Continuous Mode and Panoramic Mode
With some digicams you can snap an entire sequence of photos. These images can be used to make short movies for a Web site or an animated GIF. There are several ways digicams allow you to capture a series of photos.
Taking a series of pictures is almost a different kind of photography, in between still photography and movies:
By depressing the shutter, a digital motor drive or burst mode lets you snap picture after picture.
Time-lapse photography is achieved by taking a sequence of photos at designated intervals.
Video recording mode allows you to take low-resolution video in MPEG format.
Most cameras cannot take high-resolution images in video mode. You may be limited to 640×480 or slightly larger, but high-resolution images generally will not be possible. Some cameras offer sound recording. However, if your main purpose is to take video, you should buy a digital video camera.
Still pictures in series can be put together in an animated sequence. There are a number of simple-to-use software programs that can take still images, crop them individually or all together and move different frames one pixel width or height at a time. These mini-movies can play from start to end or in a looping and continuous-play mode.
Panoramic mode enables you to take snapshots that are wider than they are high. Digital cameras frequently include panoramic mode. With a little skill, a 180-degree or even a 360-degree image can be created.
Some digicams simply capture a band across the middle of the image sensor, leaving black (unexposed) bands at the top and bottom of the photo. The preferred method is to create multiple-image panoramas. This is achieved when you take a series of images while slowly turning in a circle. Then the camera uses special panoramic software to “stitch” the images together, forming one 360-degree panorama. Many digicams come with this panoramic stitching software. This software provides a handy tool when you want to shoot three or four photos and stitch them together to form a city skyline or a coastline scene, for instance.
Some software programs for panoramas are quite simple and consist of only three main screens. You can use them to stitch together from two to thirty-six pictures, vertically or horizontally. Such a program combines over-lapping photos to create virtual reality panoramic images up to 360 degrees. The panorama can usually then be output to a graphics file or a movie format such as QuickTime. The QuickTime VR (virtual reality) format allows a person to view the panorama at various angles. It becomes part of a virtual reality movie with which a user can interact by moving the mouse to pan and zoom over the scene.