Microsoft Research makes their Image Composite Editor available for free. Use the ICE to create high quality panorama photos by stitching together many photos.
This photo was created out of 34 photos taken on a 12 megapixel point n shoot camera – the end result, after overlaps and cropping, is a 78 megapixel image.
This is a size reduced 1920 pixel wide version of the original. On the original, I can just about zoom in to cars on the bridge. This photo was taken from the site of the Astoria tower, Astoria, Oregon, overlooking the Columbia River where it joins the Pacific Ocean.
Joint update service for Four Thirds lenses | Digital Camera | Digital AV | Consumer Products | Support | Panasonic Global.
Notably, the new firmware adds
- Improved noise reduction for low light usage
- Powered zoom lens features to work with the new X-Series lenses
- 25p mode for PAL cameras
- 30p mode for NTSC cameras
- Improvements to auto focus
- Improvements to burst mode
The better online discussion as to what the new firmware provides is likely to be here.
Noise reduction – I shot a test clip before and after, using 1080/24p video mode at ISO 2500. There is a noticeable improvement but noise is certainly visible – just guessing but it seems it could be as much as 40% to 50% less noise. It is possible that the noise improvement is better at ISO 3200; I believe 2500 is the highest the native image sensor goes to in video mode and 3200 is done through software signal processing. I think. I have not looked at the noise in terms of still images.
HBR – I previously wrote that I wasn’t sure what was happening here. My mistake. On PAL cameras, this is a new 25p mode and on NTSC cameras this is a new 30p mode. My mistake was that I had inadvertently rendered my new 30p video as a 24p mp4 file, which meant some frame blending had occurred. To correct what I wrote previously, the new HBR/1080/30p looks great!
With digital cameras, many enthusiasts engage in “pixel peeping” contests to super enlarge and examine every image pixel for bragging rights over whose image is sharper or has less digital noise.
This leads to pointless debates over the effectiveness of different types of camera sensors that usually leave out so many details as to be, well pointless debates.
If you’d like to know more about sensors and other aspects of photography, read what a physicist writes on his personal blog:
When I hear people claiming that the Four Thirds format is incapable of providing resolutions above 10 MP, I just laugh. Then, hearing the same “experts” say that APS-C sensors can deliver such resolutions, just because they are bigger, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Stop worrying about pixels, start thinking about lenses. Or just start thinking.
via wrotniak.net: Four Thirds Sensor Size and Aspect Ratio.
His conclusion is similar to mine, outlined in my last sentence here.