When it comes to shooting panoramic images (that is, shooting a series of overlapping images that are later stitched by special software into a single panoramic image) you can usually fare pretty well simply by holding the camera in your hand (for tips on shooting panoramic images, check out pages 251-260 of the Second Edition of Complete Digital Photography, or pages 262-266 of the Third Edition). For best results, though, you’ll want to use a special panoramic tripod mount. A panoramic mount will ensure that your camera rotates around its nodal point for more accurate overlap, and straighter edges. Note that if you’re trying to shoot full 360° VR panoramas, a panoramic mount is absolutely essential.
Kaidan is the premiere supplier of panoramic tripod mounts. In addition to mounts, they offer turntables for shooting VR Objects, as well as the unique 360One mount, which lets you shoot a full 360° panorama with a single shot (check out our full review of the 360One for more details).
Other quality manufacturers include: