We all like to take holiday snaps or capture photos of the family as they grow up but for those of us that want to go one step further and capture some truly stunning scenery, panoramic digital cameras are the way forward.
Choose the right camera
Panoramic DSLR cameras, as the name suggests, allow users to take photographs that are much wider than the standard shots you get with ‘normal’ cameras. Many different manufacturers now make them with a range of price tickets so that keen photographers of all standards – and with all budgets to play with – can afford one.
But what should you look out for if you decide to take the plunge? Firstly, ensure that the camera you have your eye on is able to switch between panoramic mode and ‘normal’ mode. Unless you’re dead set on taking only panoramic shots you want to make sure you can adapt to your surroundings and take the best shot for that moment in time.
Choose the right Technology
Secondly, you’ll need to decide what technology you want to actually produce the panorama – some DSLR cameras have a ‘sweep panorama’ function that creates one seamless extra wide picture, whereas others use technology on the camera and on your PC to ‘knit’ three or four pictures into one extra-wide image.
As a general rule, panoramic digital cameras do not come with an inbuilt flash – or, indeed, the ability to attach an external flash. This is because you’ll generally be using them to capture the great outdoors on a bright, sunny day. However, if you do want to be able to use a flash, there are some panoramic digital cameras with this option built in; just be sure to check that your chosen model has it if it’s important to you. Some models also have night mode meaning they are able to take panoramic images, just not as bright as a normal picture with a flash,
Some panoramic cameras are sold with a mini tripod as part of the package price, which is great for when you want to ensure a steady shot of that stunning vista. A shaky hand can ruin what would otherwise be a stunning image, so if you’re concerned about being able to keep the camera still then opt for a package with a tripod thrown in. Don’t worry if you change your mind at a later date though; many panoramic cameras include tripod sockets so you could always grab one separately.
Most importantly, do your research beforehand. Be sure to read up on user reviews as well as official company specifications – it’s all very well having all the bells and whistles, but if the camera is difficult to use then they’re no use. Customer reviews are a great way to ensure that you’re getting a piece of kit that other people have got on with. Arm yourself with as much information as possible before you make your choice.