How to Do In-Camera Panoramas with Fuji
Making panoramic images is one of my favorite things to do and I tend to go to some lengths to make them. My tool of choice is usually the Canon 45mm TS-E lens and I use a technique I described in Using a Tilt-Shift Lens for Panoramic Photos. That technique takes some time, thought, and setup – and I don’t always have time to do it right. Sometimes, I want to create a panoramic image quickly and easily.
The usual thing to do is to use a wide angle lens and simply crop the center out. This is a good idea, but unless you’re using a 20+ megapixel camera, you’re going to end up with something pretty small (on the order of something like a 3-4MP image).
There’s a better option.
I’ve been shooting with the Fuji X-Pro1 and the X100 for some time now and both cameras have what they call a “Motion Panorama” setting. With a bit of practice, you can use this sweep panorama with great effectiveness. First, hit the “Drive” button on your Fuji camera. On the X-Pro1, this is a dedicated button, but is part of the 4-way rocker on the X100. Once you do so, scroll down to the “Motion Panorama” mode.
Once you’re in the Motion Panorama mode, hit the “OK” button on the back of your Fuji. You will then see a screen that looks like the one in the image below. In my example, I left the lens cap on so that the guides on the screen stand out, but you’ll see whatever you’re aiming the camera at.
Now, hit the shutter button and start panning the camera from left to right. If you go too fast or slow, the camera will stop the sequence of images that it’s taking and tell you that you’re going too fast or slow. You don’t have to keep the button pressed down, either – just one click will get it started. Once you’ve gone through the arc, the camera stitches the images into a single JPEG. On the X100, this is about a 7.4MP JPEG, while on the X-Pro1, it’s an 11.1MP image.
Now, this won’t produce the kind of images I mentioned in my previous article on panoramas, but on the flip side, I do like the convenience. In-Camera panoramas are a great way to quickly capture panoramas while out and about.