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Originally posted 2021-03-24 02:25:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


6 months with the Nodal Ninja Travel Poles

It’s a cool setup.

For a shoot last year that was cancelled, we got the Nodal Ninja (NN) Travel Poles to prep for it.

Small and Light

Match with a small tripod like and a Upper Pole cap to convert it to a monopod, you only need to bring the upper pole, your ball head and your choice of pano head. I match it with my R1, ballhead camera and lens.

The upper and lower pole is 50cm each.

The lower pole will require the top cap that is an accessory you have to add on to the travel pole purchase.

And yes, you are actually mounting the upper pole section upside down, the original female mounting hole with the 9mm screw that was for the ball head is removed and inserted into the short tripod legs.

If you have the optional bubble mounted for use with both poles, it will now be upside down/ useless. You will also have to remove the 9mm (3/8 inch) male screw to mount this end to the mini tripod. The male screw need to be removed with a allen key. It is provided by Nodal Ninja. Those with muscle memory of using the both poles most of the time will have to be careful that now the knobs turn the other way to extend and retract. Don’t drop your gears.

Upper pole with monopod cap is about 625grams. Our mini tripod is 650grams. The lower pole on it’s own is 443grams.

In this config, the screw on the cap that’s on the lower pole reached 1.7 meters. No, I will not convert it to inches or feet here. Get on the metric system already!

Could be smaller

You can see the poles are taller than the Think Tank Photo Helipak. It has to be stored diagonally in the bag to fit. They could perhaps be broken down further into 3 parts to further reduce the storing length. This however, may reduce the overall strength on the maximum loads.

Dual Pole Configuration

It is much more stable when both poles are used together. It’s more rigid thus less vibration. There is still vibration, keeping some fingers on the pole when in use with the Mecha seemed ok even with 3 shots bracketed.

The best part – Panorama at Height

This is one of the reasons that I got the pole. To do panorama at height. It will be good to have the 10 meters (Nodal Ninja have a 10 meters version) pole but the project fell through so 3 meters travel pole for now. It’s for places where a drone is too high to get the shots we need, indoors at height, no fly zones etc.

When at height, you will need to be able to find a way to trigger your camera.

No Mecha, No Problem

You do not need to have a NN Mecha to use the travel pole. It’s convenient for sure but if you already have NN Rotators, you can easily install the rotator, upside down on the lower pole, add the foot pad and you’re golden for manual panorama.

However, if you planning to do a high number of panorama for a location, the NN Mecha is actually a time saver that allowed me to do more with lesser effort. It may feel like it’s taking longer since it it is automated but I have done over 150 panoramas of a property manually and had abrasion “burns” on my palms after the shoot as I was not allowed to move around the property with the tripod extended. Moving the NN3 manually also took effort. It may not seem much doing 1-3 shots per room but when there is so many rooms, it adds up quickly. There was a lot of packing and unpacking from rooms to rooms to take the shots.


GPS info is useful, for street view, for photos to have GPS info, I simply use a clamp that fits nicely at the bottom of the mini tripod. I used to hold the phone in my bag or on myself, at times i need to move away and it’s just simply a little out. This allow the photos to record as close to the camera as possible.

And so…

The Primary reason to be using the travel pole should be for a smaller nadir and be able to get to height. The system is well though out but we hope

  • Shorter when kept, maybe a 3 section version so a normal sized, any camera bag will be able to hold it.
  • Tool-less conversion when going from single pole to dual pole setup.
  • Tool-less conversion when changing configuration to use manually when using foot pedal in the event for whatever reason, the Mecha fails.


All panorama in this Tour is done with only the Travel Pole.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 18Nov2021-arch-high-tiny-494x247.jpg

Playground | Cross Road

Equipment List


Useless GPS information

We found it out the hard way but hell.

Who was the stupid asshole idiot who thought that having the same GPS information on all the images captured on the Insta360 One R as the first image was a good idea?


6 months on…

Still no camera.

No matter what statistics say. Crowd funding projects are just getting worse.


Google Street View Car

New cameras!

Let’s hope for less stitching errors and higher resolutions.

More info in this article.


comScore: 2017 Cross-Platform Future in Focus

It is no surprise that mobile viewing is increasing/ doubling. Below are the reports from comScore. Click for full image.

Flash is reportedly to be (finally) killed off in year 2020. Source here and here.

We’re encouraging all clients, past, present and future to move to mobile and HTML5 for mobile viewing compatibility. Any past clients are most welcome to contact us for a 1 time discounted rate for converting their Flash or even Quicktime panoramas we have taken for you.

Get in touch with us [email protected]


360 Tripod

Another approach.


More info here.


Nikon can’t make up their mind, a sports cam or a 360 cam

So they made this.



Gopro buys Kolor


View this first

2.5 million gopro sold in Q4 2014. Impressive. We wonder how many mobius or SJCams were sold during that peroid too.



No such problems if developers have pano shots or will they?

Dishonest developers will be dishonest.

No such problems if clients can see online panos as soon as the condo is built and developers have their show room shot.



Sony A7 and the YM180 lens


Read about it here


The One Shot Pano solution – Ricoh Theta


If you have to ask… It’s a handheld, lightweight camera with 2 lens that takes a single shot and stitches the photos on it’s own. You can then transfer the stitched panoramas in 2:1 ratio to your phone or copy it to your computer via the supplied cables. No stitching software needed, one press of the button and you are done. Share it on your own Theta page to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook.

Read about what we have to say here.


We are 7!

7 Years. Wow!

It’s been a great 7 years and it’s the first time we look back at all the panos these passed 7 years. This started out small with tons of trial and error, frustrations and happiness. As the years passed, people has come to know about us and our work both here and overseas. We’ve made a lot of friends and with the rise of social media, even more friends and acquaintances, equipment manufacturers, clients from hotels and museums with some turning into friends after the projects. We’ve also embarked on many personal projects that we are passionate about, private museums, churches.

We’ve met passionate people who love their jobs and it drives up us to do even more pro bono work. Along the way, we won some panorama awards when we tried to preserve some memories through panoramas of the Bukit Timah Railway station in Singapore.

From a blog, adding more technical articles, writeups and reviews. We’ve grown. It continues to be fun when we show people what panoramas can do when photos may fail.


A New Home


We’ve moved to a new home on the Internet.

From 12am midnight, 8 March 2014, GMT+8/ SGT, all links that start with may become invalid. All links are migrated as we move to a new home on the Internet.

360 Pano Hi-Res iDevices Low-Res New Pano News Night Outdoors Parks and Gardens Raffles Place Area

Madoka 180 on a NEX7


We had some great fun. Read about it here.


Backing up – Backblaze and Bitcasa

Update 20 Nov 2013 – This totally suck. Bitcasa just raised their price for new users from $99 a year to USD $999 a year! Yes, that is $999.00

As many know, we’re big fans of Backblaze having written about them and recommending them in the past.

Recently, we’ve moved some backing up tasks to Bitcasa. What’s different is they have no file size limit (Backblaze has a 4Gb per file limit). Both offers unlimited storage. Backblaze is more of a install and forget application, Bitcasa allows you to copies upon copies of files you need plus a “mirror” function of folders that you constantly change. The changes are replicated to them for backing up.


The application does different things (Backblaze pure backup/ Bitcasa cloud storage) in ways but some small scripting will allow me to even backing up my network folders that Backblaze still has not release anything technically or pricing wise.

As one of our most precious asset are our photos, we mirror that folder first and foremost to have Bitcasa act as a backup solution in place of Backblaze.

Pricing wise, USD$5 per machine per month for Backblaze whereas Bitcasa is USD10 per month per account. A single account across all my machines. So if you’re calculating, I have 5 machines including 2 laptops that runs backblaze. Cancelling any 2 accounts will allow me almost the same thing to have a single Bitcasa account that can cover all my PCs/ Laptops.

USB harddirves works as well. Mirroring works on these USB plugged in drives too. USB thumbdrives are automatically detected when plugged in and Bitcasa will asked if you wanna copy EVERYTHING into it’s Bitcasa Cloud.

Our photos being mirrored

Like other cloud storage, Dropbox/ others, it allows you to fully backup your phone’s camera roll as you take your pictures. It also allows you to set that you upload to Bitcasa cloud only on Wifi only or otherwise.

Bitcasa being a 2 year old company, there’s concerns over what will happen to our data should the company fold, get acquitted, merged, bought or otherwise when we have load up everything into Bitcasa’s cloud, It took us 3 weeks to copy almost everything of about 11Tb into Bitcasa. We’re running Singtel’s 100Mbps fiber. It’s quite amazing how it plays back things even when it’s on the cloud. Loading the mp3 from the bitcasa cloud via 4G on my Samsung S4 plays it smoothly when i’m not moving around that is. On the train, it does skips. Loading a full HD 720 movie while at home, it plays smoothly even fast forwarding and all.

We’re running it for a month now and trying to delete and retrieve any lost files. Reading it across iPhones, iPads, Android and across PCs via a web browser and it works great now but we’re still holding off for a while more on cancelling all Backblaze…for now.

Good reads:

360 Pano Bridges iDevices Low-Res New Pano News Night Outdoors Parks and Gardens Raffles Place Area Suntec Area

Bushman Panoramic’s Gobi


Did we find a replacement to our Nodal Ninja gear? Read it here.



Another useless Gigapixel post

yeah yeah, a new Tokyo 150 gigapixel was released last week, we’ve moved on from Prague and Vienna.

Yet another 150 gigapixel Tokyo –

320 gpx London –

70 Budapest –

Paris @ 26 Gigapixel –

Shanghai @ 272 –

Sevilla – 111 –

Machu Picchu 16 –


We don’t think the hype will end anytime soon. Get something gigapixel, slap it on the web then register a domain on it. Done!


Panosarus 2.0 Review


The new 2.0 version of the Panosarus reviewed. Take a look here.


What’s in our bag 4.0


Read it here.

360 Pano Bridges Day HDR Hi-Res iDevices News Outdoors Parks and Gardens Tours or Interactive

Chinese Garden Pagoda Tour



Gigapan EPIC Pro – Another simple look-at


We look at the GigaPan EPIC Pro recently and we wrote about it here.


Acratech Pano Head – a simple look-at

We look at the Acratech Pano Head. Review is here.



The Photography Conmen in China Tourism

Recently my folks visited China. Zhangjiajie to be exact, the place where we can now find Avatar’s Hallelujah Mountains. It’s simply <eyes rolling>, they name everything after anything. One that is a group of 3, oh that’s a mum, a dad and their son mountain (see video below)….These are natural erosion that is quite a sight but these descriptions cheapens the whole place. All in the name of tourism…heck, they copy anything and everything, they have our Singapore iconic Merlion even claiming it is a 1:1 replication!

And being China we expected pirated things that was peddled to my old man. He bought an iPhone 4S that wasn’t an iPhone for SGD $120 but we are not talking about that. They’ve been on quite a lot of trips in China and even Korea.

A photographer cum videographer will tag along during these trips. Normally a local or at least someone from within the country. The Korean was slugging “so Canon camera”. Totally acceptable. Their recent China trip. Not so much. These guys will follow a single tour and will take photos of the travellers with or without permission then sell you the photos at the end of the trip.

A portable printer, a laptop, some blank DVD/ CD and photo paper is all they need.

If you goings earn these old folks money, don’t you think you should have something that can shoot better than my iphone? any iPhone mind you… I present to you the DVD they bought of themselves looking at the sights. Yes the weather was bad but the DVD was worse. Nothing edited. Uploaded as is.

The traveller with the Nikon DSLR must have better shots than any of the above.

I’m not expecting them to be using a 1Dx or a 5Dmk3 but come on. Even the point and shoot my folks had with them can shoot better video and photos.

DVD was SGD $50.00 and photos were SGD $2 each. RMB 200 and 10 respectively.

These comment ought to be called out and forced to upgrade their trade. With more and more people with their own real and proper cameras and falling prices. They have to start worrying please. And provide some real photos and proper videos these poor folks can use to remember the trip for time to come.

However, Zhangjiajie looks like a nice place (weather permitting) to visit but don’t bother getting anything from these con men. The money you spend getting the DVD and photos are better spent getting a entry point and shoot camera.


360 Pano Day Hi-Res iDevices Low-Res Outdoors Tech

Automated Panorama snaps with a Gimbal

The DJI range of gimbals like the Ronin, Ronin SC RS2 etc comes with the panorama function. Is it worth it with traditional pano head makers like the nodal ninja (NN) making the mecha to “automate” the taking of panorama on their existing NN range of pano heads?

I see very few videos on creating a full 360 panorama with a DJI Ronin gimbal as maybe… Panorama creation is one of the specialisation of photography with some specialised tools and software and entry price in this form of photography is somewhat high.

Nodal Point

There isn’t a proper way without a lot of rigging and modification and maybe some metal fabrication to get the camera with lens to the nodal point on the gimbal. I gave up trying and just to see how, out of the box, without spending on cages like those from Smallrig.

Camera used, Sony A7R3 with the Madoka 180 lens.

Balancing it on the gimbal is easy. Check Youtube for DJI official tutorials.

After balancing the camera and lens, you can see how offset it it from all the center points and far off it is from the usual nodal point of the lens. I tried it with a regular setup of the Canon EF 8-15mm, MC11 converter on a Sony camera as well on a SC hoping the SC can fit as this is much more affordable and light…it will not work.


Start the Ronin app > Create > Panorama, set full frame and 8mm in our case.

As you can see below, it’s weird how DJI chose to rotate the Ronin S this way. With the 8mm, it takes 5 zenith shots. Yes, it’s stupid. Then about 20 degrees upwards, 5 shots and lastly, 45 degrees downward, 5 shots. It does not know what is a nadir shot.

Set camera

  • USB Connection – PC Remote
  • PC Remote Settings > to save image to PC and Camera. Our first few panorama was not saved to SD card.


I moved the Ronin on a tripod manually, point it down 45 degree and took one shot for the nadir. The point where the 2 lines meet was where the tripod was when taking the panorama.


Bad…this is bad. It wont be usable for commercially. See all the red dots where I spotted errors.


Turning your NN into a automated 360 panorama taking rig required different parts for different model. For the NN3, you will need 2 x C1-E1 and control unit. For the R1, you simply need 1 x mecha2 and control unit. For new purchase, the ull set of the NN3 with 2 x C1-E1 and control unit is USD $599.00 before shipping. The R1 bundle is USD $350.00 as of writing.

The Ronin SC will most probably cost less than your camera body. The Ronin S is about $780.00 as of writing.

Worth it?

No. Without the possibility of getting the nodal point AND balance the Ronin properly, there is no hope for this setup. You can however, risk it. If you have nothing close to you and need to shoot a panorama, this setup will be of no problem.

What can be done?

For this to work…

  • Out of the box provide counterweights. Yes, there is some now commercially from DJI or other manufacturers
  • A more common plate or converter that can be used to mount an existing panorama head. One can hope.
  • Nodal Ninja/ Fanotec would be easier to get the above done. They are more nimble in coming out with products but may hurt their mecha series.
  • The gimbal may have to grow in size. I hope to have the Ronin SC being modified to keep the price low for using this setup for a high pole panorama shoot without the use of a drone. Some shots are just too low for a drone but too high for a tripod.
  • Top image need not be 5 images. It makes no sense. Ronin App on phone need a “fisheye” function perhaps. and will simply take 1 image for zenith. Then at 90 degree, 3 images or 4 at most then an option to pause while we move the Ronin away for a nadir shot.
5 x zenith image don’t make sense.
  • The motors on the Ronin S can easily handle the weight, I’ve seen people mounting crazy cameras on the Ronin S on youtube. The base plate need to be made longer at the back for camera to be shifted back so as fisheye lens can be met at nodal point like the following badly photoshopped examples. Then some form of counterweight on the front.

Or, in the future, the API would finally be opened up for the Osmo Pocket (1 and 2) series for someone to come up with an app for 360 shooting like Litchi. Who has an app for the good old Osmo back in the day.


Firmware updated was a pain in the ass. DJI need to up their shit. It shows “Refresh” and not “Update”. I wondered how to update for so long till I clicked “Refresh”. This is like back in the old DJI Naza days where documentation was bad and drivers require a Degree in IT to figure out how to install. The Ronin isn’t a new product, this is not acceptable.

Error updating and I can’t be bothered. See this thread…from 2019, if you like to waste time, my post in that thread is here.

Bracketing Panorama

It was not possible with the Ronin. The last 3 images (downward 45 degree) is ALWAYS missed. The Ronin just refuse to trigger the Sony for the last 3 shots. With single shot, it is always fine. When it comes to bracketing, it is always missed, no matter if it was set to +3 EV, 5 images or 9 images. The last 3 images are always not triggerred. Thus the above, when I tried to update the firmware but gave up.


This was one of the many important factors. If the ease of use is much much better, the weight could be tolerated I guess but ideally it should at least weigh within 20-30% range. The Ronin S on it’s own is about 1.8kg, add the camera and lens….the Nodal Ninja 3 is 600+ grams.

The Ronin, Ronin S, Ronin SC2 are available for rental at Camera Rental Centre.