New Cameras Make Panoramas Easier

Article excerpt

PANORAMIC photography is not new. It's been around since the early days of photography. What is relatively new, however, is that you don't need a professional panoramic camera (some models cost more than $8,000) to get nice panoramic pictures.

At the low end of the camera scale, there are one-time-use panoramic cameras. These fully automatic models sell for less than $15 and deliver surprisingly good results. Enlargements, however, tend to look a bit grainy and soft.

Some 35 mm point-and-shoot cameras offer a panoramic mode, which allows you to easily switch from standard format to the panoramic format, and then back again. There are even some 35 mm single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras that offer a panoramic mode in addition to the standard picture size. The newest cameras to offer a panoramic mode are Advanced Photo System (APS) models. APS cameras let you switch (and switch back midroll) between three picture formats: standard, high-vision (a bit wider than standard) and panoramic. There are several benefits to using a more sophisticated panorama-format camera if you like to take panoramic photos. First, as the price of the camera increases, so does the picture quality. Other benefits include creative control over exposure, so you can darken or lighten a scene to create a desired exposure effect - or correct for strong backlighting, and the ability to use different speed films for different lighting situations: slow film for sunny days, fast film for overcast days. …