Monday, August 19, 2013

A Few Random Thoughts about the Fotodiox RhinoCam™

Fotodiox recently reinvigorated their RhinoCam™ campaign with some new videos and a new special price for people who subscribe to their promotional emails.

If you are unfamiliar with the RhinoCam™ concept, it is a rather clever tripod-mounted adapter that sits between a Sony NEX7 camera and a medium format lens (which casts a much larger image circle than a 35mm camera lens). It allows you to slide the NEX7 across that image circle, giving you a number of images that overlap a bit. Those overlapped images can be stitched together in Photoshop (or other stitching program) giving you a much larger image - in effect getting something similar to the output of a much more expensive medium format digital back or camera system.

See their video here:

Firstly, kudos to Fotodiox for their take on the concept. I love the idea of being able to take multiple images across the image circle of a larger format lens.

Now for some random thoughts...
This photo illustrates the biggest design flaw, IMHO. The digital body internals are exposed to the elements when you are composing the image with the focusing screen.

The 2nd thing that I don't like about their design is that, while they made it possible to use with lots of different makers' medium format lenses, they only made it to work with one camera: The Sony NEX7. Now the NEX7 is, by all accounts, a fine camera. But if you don't already own one, the cost of adding one makes this a little bit pricey.

Thirdly, to make this system work with as many different makers' lenses as possible, the system is essentially a 645 system. This makes sense if you want to be able to use 6x6 lenses, like the Hasselblad, or 645 lenses from Pentax, Bronica, or Mamiya. And 6x7 lenses can be used too, but you are still only getting the central 6.24 cm x 4.68 cm (nearly exactly the original film format known as 645 - short for 6 x 4.5). 

Lastly, if you want to take a set of images to make a panorama, the RhinoCam™ apparently wants you to use the camera in HORIZONTAL mode. This is a bit silly since, as any panorama stitcher will tell you, you want the sensor in vertical mode to get the most pixels vertically that you can. You control how may pixels wide by how many vertical shots you stitch together.

Here's a RhinoCam™ Video Walkthrough.

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