panorama software,virtual tour software
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Joined: 2006-04-08
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2006-07-14
#1

Replacing my CP885

I spend the last few months trying to master the art of stitching and improving my panos in Photoshop. I think by now I can say I know how things must be done. The only thing is, when I look at some of your work, I feel that the quality of my coolpix 885 is not sufficient .
Since I already have the fc-e8 fisheye converter, and I will replace my home-made rotator by a MrotatorA I think that my next camera should be a coolpix 4300, 4500 or 5000. I would like some advice about which type I should buy, is there a major difference between the quality of these types? And does anyone have panos online shot with either one of these models combined with the fc-e8?
Thank you for your comments.



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2006-07-14
#2

Smooth  and Gen Lee have used the set up you're planning on getting they have pretty awsome work.   They since have upgraded to more powerful and expensive equipment than the 5000.

I'm sure others have as well.

Yes, that is a nice step up from the 885 if you want to continue using the fisheye.

And surely you'll see the improvement!

 


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2006-07-15
#3

If your plan is to stick with the FC-E8 then you should be looking at the Coolpix 5000 as it can shoot RAW (.nef) with the most current firmware upgrade.

Samples are a plenty on my website www.smooth360.com using the Coolpix 5000 and FC-E8 + Agnos MrotatorA.

If you have any trouble finding one I may consider selling my complete set up.

Regards, Smooth 


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2006-07-15
#4

Hola Vilmer!

At the first place, i wanted to use a FC-E9 with a coolpix 8400 or 8700, but fortunately Nikon has stopped the production and the only choice I had left was a SLR Camera and the Sigma/Nikkor lenses. What a disaster when I saw that my budget would explode, but when I have a look at the galleries and compare the results, I have no regrets.

I made that choice because I think that when I will go to see estate agents, I don't want them to tell me "it's interresting but the pictures are not of a good quality", I want to hear "great, I'll sign right away!". If I present a high quality work, I will have better chances of getting potential customer's attention. 

It increased my budget of nearly 800Euros but I am convinced that it worth it.

Alexandre


Alexandre G.
MSN: agagnaire@chablinet.com
Nikon D50 - Nikkor 10.5mm - NN3 - Manfrotto055CLB - Panoweaver 4.0 - Tourweaver 2.0
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2006-07-15
#5
Cameras that have been found to work on fc-e8 include

nikon 4500 and 5000, you get about the same quality but the 4500 costs more as it was a more desirable camera so a the 5000 makes more sense. Don't expect a massive increase in quality from you existing setup and they are still frustratingly slow to use at high quality.

Nikon 8400 unsuported but does work with the fc-e8 with the right nikon adaptor. Should give best results possible with fc-e8 but may not be ideal in low light. Don't know how fast it is to use.

Canon a95 obviously unsuported but does work with fc-e8 though as a consumer camera no autbracketing but you can get them in not to bad condition still quite cheap and it gives you a nice light setup.

You will find though that many people add up the cost of an extra camera and a mrotatora and jump straight to a slightly more expensive slr solution. A canon slr and a peleng is the poor mans choice often. It costs more than your fc-e8 options but its the only way you will get fast snappy performance out of a camera.
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2006-07-15
#6
Hello, everybody, and thank you for your comments.
I will shine a light on my situation, and what I want.

I was born and raised in the northeast of the Netherlands, and live since 1.5 years in Buenos Aires.
Amongst being a technical draughtsman, I also made websites for some Dutch companies in the past. One of them once asked me to make some virtual tours for their yachts, so I purchased the CP885 with FC-E8. A few weeks later, we had an argument and we stopped doing business. The lens ended up in a drawer, until a few months ago.

I noticed that in the area where I used to live in the Netherlands, as well as here in Argentina, there is a huge market to be taken. In Buenos Aires, there are many real estate brokers, hotels and restaurants, none of them have something as a virtual tour. Except some hotels who are doing business with iceportal.com. (Unbelievable crappy tours, for which they pay 2000 dollar plus 2000 dollar annual for the hosting. I just need 10 of those customers and I will never have to work again!)
In the north and northeast of the Netherlands, you will not find many brokers who work with virtual tours.

What I want is two identical camera sets. One for me in Argentina, one for my father in Holland, he can take the picas and email them to me so I can stitch them and make a tour out of it. My budget is very limited, I absolutely love the panos I saw made by Smooth which he showed in this topic.
However, I will have to go for a 2nd hand coolpix 5000 with fc-e8. At first, I want to make money rather than making art. If this business is starting to make money, I always can go for a more fancy set.

@ Smooth; I currently have some bids at eBay, if they bounce, I will contact you about (maybe) selling your set. I really like your work btw; do you make a living out of doing panos?

@ Alexandre; Bonjour, comment a va? I have read your struggle for the right camera the last months. My budget problem is that all electronic stuff in Argentina is for sale for European/US prices, while the income is 30%. So in fact, for me the equipment is 3x as expensive. I calculated that for a complete set, Cp5000, FC-E8, MrotatorA, tripod, mostly 2nd hand, I would pay around 550 Euro. For inside (real estate) jobs the quality should be enough, especially because apparently I am the only one who is doing it.



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2006-07-16
#7

Vilmer,

Thank you for your kind comments.

The panorama you pointed to of mine of course is shot with a DSLR not a CP 5000. So you mustn't expect that quality.

To answer your question I make money out of Panoramas but I do not make a living out of them solely. Though I guess I could if I was to work harder at it. It is more through my personality that I don't. Quite simply I don't try too!

Most Panographers are photographers in general and can make a living from both. I also offer web design and all types of multimedia options as well as graphic work and image retouching. For me it's all about working from my own office and for myself.

As for my Coolpix 5000 set up if you are or anybody else is interested I have a very large kit which includes:

  • Mint Condition Boxed Coolpix 5000 v1.8 Firmware (allowing .nef "RAW" shots)
  • FC-E8 Lens Boxed  (2, 3 or 4 Shot)
  • 3X TC-E3 Telephoto Lens Boxed
  • 2X TC-E2 Telephoto Lens with Hakuba MC Lens Guard
  • 0.63X WC-E63 Wide Angle Lens (Full Frame 6+TB)
  • 3 EN-EL1 Batteries
  • 2 Chargers
  • Genuine Leather Nikon Camera Case
  • MC-UR1 Nikon Corded Remote Control
  • ES-E28 Nikon Slide Adaptor
  • MrotatorA Panohead
  • Nodal Ninja SP-2 Panohead
  • SL-1 Nikon Macro Light
  • 1400mAh POWERX Li-Ion Belt Clip Battery Pack with AC and Car Charger
  • Harbourtronics Serial Cable and Software for remote capture (Time Lapse or shoot to laptop)
  • Also some other items like soft carry case and 2x 160mb memory cards (+ smaller Memory cards) extra batteries for the SL-1 all Manuals, Cables, Straps and CD's (English) 

I don't know the shutter release count and I don't seem to be able to find out how to find this in the menu or the camera itself. If you know how I will gladly look it up. I would suggest it has shot under 2000 exposures but until I know how to find out it is a guess! 

Get the lot for $1500.00 AUD, 900.00 Euro, $1150.00 USD + Postage and Insurance.

You could sell of bits you don't require to re-coup maybe more than you expect!

Regards, Smooth


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2006-07-16
#8
Smooth, thank you for the offer, but i don't have that much money at the moment. I will try to get a basic set at eBay.
Cheers!
Vilmer


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2006-09-04
#9

I finally have my coolpix 500 set together (except for the MrotatorA, I expect it to arrive tomorrow).

I must say Im disappointed in the camera. The first thing I did was to mount the fc-e8 lens to the camera, and adjust it the way explained by Gen. Lee here

The results was soft pictures. So I played around with aperture and shutter time, without much success. Then I decided to make 2 identically pics with the cp885 and cp5000, both on automatic pilot, without the fc-e8.. I dont remember the aperture / shutter time, but I do remember  they were the same.

 

Coolpix 885:

 

 

 

 

Coolpix 5000

 

 

 

Screenshot of both @ 100%:

 

 

Does anyone has an idea what is wrong here? I think its not normal that my




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2006-09-04
#10

Well it's pretty clear that the focus settings are not the same and the major advantage is that the Coolpix 5000 can shoot RAW.

Your comparison shown here is flawed on multiple levels.

You will have to supply much more information to clear up what you are doing wrong. How is the focus area set up? Spot, Center etc.

Are you touching the camera when shooting? (Use the self timer) There is no way the 885 will out perform the 5000.

Regards, Smooth


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2006-09-04
#11

Smooth,

Tomorrow when the sun is shining again i will make some shots, and i will note all settings used, and play with the focus area. I am not touching the camera, its mounted on a tripod with 10 sec. timer. So far I made shots at F8 and with different shuttertimes.

As i'm on my mother's PIII/800 computer at the moment, I don't have photoshop here to play with raw images.

Thank you for your reaction

Vilmer