Quick test in a corner of my living room (full size samples).
- Comparison between single frame with 24 mm lens and 3 rows pano with 60 mm lens,
- The camera was in the exact same position, I kept it on the pano head in both samples, just switched the lens and set the pano head to central position for the 24 mm lens,
- distance to the subject is less than 1 meter (about 70 cm),
- Focus was set with live view on the book next to the fan,
- Both images were shot in M mode at f8,
- The pano was computed with PTgui in flat projection mode,
- It took about 40 seconds to shoot the pano without trying to be utterly fast, this is the result of my first and only trial,
- The computation of the pano took less than 10 minutes for this 120 megapixel image.
- single image from a 24 mm lens, slightly cropped to match the stitch result (22 megapixel):
(link to jpg quality 8, 2.5 MB full size image) http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlangui...923847/sizes/o/
- pano made with a 60mm lens, 3 rows of 4 images (120 megapixel).
(link to jpg quality 7, 7.5 MB full size image) http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlangui...724060/sizes/o/
What I see:
- the sensor of my d3x needs cleaning,
- the images are very similar,
- the pano image has less DoF since it was shot with a longer lens.
- the 24 mm lens has some geometrical distorsion that is not visible in the pano image. this is not a simple spherical one and results in subtle differences in rendition of some of the objects. Both scenes would probably be assessed by 99% of people to be totally faithful to the original.
- the 24 mm lens has some light fall off event at f8 (see upper left corner),
- the color rendition of the 24mm appears to be a bit more neutral than that of the 60mm, although this difference could also have been introduced by the pano software,
- the sharpness per pixel of the pano is on par with that of the single image and can be considered to be excellent in absolute terms.
My personal conclusion are:
- real world usage matches the theory very well, flat projection panos are difficult to distinguish from single frames shot with a wide lens,
- when high resolutions are needed for an application pano are a handy solution, the impact in shooting time is small (think of all the other things you would have had to do before taking this image) but processing time can be a problem.