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Thread: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel

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DennisS

Posts: 1759
Location: Los Anglels, United States
Registered: 1 Sep 2007
Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 10 Feb 2011 at 18:10 GMT
I found another thread discussing a lightweight set up for bicycling, but the camera the guy ended up with included the Nikon Fc-e8 lens. That would not be my first choice, as I already own one and stopped using it after my 1st panorama using that lens.

I am looking for an alternative to my D300/Sigma 8mm lens combo for when I am on a bicycle trip. Unlike the previous thread, I am not opposed to spending some $$$.

I saw the Olympus Pen camera and a Zuiko 8mm lens. I would like to be able to shoot 4 around plus hand held nadir patch. This will be for monopod work

Recommendations? Sample pictures to stitch? Sample panoramas? If the quality is no better than the FC-E8 lens, I will stay with the D300/Sigma 8mm solution.
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mediavets

Posts: 2144
Location: Isleham, Cambs., United Kingdom
Registered: 8 Feb 2008
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 10 Feb 2011 at 18:29 GMT
updated: 10 Feb 2011 at 18:31 GMT

DennisS said:

I saw the Olympus Pen camera and a Zuiko 8mm lens. I would like to be able to shoot 4 around plus hand held nadir patch. This will be for monopod work


I thought the Zuiko 8mm was a fullframe fisheye providing 180 degree FOV on the diagonal with the Olympus Pen - like the Nikkor 10.5mm FE on a cropped sensor Nikon body.

If so then will you get 360 HFOV coverage with 4-around?

Andrew
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DennisS

Posts: 1759
Location: Los Anglels, United States
Registered: 1 Sep 2007
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 10 Feb 2011 at 18:57 GMT
Don't know. That is why need advice from the pros on this. If 4 around is not possible with a compact camera, I will stay with my D300/Sigma. All of this may have already been covered. If so, I cannot find it in the archives.
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Smooth

Posts: 4258
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 10 Feb 2011 at 19:08 GMT
Potentially with a Sony NEX3/5 body, with Alpha mount adapter LAEA1 and Sigma 4.5mm lens (Maybe 8mm if they still do a Sony/Minolta mount). The Sony has an APS-C sensor instead of 4/3rds.

Not 100% sure if you will cover it in 4 rotational shots but the theory is there.

Regards, Smooth cool
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mediavets

Posts: 2144
Location: Isleham, Cambs., United Kingdom
Registered: 8 Feb 2008
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 10 Feb 2011 at 19:51 GMT

Smooth said:

Potentially with a Sony NEX3/5 body, with Alpha mount adapter LAEA1 and Sigma 4.5mm lens (Maybe 8mm if they still do a Sony/Minolta mount). The Sony has an APS-C sensor instead of 4/3rds.

Not 100% sure if you will cover it in 4 rotational shots but the theory is there.

Regards, Smooth cool

Apparently you can mount a Samyang on the Sony NEX5 using that adapter:
forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1042&me...

But still not viable for 4-around?

Andrew
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Ken Warner

Posts: 821
Location: Mammoth Lakes, United States
Registered: 14 Aug 2004
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 10 Feb 2011 at 20:22 GMT
updated: 10 Feb 2011 at 20:24 GMT

DennisS said:

I would like to be able to shoot 4 around plus hand held nadir patch. This will be for monopod work


4 around with a small, light camera on a monopod with good quality is like the search for the Holy Grail. There has to be a way. What about a Pentax k-x and a Samyang? I was once thinking about that combo but couldn't afford it even though it's fairly cheap.
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Thomas Krueger

Posts: 371
Location: Genoa, Italy
Registered: 3 Mar 2006
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 10 Feb 2011 at 21:26 GMT
The Pentax K-5 is fine camera. Small, a very quiet shutter and a sealed body. There are a couple of small Pentax pancake lenses available. An extensive review is on www.reidreviews.com. Pentax has a 10-17mm fish-eye, but that's probably not enough to go with only 4 images for 360°. Link: www.pentaximaging.com/camera-lenses/

Sam Rohn has a GF1 with a fisheye, check this thread on the PanoTools list:
panotoolsng.586017.n4.nabble.com/4-3-camera-and-n...
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Smooth

Posts: 4258
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 at 5:17 GMT
The Samyang 8mm or Pentax/Tokina 10-17mm are not ever going to do 4 around. Regardless what available compact camera body you select.

The Pentax K-5 is still SLR styled/design so hardly classed as compact.

Somebody needs to punch holes in my logic of a Sony NEX3/5 with Sigma 4.5mm or 8mm Fisheye as this seems to be the only possible way to get it covered in 4 rotational shots.

Regards, Smooth cool
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mediavets

Posts: 2144
Location: Isleham, Cambs., United Kingdom
Registered: 8 Feb 2008
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 at 11:46 GMT

Smooth said:

The Samyang 8mm or Pentax/Tokina 10-17mm are not ever going to do 4 around. Regardless what available compact camera body you select.

The Pentax K-5 is still SLR styled/design so hardly classed as compact.

Somebody needs to punch holes in my logic of a Sony NEX3/5 with Sigma 4.5mm or 8mm Fisheye as this seems to be the only possible way to get it covered in 4 rotational shots.

Regards, Smooth cool

The downside of the Sigma 4.5mm FE on the NEX5 will be the same as on any other body. Becaase it produces a full circle FE image this very much reduces the resolution of the equiractangular stitched pano image.

Andrew
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Smooth

Posts: 4258
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 at 12:01 GMT

mediavets said:

The downside of the Sigma 4.5mm FE on the NEX5 will be the same as on any other body. Becaase it produces a full circle FE image this very much reduces the resolution of the equiractangular stitched pano image.
But of course, though Dennis is asking for something as a replacement over the crappy FC-E8 combination. Obviously this is why a Sigma 8mm is the preference and on the 1.5x APS-C sensor we know what to expect. If it is available for the Sony mount it would be a no brainer. What I'm unclear about is how the E to A mount adapter interferes if at all?

Even if you are limited to the Sigma 4.5mm Fisheye the results will leave the conversion lenses in it's wake and is the logical answer over the FC-E8, FC-E9, Raynox or Opteka Vortex Fisheye.

There is also the Sunex Superfisheye ...

Regards, Smooth cool
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mediavets

Posts: 2144
Location: Isleham, Cambs., United Kingdom
Registered: 8 Feb 2008
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 at 12:08 GMT
updated: 11 Feb 2011 at 12:33 GMT

DennisS said:

Recommendations? Sample pictures to stitch? Sample panoramas? If the quality is no better than the FC-E8 lens, I will stay with the D300/Sigma 8mm solution.


What is the min. res. stitched equirectangular pano image that you would find acceptable?

What characteristics are most important to you when seeking a 'lightweight set up' for use with a monopod on your cycling trips?
Dimensions of the camera/lens/head or weight of the camera/lens/head?

Andrew
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DennisS

Posts: 1759
Location: Los Anglels, United States
Registered: 1 Sep 2007
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 at 15:31 GMT
Carrying the D300/Sigma with me on bike rides is not too comfortable. I do not know exactly what I want, since I do not know what is available. The FC-E8/9 and all other lens adapters are definitely out of the question due to their absolute crappy quality. I am not overly obsessed with producing gigapixel panoramas, so the size is not as important as image quality.

The Sony Nex5/Sunex lens looks like it might fit the bill, if the Sunex has the Sony mount. Sunex shows only a Canon and Nikon mount, so I do not know what it would take to mount the lens on a Sony camera.
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mediavets

Posts: 2144
Location: Isleham, Cambs., United Kingdom
Registered: 8 Feb 2008
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 at 15:44 GMT
updated: 11 Feb 2011 at 15:45 GMT

DennisS said:

Carrying the D300/Sigma with me on bike rides is not too comfortable. I do not know exactly what I want, since I do not know what is available. The FC-E8/9 and all other lens adapters are definitely out of the question due to their absolute crappy quality.


If weight is the issue perhaps a used Nikon D40/D40X/D60 body - for use with your existing Sigma 8mm FE - would fit the bill? They are all much smaller and lighter than the D300. Even the lowly 6MP D40 with the Sigma 8mm FE will enable you to produce a stitched equirectangular of 6000x3000 pixels shooting 4-around with optional nadir.

I am not overly obsessed with producing gigapixel panoramas, so the size is not as important as image quality.

So if I said the max. you'd get with a full circular FE - like then Sigma 4.5mm or the Sunex - on a NEX5 would be less than a 5000x2500 stitched equirectangulur pano image would you be happy with that res.?

The Sony Nex5/Sunex lens looks like it might fit the bill, if the Sunex has the Sony mount. Sunex shows only a Canon and Nikon mount, so I do not know what it would take to mount the lens on a Sony camera.

I'd take the Sigma 4.5mm over the Sunex any day. But I'd not choose either because of the limited res. pano images one ends up with when using such lenses.

Andrew
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Hans Nyberg

Posts: 2873
Location: Denmark
Registered: 28 Aug 2005
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 at 18:35 GMT
updated: 11 Feb 2011 at 18:36 GMT

DennisS said:

Carrying the D300/Sigma with me on bike rides is not too comfortable. I do not know exactly what I want, since I do not know what is available. The FC-E8/9 and all other lens adapters are definitely out of the question due to their absolute crappy quality. I am not overly obsessed with producing gigapixel panoramas, so the size is not as important as image quality.

The Sony Nex5/Sunex lens looks like it might fit the bill, if the Sunex has the Sony mount. Sunex shows only a Canon and Nikon mount, so I do not know what it would take to mount the lens on a Sony camera.


Forget about your 4 around ideas and get a panasonic Lumix 8mm + olympus pen or the GF1 or one of the other similar 3/4 cameras. It is just 185gr + 300 gr and quality is superior to what you get with the sigma 4.5mm.

You find some examples at Bradfords blog shot with the GF1/8mm combo.
www.bohonus.com/blog/page/3/ more on page 4 and 5

Hans
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DennisS

Posts: 1759
Location: Los Anglels, United States
Registered: 1 Sep 2007
Re: Compact camera/lens for lightweight travel
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 at 19:14 GMT
My primary requirement is 4 around. If that cannot be done with a compact camera, then I will stay with what I currently have.
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