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Hands-On with the GigaPan Epic Robotic Camera Mount

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Editor’s Note:  This article has been revised and updated as of October 2012.

GigaPan offers a complete innovative technology system, spanning hardware, software and cloud based solutions, to allow photographers, digital content designers and promoters the opportunity to expand the limits of traditional photography. These interactive panoramas bring zoomable, multi-dimensional stories to life through a system of dynamic tools, which drive exploration and engagement for brands, events, research and education.

In addition, GigaPan has introduced GigaTag, an application that combines interactivity and high-resolution imaging into a new social media platform.  GigaTag allows audiences to zoom into the incredible detail of high-resolution images, find themselves, friends, or interesting sights and then tag and share on Facebook. Audiences can experience and share the event as if they are there in the crowd.

Thousands of fans of Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the 2012 London Olympic Games have interacted with GigaTag images, fascinated by the stunning detail, searching every face in the crowd, then tagging and sharing on Facebook.

GigaPan EPIC, EPIC 100 and EPIC Pro

We did our own hands-on test of the Gigapan EPIC Robotic Camera Mount. In a nutshell, GigaPan Robotic Camera Mounts  create photographs, section by section, in a series of rows and columns determined by the focal length of the lens used and the angle of view of the scene you wish to capture. These rows and columns are stitched together into a single, ultra high-res wide field image file that online viewers

can zoom in and out of with the click of a mouse. Unlike 3D technologies, you don't have to wear any headache-inducing eyeglasses to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

There are three models of GigaPans: the EPIC ($299 ), the EPIC 100 ($449) and the EPIC Pro ($895). The GigaPan EPIC is the base model and it's intended for smaller digicams. If you plan on using a larger point-and-shoot camera, small DSLR camera or micro 4/3 camera, the GigaPan EPIC 100 has a larger camera mounting stage to accommodate the larger size of these models.

The top-of-the-line model is the GigaPan EPIC Pro, which can support camera/lens combinations weighing up to 10 lb (4.5 kg), and includes a camera-mounting stage that allows for more precise camera positioning. The EPIC Pro firmware was recently updated to include translated menu options in French, German and Spanish, in addition to new features for selecting the pan motion and timer. The additional languages were added to meet the growing global demand and the new features were added in response to feedback from photographers on how to best support their interest and their business.

The EPIC Pro includes a rechargeable battery pack (7.2V, 4300mAH). Both the EPIC and EPIC 100 are powered by AA batteries. According to the folks at GigaPan you should expect to capture about 1000 exposures per battery charge, though like most things in life, your mileage may vary.

Gigapan Epic (left), Epic 100 (center), and Epic Pro (right)

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