I have two panorama photo apps on my iPhone so the other day I decided to test them with a couple of views each taken on both apps. The apps in question are Photosynth, a free app from Microsoft, and DMD Panorama produced by Dermandar. £1.49 at the time of writing though the price does drop to free from time to time. Both are available for download in the iTunes app store. Both apps automatically take the series of shots and stitch the result automatically with no opportunity for the photographer to have any say in what is going on.
These panoramas are exactly as produced by the apps on my iPhone4.
First view taken at the end of my lane where the track peters out to arable fields.
The second view is across the field from the lane which is about two feet below the level of the field:
The first thing which stands out is the difficulty I had keeping the phone level for each shot with DMD Panorama. This results in an uneven horizon which should have been virtually flat in both views. The reason for this is the way each app is presented on screen while taking the panorama.
Photosynth shows what has been taken in a white rectangle and the latest view in a green rectangle. The idea is to keep the rectangles level with each other. As you move round the white rectangle moves and when the green dot meets the edge of the white rectangle the next photo is taken. I find it easy to concentrate on the rectangles and keep them reasonable well lined up. Also they are easy to see in bright conditions.
By contrast DMP Panorama shows only the present full view. Near the top of the screen are Yin and Yang symbols. These move together as you rotate the phone and the next photo is taken when they meet up. The problem I found was they were very hard to see against a bright sky and concentrating on those it was hard to keep the phone level with the resulting uneven horizon. There are text warning on screen about keeping the phone vertical but they are hard to read in bright light and I found them distracting.
From the point of view of ease of use I found Photosynth better - but - it did make a mess on stitching the sky on the second panorama view. This could be easily 'fixed' with a bit of Photoshopping but it would have been nice if the app had done a better job here. All in all though there is little to grumble about with Photosynth considering it is always a free app.
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