handheld panorama aids
Canon 350D with Sigma 8mm f3.5 lens and a couple of the aids I use for the handheld taking of equirectangular panoramas. Bruno Postle's excellent panotools wiki on the Philpod pitch variation covers most of the basics of my approach. The equipment I use is not essential and other people get good results without. But I find it very useful in quickly and accurately positioning and aiming the camera, especially in www.flickr.com/photos/simons/512862759/in/set-72157594482... taking these pictures I've changed to see through fishing line for the short, top bit.
2) Pitch-Role Guide: confirms that the camera is held horizontal and tilted at either + or -15°.
The pictures on the right show the cork backed, 1mm aluminium plate which has lugs at the top to grip the camera and at the bottom to restrict the movements of the arm to +/- 15°.
I have an attachment with a spirit level (top left) but usually use the arm as shown. The laser is aimed straight down parallel to the string so that the red dot is a litle bit behind and to the right of whatever the ring is targeted on.
One pushbutton fires the camera and the other activates the laser pointer (the built in switch is disabled).