action panoramics - mulitple cameras

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opticsguy
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:39 am

action panoramics - mulitple cameras

Post by opticsguy » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:19 am

I am interested to make actions panoramics, people moving fast under inside lighting, specifically, ballroom dancing. Wanting to capture the crowds and the dancers up to and including 180 degrees and possibly more. Have had some good success using a small hand held Panasonic camera but certainly too slow for multiple fast exposures. The panasonic is in my pocket all the time and easy to pull out and use while i am dancing. I also have used an olympus SLR which will make rapid burst exposures but still not instant.

So, what i am thinking is to buy multiple identical cameras (5 or 6 or ...) mounting on a plate and somehow how triggering all the cameras at the same instant. Since this is a hobby only, i would be looking for used cheaper cameras. The biggest difficulty would be triggering all the cameras at the same instant. Also would need to be able to trigger the cameras from the rear. I am familiar with nodal points and understand multiple camers can not share the same point but have not found this to be a problem.

What cameras would be easy to find and not expensive?
Cameras that can be remotely triggered form the rear side.
Other considerations?

elf
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:04 am
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Re: action panoramics - mulitple cameras

Post by elf » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:03 pm

Unfortunately most camera makers have dropped SDK support for P&S cameras, so a DSLR is probably the only thing that will work. Triggering the cameras at the same time could be as simple as soldering two camera connections into a wired remote, or use IR remote. A more complex solution would be to use a microcontroller like an Arduino to control both cameras.

The simplest way to hold each camera would be to use a L brackets from a quick release system mounted on a bar.

I think the hardest part will be focusing each of the cameras at the same point or distance. Canon does expose this in their SDK, so if you're a programmer, this could also be done. You might also be able to do this with a heavy rubber band around both focus rings (make sure to but a brace between the lens so it doesn't put any stress on the mount).

Punkie
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:30 am
Location: Netherlands

Re: action panoramics - mulitple cameras

Post by Punkie » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:25 am

For Canon p&s camera's there is an unofficial SDK, nl CHDK which gives more functions to that camera's.
It has an active community with a forum. Perhaps you take a look there.
In the CHDK wiki you can see which camera's are supported.
Further check there which camera can be released via the USB port through a hack.
The firmware in the camera is not changed, but placed on the SD card and loaded during starting.

Kind regards,
Henk Tijdink

opticsguy
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:39 am

Re: action panoramics - mulitple cameras

Post by opticsguy » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:10 am

Thanks for the replies. Since this is simply a part time hobby, I am not in a position to spend hundreds of hours in programing and other tasks. I have no clue what is SDK or CHDK and am not programmer.

Most point and shoots have a simple button for triggering the shutter and I do not see a way to connect multiple cameras. My Olympus SLR has the ability to be triggered remotely and looks like a good option if I could pick up 4 or more camers at reasonable prices. So, ultimatly, am looking for recommendations for a camera that can be triggered remotely, synched with several others and at somewhat inexpensive prices.

elf
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Re: action panoramics - mulitple cameras

Post by elf » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:08 pm

Your definition of inexpensive and my definition of inexpensive are probably going to be radically different. I will say that your stated objective of shooting ballroom dancers with multiple cameras at the same time will not work very well because you will have parallax errors unless all of the cameras have a common entrance pupil. The easiest way to do this is to use single lens that has the field of view you require. I would recommend taking a closer look at fish-eye lens and the software to create a rectilinear image from the output. I believe PTAssembler should be able to do this.

As far as triggering multiple cameras at the same time, see my first post. If the camera can use a wired remote, just cut the cable off of one and wire it into the second. If it only uses an IR remote, like my Olympus e330, then you can use a simple mirror arrangement to trigger the camera(s) from the rear. IR will reflect off of just about any material.

If you're the only photographer, then you can use a flash to synchronize the cameras. The only requirement is the shutter speed needs to be fast enough to eliminate ambient lighting.

namal
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:09 am

Re: action panoramics - mulitple cameras

Post by namal » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:34 am

doesnt zoerk has a similar system for tilt, lens staying "fixed"? maybe working only for 80mm and longer.
if you tilt using horizontal axis this could result in a shift and increasing DOF. roundshot 220 vr has a special head for this. regarding multishots using dslr it would be interesting to know which rotating angles are needed for best shooting.

amyycooper89
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:36 am
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Re: action panoramics - mulitple cameras

Post by amyycooper89 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:41 am

Panorama photos might be a fun way to share your experiences and memories with other people, but they’re notoriously difficult to capture. Without a fair amount of photography know-how, a full spherical panorama is quite the challenge. That’s what inspired Jonas Pfeil to create the Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera, a fun digital camera that you can toss around to capture stunning, unparalleled panoramic photos.

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