I've been looking at the gigapan for a while now and think it's quite cool what it can do.
In talking about the gigapan, however, there's no need to tell blatant lies to make it sound more revolutionary than it already is. For instance:
"As for a starting point, most stitching applications are optimized for images captured by a lens equivalent to about a 38-42mm lens on a full-frame (24x36mm) format (D)SLR. "
Umm... What planet are you on? How many stitching programs are you considering when you say "most"? As far as I'm aware, there are a handful of dedicated stitching programs around and almost all of them can handle stitching together images from lenses of any focal length - up to crazy 180 degree fisheye lenses. (like Hugin - which is free, or PtGui - which is not to name a few).
Either I wasn't clear in my text or you missed my point. Regardless, what I was saying in the text you quoted was that when stitching images with most stitching applications, i.e., the ones included with many point-and-shoot cameras such as Canon's Photo Stitching software, (which can be used with JPEGs captured with any camera) you'll find if you will lose the least amount of corner details if you shoot the individual images at a focal length in the range of 40mm on a 35mm format. Yes you can shoot wider-angle images, even fisheye pics, but when you stitch them together you'll have to trim that much more image area from the corners in order to create the new image file, so what's the gain?
With the Gigapan system, this is not an issue because you custom calibrate the system based on the focal length you are using to capture the individual images. And each time you change focal lengths, you must first recalibrate to incorporate the new image parameters into the formula.
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