Panoramic Heads and Time-Lapse Heads
Panoramic heads are tripod heads that precisely set the point of a camera's rotation about the entrance pupil for a given focal length. This eliminates any chances of parallax errors, and creates a panorama. You can also use them for panoramic and time-lapse videos, which give a sense of additional on-screen space. Time-lapse videography involves taking many still shots of a location over a period, and then combining them to form a video. The time-lapse heads slowly and smoothly move the camera to prevent the result from looking jumpy and shaky.
Why Should You Use a Panoramic Head?
Panoramic tripod heads are easy to adjust, and allow you to precisely set the optical system of your camera around a no-parallax point. Besides eliminating the parallax error, these heads also allow each photo taken to overlap accurately without common errors such as disconnected lines and visible stitching seams. Essentially, this saves you a significant amount of time when post-processing your panoramas.
How to Choose Panoramic and Time-Lapse Heads
Professional panoramic head models come with precision scales and motion control systems to allow you to take photos at specific angles, as well as integrated spirit levels to help in adjusting the tripod legs. Motorized pan heads automatically perform the image capture and rotation functions for smooth panoramic and time-lapse shots. If you're using tripod heads for still photography, you may need robotic camera mounts to automatically rotate the camera to create time-lapse videos.
You can also choose between single-row and multi-row heads. Single-row heads have a unique lightweight design that allows fast shooting times where three or four photos are enough to create a 360-degree photo. Multi-row heads allow smooth up-and-down tilting of the lenses to enable you to shoot at higher resolutions. For best performance of your heads, consider investing in time-lapse head accessories such as sync cables and rechargeable Li-ion batteries, as well as camera quick release plates and L-brackets.