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Digital camera level -- new gadget

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  • panovrx
    I noticed in my local camera store this new gadget --- a digital camera level -- and it seems to be plenty handy and accurate, but too pricey for a casual
    Message 1 of 10 , May 29, 2009
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      I noticed in my local camera store this new gadget --- a digital camera level -- and it seems to be plenty handy and accurate, but too pricey for a casual purchase.
      http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod4079.htm
      There are 5 leds -- four red ones for off-level -- two either side, and a green one in the middle for level. It only levels one axis so you would need two for normal levelling. One obvious use is for levelling pole panoramas, so you could look up and see quickly if the camera is level. You could easily mount them so you could see the leds from below.

      Peter M
    • Philipp B. Koch
      ... Hhm, why not simply use an analog one like I do? For example one of these: *http://tinyurl.com/n2xsgf. Costs only a fraction of the digital one and allows
      Message 2 of 10 , May 30, 2009
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        panovrx schrieb:
        > I noticed in my local camera store this new gadget --- a digital camera level -- and it seems to be plenty handy and accurate, but too pricey for a casual purchase.
        > http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod4079.htm
        > There are 5 leds -- four red ones for off-level -- two either side, and a green one in the middle for level. It only levels one axis so you would need two for normal levelling. One obvious use is for levelling pole panoramas, so you could look up and see quickly if the camera is level. You could easily mount them so you could see the leds from below.
        >
        > Peter M
        Hhm, why not simply use an analog one like I do? For example one of
        these: *http://tinyurl.com/n2xsgf. Costs only a fraction of the digital
        one and allows you to level more than axis at the same time.

        Best regards, Philipp
        *
      • panovrx
        ... Yes there are all sorts of analog levels all of which are useful for different things. There is the Manfrotto one for instance that is cheap and clamps to
        Message 3 of 10 , May 30, 2009
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          --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "Philipp B. Koch" <pk@...> wrote:
          >
          > panovrx schrieb:
          > > I noticed in my local camera store this new gadget --- a digital camera level -- and it seems to be plenty handy and accurate, but too pricey for a casual purchase.
          > > http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod4079.htm
          > > There are 5 leds -- four red ones for off-level -- two either side, and a green one in the middle for level. It only levels one axis so you would need two for normal levelling. One obvious use is for levelling pole panoramas, so you could look up and see quickly if the camera is level. You could easily mount them so you could see the leds from below.
          > >
          > > Peter M
          > Hhm, why not simply use an analog one like I do? For example one of
          > these: *http://tinyurl.com/n2xsgf. Costs only a fraction of the digital
          > one and allows you to level more than axis at the same time.
          >
          > Best regards, Philipp
          > *
          >

          Yes there are all sorts of analog levels all of which are useful for different things. There is the Manfrotto one for instance that is cheap and clamps to any pole, which is good for eyelevel pole levelling. But sometimes you cant see them -- where you could see a colorcoded diode readout. From further away,eg. -- and without having to try to be sure of looking at a bubble directly on.

          One use eg. for this digital one is when you are actually looking through the viewfinder
          Because it can sit in the accessory shoe directly above the eyepiece you have level information in your (peripheral) field of view while using the viewfinder.

          Peter M
        • Roger D. Williams
          ... I agree that a highly (and remotely) visible LED display could be a real help in getting the camera level when it is well out of reach. For a camera that
          Message 4 of 10 , May 30, 2009
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            On Sat, 30 May 2009 20:34:25 +0900, panovrx <panovrx@...> wrote:


            > Yes there are all sorts of analog levels all of which are useful for
            > different things. There is the Manfrotto one for instance that is cheap
            > and clamps to any pole, which is good for eyelevel pole levelling. But
            > sometimes you cant see them -- where you could see a colorcoded diode
            > readout. From further away,eg. -- and without having to try to be sure
            > of looking at a bubble directly on.
            >
            > One use eg. for this digital one is when you are actually looking
            > through the viewfinder
            > Because it can sit in the accessory shoe directly above the eyepiece you
            > have level information in your (peripheral) field of view while using
            > the viewfinder.

            I agree that a highly (and remotely) visible LED display could be a real
            help in getting the camera level when it is well out of reach.

            For a camera that is held up to the eye, I have a neat little device
            produced by Cosina for use with their wide-angle lenses. I ran into
            big problems leveling a Cosina camera with a 21mm lens, which was
            a big deal for me at the time. The viewfinder on my rangefinder
            Cosina produces a very distorted image (fortunately the lens itself
            doesn't) but this discrepancy between the actual image and the
            viewfinder image makes it difficult to level the camera by looking
            through the viewfinder. The device has a bubble in the horizontal
            plane seen in a mirror that erects the image close enough to the
            viewfinder image that you can see it out of the corner of your eye.
            Since the bubble is horizontal it tells you when the camera and
            lens are truly in the horizontal plane, and after a little while it
            becomes second nature to keep the bubble central while framing the
            image.

            It doesn't work as well with an SLR or DSLR taking panoramas, as it
            is limited to the landscape orientation. But it was just fine when
            I was shooting cylindrical panoramas on film... But then you don't
            NEED as much help with a camera that shows you more or less
            exactly what you are taking.

            It wasn't a cheap device, but it was a lifesaver for me. I have no
            use for it now... I use a bubble level Velcro'd to my monopod that
            slides up and down to stay at eye level as the camera height
            varies.

            Roger

            --
            Work: www.adex-japan.com
          • RobLee
            I bought hot shoe levels on ebay for $5 including shipping ... From: Philipp B. Koch Subject: Re: [PanoToolsNG] Digital camera level --
            Message 5 of 10 , May 31, 2009
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              I bought hot shoe levels on ebay for $5 including shipping

              --- On Sat, 5/30/09, Philipp B. Koch <pk@...> wrote:

              From: Philipp B. Koch <pk@...>
              Subject: Re: [PanoToolsNG] Digital camera level -- new gadget
              To: PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Saturday, May 30, 2009, 6:23 AM

              panovrx schrieb:
              > I noticed in my local camera store this new gadget --- a  digital camera level -- and it seems to be plenty handy and accurate, but too pricey for a casual purchase.
              > http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod4079.htm
              > There are 5 leds -- four red ones for off-level -- two either side, and a green one in the middle for level. It only levels one axis so you would need two for normal levelling. One obvious use is for levelling pole panoramas, so you could look up and see quickly if the camera is level. You could easily mount them so you could see the leds from below.
              >
              > Peter M
              Hhm, why not simply use an analog one like I do? For example one of
              these: *http://tinyurl.com/n2xsgf. Costs only a fraction of the digital
              one and allows you to level more than axis at the same time.

              Best regards, Philipp
              *


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              --








              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Ken Warner
              I bought one on eBay also. It s cheap but I don t think it s completely accurate. I compared what it said was level to a more expensive hardware store bought
              Message 6 of 10 , May 31, 2009
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                I bought one on eBay also. It's cheap but I don't
                think it's completely accurate.

                I compared what it said was level to a
                more expensive hardware store bought level and there
                was a difference. I suspect the cheaper one is less
                accurate.

                RobLee wrote:
                > I bought hot shoe levels on ebay for $5 including shipping
                >
                > --- On Sat, 5/30/09, Philipp B. Koch <pk@...> wrote:
                >
                > From: Philipp B. Koch <pk@...>
                > Subject: Re: [PanoToolsNG] Digital camera level -- new gadget
                > To: PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Saturday, May 30, 2009, 6:23 AM
                >
                > panovrx schrieb:
                >
                >>I noticed in my local camera store this new gadget --- a digital camera level -- and it seems to be plenty handy and accurate, but too pricey for a casual purchase.
                >>http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod4079.htm
                >>There are 5 leds -- four red ones for off-level -- two either side, and a green one in the middle for level. It only levels one axis so you would need two for normal levelling. One obvious use is for levelling pole panoramas, so you could look up and see quickly if the camera is level. You could easily mount them so you could see the leds from below.
                >>
                >>Peter M
                >
                > Hhm, why not simply use an analog one like I do? For example one of
                > these: *http://tinyurl.com/n2xsgf. Costs only a fraction of the digital
                > one and allows you to level more than axis at the same time.
                >
                > Best regards, Philipp
                > *
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
              • Uri Cogan
                ... Yes. I too bought a cheap transparent cube level that turned out to be useless.
                Message 7 of 10 , May 31, 2009
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                  Ken Warner wrote:

                  > I bought one on eBay also. It's cheap but I don't
                  > think it's completely accurate.
                  >
                  > I compared what it said was level to a
                  > more expensive hardware store bought level and there
                  > was a difference. I suspect the cheaper one is less
                  > accurate.

                  Yes. I too bought a cheap transparent "cube" level that turned out to be
                  useless.
                • crane@ukonline.co.uk
                  ... I m not completely clued up on this but I think new iphone will have gps tied to photos. so gps exif can be automagically applied to proper camera photos
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 1, 2009
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                    Quoting Jeffrey Martin <360cities@...>:

                    > or you can use one of the iphone apps that can make your phone into a
                    > digital level :)

                    I'm not completely clued up on this but I think new iphone will have gps tied to
                    photos. so gps exif can be automagically applied to "proper" camera photos by
                    comparing time stamp.


                    regards

                    mick

                    ----------------------------------------------
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                  • Jeffrey Martin
                    or you can use one of the iphone apps that can make your phone into a digital level :) [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jun 1, 2009
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                      or you can use one of the iphone apps that can make your phone into a
                      digital level :)


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • panovrx
                      ... I ve bought a couple of these now. Tip 1: dont lose the instruction sheet. Tip 2: if the zero calibration isnt working -- change the batteries. It is
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jun 2, 2009
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                        --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "panovrx" <panovrx@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I noticed in my local camera store this new gadget --- a digital camera level -- and it seems to be plenty handy and accurate, but too pricey for a casual purchase.
                        > http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod4079.htm
                        > There are 5 leds -- four red ones for off-level -- two either side, and a green one in the middle for level. It only levels one axis so you would need two for normal levelling. One obvious use is for levelling pole panoramas, so you could look up and see quickly if the camera is level. You could easily mount them so you could see the leds from below.
                        >
                        > Peter M
                        >

                        I've bought a couple of these now. Tip 1: dont lose the instruction sheet. Tip 2: if the zero calibration isnt working -- change the batteries.

                        It is possible to change the sensitivity on them from high to low. High sensitivity is very high. If the camera is at eye level on a monopod say, and the level is set to high sensitivity, then the range of horizontal motion on the monopod top where the level still shows green is approximately one cm. So this is good enough accuracy with two sensors at right angles (tilt and roll) for most monopod shot panoramas I think.

                        I will make a clamp so I can mount two on my monopod a little below eyelevel. The big advantages over analog levels are you can see them in the dark, you dont have to be standing over them, so you can avoid some shadow issues with monopod-shot panoramas, and mostly they would be more accurate than analog levels.

                        Peter M
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