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Panorama Cameras (or Panoramic Cameras) are cameras designed to take photos with a very wide horizontal angle, but normal vertical angle - resulting in normal height, but very wide photos. Typically these are of landscapes or large group of people arranged in a long row - such as the "classic" whole school or whole team photo (or, of course, very tall narrow photos of, say, tall buildings, if you turn the camera sideways).
|A panorama-format landscape|
There are several ways to design a panoramic camera to operate:
- Keep the camera still, but swing a normal lens across the scene - perhaps using a slit-shaped shutter. This is how, for example, the Horizont and Al Vista are built.
- Move the whole camera - manually, or with some motorised mechanism, keeping the film still by winding it in synchronisation with the rotation.
- Use a normal lens, or a conventional wide angle lens with a normal film frame, but add a (perhaps switchable) mask to crop the picture vertically; this is how the APS panoramic format and the panorama setting on 35mm cameras such as the Olympus mju ZOOM 70 panorama are implemented.
- Use a normal lens in a normal camera, but add a panoramic setting which rearranges the frame to spread across a number of normal-sized frames; some recent 35mm cameras have this feature. Some disposable cameras are fixed in this format, such as the Fuji QuickSnap Panorama 35mm and the Kodak Panoramic 35 disposables.
- Move the camera, taking a number of separate, normal-sized pictures, and assemble the frames into a single picture later. This is a technique which can be used on a number of digital cameras - usually requiring the user to move the camera and operate the shutter-release, with software providing a guide to lining up the shots.
- Rotate the camera, making a video recording. Use software to convert the video into a still image.