Best Apps for Panoramic Photos for the iPhone

Sometimes a single photo is not enough to capture the impact of a vista or the scale of an object.  This is when panoramic photography comes in to its own and there are some great apps available that make it so easy.  Here’s my assessment of five of the most popular ones:

DMD iTunes link – £1.49 / $1.99

This is a nice app and easy to use.  You simply start at one end of your panorama and it displays two symbols (yin yang) that join together when you are at a new location in the image.. it then automatically takes the photo.  I didn’t like that you couldn’t increase the vertical range of the image (i.e. horizontal sweep only) – but the image it takes looks great and I doubt there is much of a need to move beyond the horizontal view for most panoramas – e.g. landscapes. 9/10

AutoStitch iTunes link – £1.49 / $1.99

This is one of the orginal panorama apps for the iPhone.  It used to work by stitching together photos in your camera library but it now allows you to go ahead and take all of the photos you want from within the app.  The way it works is not as intuitive as the others in this group.  You simply take a bunch of photos (in any order) and when you are done it combines them into a panorama.  You don’t get much guidance on screen in terms of what you have taken or not and so you are guessing a bit.  In the end, the stitching algorithm is very good and the image it produces looks fine but I would avoid this app if you want simple and easy.  6/10

360 iTunes link – £0.69 / $0.99

This is a fantastic app.  It is simple, easy and very clever.  You simply start the process and move your phone around (like you are taking a video).  The images are simply added as you go.  The only downside to this method is that you have to be very steady when you taking these in lower light conditions as the app is more susceptible to camera shake than some of the others it seems.  In fact, if you like at the image above – you can see this issue in practice. 9/10

PanoiTunes link – £1.49 / $1.99

I didn’t like this app at all – despite quite a few favourable reviews on other sites.  It works by providing a transparent section of the previous image overlayed onto your camera – you then line up the two images and take the photo.  It is a terrible and very low tech solution in my opinion.  2/10

PhotosynthiTunes link – Free

This app is from Microsoft and is an excellent choice.  It works in a similar way to 360.  You just start the process and move the camera around your view to capture your panorama.  The improvement it has over 360 is that it will only take an image when it detects an area not yet recorded (although you can force a retake).  This approach means it is much better for those with a shaky hand or in low light situations.  10/10


DMD is an excellent panoramic photo app and produces very clear images – my main gripe is that it is limited in terms of vertical range, but for landscapes and similar shots this would be unnecessary anyway.  Therefore, both 360 and Photosynth are the clear winners in this category.  Their interfaces are similar and are both very inituitive.  I probably prefer Photosynth ever so slightly more than 360 due to the issues with camera stability and on price; but they are both excellent choices.

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