!!

Comments

comments

  • c_j_ryan

    I just ran across a program for that that I’m considering buying. From a very unlikely source, Autodesk. It’s called Autodesk Stitcher Unlimited 2009. It’s about $330.

    I use Auto CAD all the time, but this is the first photo program I’ve seen from them.

    Watch the videos, it’s pretty impressive. I’ve used several “stitching” programs before, and none of them seemed as good as this one.

    The reviews from users were great!

    It’s on my “wish list”!

    Edit: I didn’t reccomend any equipment, but as you see in the video tutoral, they use a fish eye to create a 360 degree quick time movie. But then you’re talking a full frame camera, like a Canon 5D (the least expensive, at the moment) around $2000, (less if you shop around), and about $800 for a Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye.

    Any decent point and shoot should work fine with this program. Although I’d think something like a Canon PowerShot G10, with it’s 28 mm wide setting would be a great choice. (sorry about all the Canon stuff, but that’s what I shoot with, so that’s what I know, I’m sure Nikon, Sony, Oymplus….would be just fine too)

  • Jordan

    autostich is also a great, free, flawless program. incredible easy.

  • Paul R

    manfrotto / bogen 303sph head. expensive, but built well, nice to use and the right tool for the job.

    manfrotto 190 or 055 legs, solid if not cheap. Will last forever.

    Canon eos 1000d (xs) body (you don’t need loads of resolution or fast buffer for stitching, the money saved here helps to buy the right kit elsewhere)

    Canon ef 28mm f2.8 lens Will behave totally nuetrally on the aps-c body so long as you find the nodal point and rotate around it. Again, a cheapish lens, but good quality. Shoot at f4-f8 and its your perfect lens. Use hyperfocal focusing (lens has focus window)

    REALVIZ stitcher software merges panons to quicktime virtual reality format. A big cost, but worth it for great panos.