Sofia 35 gigapixels

Panorama from TV tower Kopitoto

 General info
 Location and coverage
 Tech info
 Gallery behind the scene

Panorama from the terrace of the "Kopitoto" TV Tower, which is not publicly accessible. Special thanks to the management and staff of the facility for access, patience and understanding!
The distance to the center of Sofia is 10 km (6 miles), so clear weather and low sun were key to making this quality gigapixel panorama. The photo was taken with the assistance of Canon Bulgaria, which provided the best possible equipment for the purpose: a mirrorless camera Canon EOS R5 and a lens Canon EF 600mm f / 4L IS III USM . The excellent stabilization gave us a chance to take sharp pictures even in outdoor conditions with a lot of wind!

 Click on the photo below to view the panorama from terrace of the TV tower.

  • Mouse scroll or buttons Ctrl/Shift to zoom in/out;
  • Keyboard arrows or mouse drag with left button to move around.

WE RECOMMEND to watch it on a big screen, not on a mobile device!  

 Location and coverage:

 Characteristics of the gigapixel panorama:

Team members: Michael von Aichberger (Germany) and George Palov (Bulgaria)
Camera:  Canon EOS R5
Lens:  Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM
Panoramic robot:  Roundshot VR Drive
Tripod: Benro A4770TN
Photos taken: 1,188 @ 45 megapixels (99 columns x 12 rows)
Size of photo: 409,000 x 85,500 pixels (34.97 gigapixels)
Size of panorama on HDD: 97.7 Gigabytes
Number of tiles of web panorama: 44 859 !
Date taken: 11.09.2021
Time span: 16:22 - 18:15
Height above sea level: around 1,427 m
Angle of view: around 170 degrees horizontally and 30 vertically
Magnification: 60.7 х
Stitched with PtGUI Pro 12.7 and output done by Pano2VR Pro 6.1.13

 Technical and psychological challenges:

  • to stand on the edge of a facility almost motionless for almost 2 hours at 80 m above the ground;
  • to be super focused with hearing and vision to confirm each frame;
  • to choose the right focus point for each frame for all nearly 1200 photos;
  • to provide enough space on the cards for thousands of photos, each of which is 50+ megabytes;
  • to provide uninterrupted power supply for 2 phones, a panoramic robot and a camera;
  • to protect yourself and the equipment against wind gusts;
  • to finish the photos and to have a desire to repeat the exercise immediately in low light and strong wind! (The gigapixel taken with 1200mm from same spot)

Thanks to the heavy tripod, the stabilized lens and sensor of the camera, as well as the stable and precise panoramic robot Roundshot VR Drive, we were able to take this big picture. The camera was controlled by a phone - Live view for focusing and shooting, and for the robot we had two options - either wi-fi connection with the phone for programming and positioning or a radio remote for moving. Full synchronization between all components was a key moment in the project implementation. The panoramic VR Drive robot had no problem moving the large optics and the camera (its load capacity is as much as 20 kilograms!). The movement it provided for our project was between 1 and 3 degrees with accuracy 0.1 degrees. The results of this professional equipment are shown on this website!
We also used custom software to even out the exposure values and colormetric values of all photos in order to create a seamless panoramic photo.

360 degrees panorama (1.4 gigapixels) from the terrace of Kopitoto TV tower: HERE

All materials on this website are provided for presentation purposes only. Images of the galleries or parts thereof may not be republished, reprinted, resold or modified for any use or profit. Using them without written permission from the authors Georgi Palov and Michael von Aichberger will violate the Copyright and Related Rights Act.

  Behind the scene photos: