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Review of tiny Theta 360 panoramic camera


Jeffrey from 360 Cities sez, "I am one of the world's most obsessive and fanatical 360 photographers. So when this weird looking dual-fisheye Theta 360 Camera came out, I hunted high and low for how to get a sample in my hands as quickly as humanly possible. Five days later, the fedex guy showed up with my camera...."

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Giant panorama of Tokyo from the Tokyo Tower

Jeffrey from 360 Cities sez, "I have spent the last few months working on the Tokyo Tower Gigapixel. This is the second-largest panorama I have ever made, but it is my #1 favorite overall. (Here is the biggest one - and previously: 1, 2, 3, 4."

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Massive, CC-licensed 34GP panorama of Prague

Jeffrey from 360 Cities sez, "My latest 'gigantic panorama' is of my adopted home city, Prague. (previously: 1 2) This time I'm trying something new: download, share, remix this one yourself! It is Creative Commons, attribution, noncommercial sharealike licensed. Here is the torrent link. It's 3.9GB of JPEG tiles plus an HTML5 and Flash viewer. This image was shot in May 2013, and the total size of the image is 260,000 x 130,000 pixels. That would be 44 meters long if you printed it at 150DPI!"

Prague 34 Gigapixel Panorama Photo (Thanks, Jeffrey!)

Notes on making a stitched panorama with a 100,000' balloon-cam

Caleb sends us an article, "Wherein I present the results of and detail the technical feats needed to stitch together imagery from six cameras into interactive fully spherical imagery and video taken from a balloon sent up to nearly 100,000 feet. (*phew*)"

There are some other factors that come into play with panorama stitching. You want to avoid placing control points on objects that move between images taken. Typical panoramas are done with one camera being rotated after each photo is taken. Objects that move between photos taken that have control points on them will severely hinder the stitching process.

You also want to avoid placing control points on objects at largely different distances from the lens. Don’t mix control points between objects a couple feet away and a hundred feet away as the optimizer won’t be able to make them fit to one transform. I’m able to mostly ignore this issue at very high altitudes as everything is so far away that the difference between the closer and the further objects is so slight that it doesn’t do much to negatively impact the optimization. Of course, that means I don’t allow any control points to be placed on anything attached to the camera payload, including the parachute and the balloon.

In order to place control points you have to have common features. That’s why you need the overlap between images. The more overlap the better the result. In the sample images above we have one image, the fourth, that isn’t able to be connected to any of the others. And it’s not because there’s no overlap. There are three issues with the fourth image that presents us from finding control points in it.

Operation StratoSphere – Conclusion (Thanks, Caleb!)

Panorama of a despoiled library

Jeffrey sez, "Because there aren't enough things to be sad about in the world. Behold, a once-glorious attic full of books falling victim to entropy and vandalism. I don't know the real story behind this, but I know a sad sight when I see it."

Weberei Eibau Walddorf Dachbodenbibliothek (Thanks, Jeffrey!)