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Using the Gigapan EPIC 100

Using the GigaPan EPIC 100

3.1 Start a new panorama

Taking panoramas with the GigaPan EPIC 100 is quite easy – just point it to the top-left and bottom-right corners of your scene to get started.
 

  1. Turn the GigaPan EPIC 100 on by holding down the "power/ok" button. The first menu item is New Panorama.
  2. Press OK to select New Panorama. The EPIC 100 will prompt you through the following steps.
  3. Set your camera to its full zoom level and press OK.
  4. Use the direction keys to point the camera to the top left corner of your scene, and press OK when you´re ready.
  5. Now use the direction keys to point the camera to the bottom right corner of your scene, and press OK when you´re ready. While you´re doing this, you´ll be able to see how many horizontal and vertical pictures the EPIC is going to take.
  6. The EPIC 100 will let you preview the panorama before it begins. Press OK if you want it to, or press X to continue without a preview.
  7. You´ll now need to confirm whether you want to go ahead with the panorama. The EPIC 100 will run you through a checklist before it starts taking pictures.
  8. Watch the scene while the EPIC 100 takes your panorama.
  9. If someone steps into your frame, or if your camera misses a picture, press X to pause the panorama and use the directional keys to go back to an earlier camera position.


3.2 Repeat your last panorama

The GigaPan EPIC 100 saves the data for your last panorama until you switch it off, so you can repeat it and correct it if something went wrong with your first try, or if you just want to try the same panorama with a different camera setting.

  1. Turn the GigaPan EPIC 100 on.
  2. Use the direction keys to navigate to Last Panorama in the main menu and press OK.
  3. The EPIC 100 will let you preview the panorama before it begins. Press OK if you want it to, or press X to continue without a preview.
  4. Use the direction keys to point the camera to the top left corner of your scene, and press OK when you´re ready.
  5. You can use the direction keys to choose which photo the EPIC 100 will start repeating the panorama from, if you don´t want to start at the original top-left corner.
  6. The rest of the process is the same as any other panorama. For instructions on how to shoot a 360 degree panorama, please see Chapter 7.

 

3.3 Navigating the EPIC 100 Menu

Turn the GigaPan EPIC 100 on by pressing the OK button. The first thing you will see is the word "calibrating." The robot is checking internal systems at this point. Once this process is done, the first menu option, New Panorama, will appear. To navigate to other menu options, push the down button. To reach submenus within a menu option, push the OK button once you reach the desired main menu option, then the down button to access the submenu choices.

To exit a menu or submenu, push the X button. To turn the unit off, hold the OK button down until the word "Goodbye" appears.

EPIC 100 Menu Tree

  • New Panorama
  • 360 Panorama
  • Last Panorama
  • Options
  • Time per Pic
  • Battery Status
  • Factory Reset
  • Expert Options
  • Button Hold
    • NORMAL
    • SHORT
  • Checklist
    • ON
    • OFF
  • Shutter Method
  • Button Pusher
    • OK-Set
    • Digital
    • Manual
  • Pic Ordering
    • Column
    • Row – down
    • Row – up
  • Motors On
  • Firmware Ver
  • Gigapan Setup
  • Current FOV
  • Set up camera Field of View?

 

3.4 Menu Options Glossary

New Panorama – Sets the upper left hand photo and the lower right hand photo that defines the rectangular area of the panorama.

360 Panorama - Sets the upper pitch and the lower pitch of a panorama that is 360 degrees and completes a full circle.

Last Panorama - The EPIC will use the settings from the most recent panorama photographed or set up.

Options – Contains submenus that allow you to change more settings.

Time per Pic - The amount of time that the EPIC 100 will wait until it moves the camera. It is important to allow enough time for the camera to process the current photograph and move the data to flash memory. This is the most likely reason the camera would miss a photograph.

Battery status – This option will tell you what the voltage level of the batteries is. A voltage of 9 volts means that the batteries are fully charged. A voltage of around 7 volts means your batteries will not be able to operate the EPIC 100 for much longer.

Factory Reset – This option will reset certain options to their default values. The Time Per Pic, Pic Ordering, Shutter Method, Button Hold and vertical field of view will be reset.

Expert Options - These options will not be used as often by most users, so they are placed in a submenu.

Button Hold – This option may be set to normal or short. If short is selected, the duration of time that the shutter button is depressed is reduced.

Check List – If this option is set to ON, a checklist of things that need to be done in order to successfully create a technically good image are presented to the user before the panorama is taken.

Shutter Method – This option allows you to choose how the unit will operate your camera´s shutter. The settings are button pusher, digital, and manual. Button pusher is the normal, default method. If the digital method is used, a one-second duration five-volt pulse is used to actuate the shutter. If the manual method is used, the user must manually actuate the shutter and press the OK button on the EPIC 100 to advance to the next photograph.

Pic Ordering – This option allows you to specify the general order for taking photographs in your panorama. The settings are column, row–down, and row–up. If the column setting is chosen the EPIC will photograph the panorama one column at a time starting from the left hand side. The EPIC will travel from the top of a column downwards taking photographs. When the EPIC reaches the bottom of the panorama, it will move to the next column and start from the top. If the row–down setting is chosen, the EPIC will take the panorama as a set of rows. The EPIC will start at the top row and photograph from left to right. When the EPIC reaches the right hand side it will move downwards to the next row. If the row–up setting is chosen the EPIC will shoot rows from the left hand side of the bottom row and move upwards to the next row until it has photographed all of the rows in the panorama.

Motors On - This option allows you to turn the stepper motors off so that you can move the arm and EPIC about while it is powered on.

Firmware Ver – This will display the version number of the firmware for the EPIC.

GigaPan Setup – This option will allow you to change the vertical field of view when you change cameras or lenses. See "Aligning a Camera to the GigaPan EPIC 100 in Chapter 2.6" for details on determining the field of view.

 

 

 

3.5 Using the EPIC 100 Extra Features

The following are advanced options that are available for the EPIC 100 only. Remote Shutter Port The remote shutter is an option called 'Remote Port' under the 'Shutter Method´ menu item, which you will find under 'Expert Options´. 'Remote Port´ uses a cable to connect your camera to the EPIC instead of using the button pusher. Using the 'Remote Port´ method can allow for faster image capture, and less vibration when the pictures are taken. The remote shutter is only an option for cameras compatible with Canon´s E3 connector, typically Canon and Pentax cameras. Please see the compatible camera list for more information.

Please note that Panasonic uses the same mechanical connection, but it´s electrically different and will not work with the cable.

  1. In the EPIC 100 menu scroll to 'Options´ > 'Expert Options ´> 'Shutter Method´. Select 'Remote Port´ and press OK. 
  2. Unplug the button pusher cable from the EPIC 100 (note: the exposed contacts for the button pusher face you when plugged in). At this point you can remove the button pusher from the EPIC 100 if you wish. Just remove the adjustment screw and slide the button pusher out of the camera mounting plate. 
  3. Plug the remote shutter cable into the EPIC 100 (note: the exposed contacts for this cable will face you; this is opposite of the button pusher cable). 
  4. Plug the other end of the remote shutter cable into your camera. 
  5. You can now set up the panorama, and your camera´s shutter will be triggered electronically through the cable.

Multiple Shutter

Multiple Shutter can be used for exposure bracketing and focus bracketing, and can also be useful for increasing your chances of capturing crisp pictures in adverse conditions that could cause blurry images - such as wind gusts. Your multiple shutter use will depend on your camera´s capabilities, not all cameras will have exposure and focus bracketing capabilities.

  1. Scroll through the EPIC 100 menu to 'Options´ > 'Mult. Shutter´. 
  2. Using the directional keys, select the number of pictures you would like to take per position. Select OK. 
  3. You can now set up your panorama and the number of pictures you set will be taken at each position.