iPhone 5 Panorama

Here's a link to larger view of this panorama I just took with the iPhone 5. First try and it works pretty darn well. At full size you can see the camera trickery, especially in the center where the image washes out -- but it looks great just a little bit smaller.


    1. here’s one from the 4S i took at the natural history museum here in london http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbtelford/8112253103/in/photostream/lightbox/

  1. Love that beach – recognized it straight away, even though it’s been a decade since I’ve been there. 

  2. The inability of the iphone to set exposure prior to starting the panorama is the biggest weakness of the feature. It sets exposure based on where you start the camera and that’s what you’re stuck with until you hit the ‘done’ button. It can’t adjust exposure while panning, either.

    The latter is an understandable limitation, adjusting settings in the middle of a panorama looks even worse, but it does mean you can’t just sweep the phone across the sky and get a work of art. It takes just as much planning as any other photograph.

    Fixing the alignment glitches is a bit tougher, as humans are notoriously bad at holding their hands completely steady. I predict we’ll see mount conversions for tripods before too long, allowing you to perfectly pan the camera every single time.

    That said, it’s by far the best solution for producing wide shots that I’ve come across. The day that I never again have to stitch a series of photos together will be a good day.. and smartphones gaining this ability gets us one step closer to it.

    1. The inability to set exposure or other settings (such as presets for “sunset”, “night”, etc.) is indeed annoying. But all the phones with panorama functions that I’ve used — Androids like the now “ancient” Galaxy S — have automatic framing guides that pop up during the process. Unless you try really hard to subvert this, the resulting picture has only minimal distortions. (Not by any means looking for fan-boy fight here, but better than the post example.) I rather suspect that “perfect” in-camera pans are not far off.

  3. OMG – you live in my dream home!!  Exactly that home!!  Darn it all!!  Are you sick of brunch at the Scottish place around the corner?  Lucky for you I’ve moved to Los Angeles.  Darn darn it.  

  4. Like any camera, the iPhone camera works best if you’re not shooting into the sun.  Further, there’s lots of software out there to correct for the exposure issue that Xzzy mentioned.  Here’s a recent image I captured at Mono Lake, and then processed and converted in Lightroom 4 and Silver Efex Pro 2.  If you’d like to see it full size, go to http://littleredtent.net/MonoPano/Tufa2.jpg
    Be warned, that’s a really large image, and will take a while to load.
    The one bit of oddness I could find was to the left of the central tufa structures; take a look at the wavelets in the water at the shore.  

      1.  You’re right.  Software won’t correct egregiously overexposed sections of a panorama, even if the image was captured with a Canon 5D Mk XXXVII 800MP Dilithium Crystal-coated sensor. 

        Even if you didn’t get the sun in your shot, you’d still get the reflection off the water. 

        The trick with any camera, whether it’s a Holga, a cell phone, or a Leica, is to find out its limitations and work within them. 

        Try another shot early in the morning just after sunrise, I bet you’ll be more pleased with the results, Jason.  What have you got to lose?

        One of the nicest things about photography is the warmth of the sun on your back at sunrise as you work your composition.

      1. I get beautiful HDR shots on my Galaxy Nexus with an HDR camera app. It can match up the three pictures it takes quite well in software, despite hand movement.

          1. Oh, yeah, panorama, jeez. An HDR panorama would be super tricky. There are cameras which are in development with multiple CCDs so that they can take HDR shots in one exposure, and these might work for HDR panoramic like this.

      2. Each shot would need two exposures (taken automatically & quickly). I think it could be done. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it’s possible. You would need to use something that will warp the pixels in the images together. Like I said, not perfect, but possible.

  5. The most fun with the panorama feature comes from abusing it.  I recently shot a “self-portrait” by pointing the camera at my face and then slowly rotating my whole body in place.  The software sees the background moving by and stitches it together properly while unintentionally creating a hideous fourth-dimensional frankenstein version of my face.  You’ll think of further abuses, I’m sure.

  6. Ahhhh, Muir Beach.  Used to go there every day when I stayed at the Zen Center back in the misty valley.  There was always this naked guy, with a dog that seemed perpetually lost, wandering around in a trance. Great place.  Interesting people.  Wish I could afford it.  

  7. On the iPhone does the image get stitched together as you move your phone around? I have an Android phone and that’s what it does. Seems like the result is nice under the right lighting, like all camera phone pictures. 

  8. I took a few Pano pictures with my iPhone 4s running iOS 6 during a recent vacation and I’m pretty impressed with this feature. http://flic.kr/s/aHsjCzrpQT

    This feature seems to turn the phone’s camera into a slit scanner and uses the phone’s accelerometer to get the rotation and shake data it needs.

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