Today, I received my Non GoTo Merlin head from Teleskop Austria. With this motorized head which is controllable by Papywizard it's very easy to make professional panorama pictures. Together with Fabian Amann we did some testing today with a Canon SLR EOS-1D Mark III. Papywizard controls the Merlin mount via an USB adapter from Ursa Minor. The camera can be controlled by this adapter as well (if you have the correct cable) or by the EOS Utility via an USB connection (We chose this way, as we had an USB cable ;)).
For the first test, we assembled everything inside as it was raining and started a first small picture with a 200mm telephoto lens as soon as the rain stopped. For this photo we took 33 pictures in 3 rows. This calculated by Papywizard automatically when you set your camera settings correctly.
After lunch, we installed everything outside on the street and tried a 360 degree panorama with a 35mm wide-angle lens. For this this photo we took 60 pictures in 5 rows, but in the final version only 4 rows were used. It took about 5 minutes to take all the pictures.
Later on I stiched the photos together using AutoPano Pro 2.0. It has a built-in import function for pictures series taken with Papywizard. For the two pictures I only had to do some minor corrections in the autodetection.
So, taking panorama pictures with a motorized head is neither very expensive (assuming you have a nice camera) nor very complicated. At least our first tests were not so complicated. Let's see when the eather is better and we have some time to make some real panoramas. 🙂