A Short Course Book
Curtin's Guide to Digital Cameras
And Other Photographic Equipment

Panorama Mode

Click to see how dramatic 360-degree panoramas can be.

Stitch Assist icon.
The three images above have been stitched together into a single panorama (right).
Panoramic photos are much longer in one direction than in the other and can convey a sweeping image of a scene up to 360-degrees around. Using a digital camera there are three ways to achieve this.
  • Some inexpensive cameras just capture a band across the middle of the image sensor, leaving unexposed bands at the top and bottom of the image area. You can achieve the same effect with any image you’ve taken by using a photo-editing program to crop it.
  • You can use any camera to take a series of overlapping images as you pan the camera, and then use panoramic stitching software to assemble the frames into a seamless panoramic image. Since alignment is so important some cameras have a panoramic mode that displays guide lines or part of the previous image in the series so you can accurately align and overlap the next photo.
  • A few cameras make it possible to stitch the images together in the camera and automatically ensure that exposure is the same from frame to frame so the images blend perfectly. These cameras may reduce image sizes to keep the file small enough to manipulate it in the camera.

These photos show how an HP camera guides you when aligning photos for your panorama that is then stitched together in the camera. Courtesy of HP at www.hpshopping.com.
Generally there are three panoramic sequences from which to choose.
  • Horizontal sequence left to right, or right to left, are used to capture panoramic landscapes.
  • Vertical sequence bottom to top, or top to bottom, are like horizontal but capture a panoramic view of a vertical subject such as a tower or waterfall.
  • Clockwise or counterclockwise sequence is used for documents or other square shapes.

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