Pano for iPhone—a review

| Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Pano for iPhone by Debacle Software lets you make panoramic photos with your iPhone camera. It requires iOS 3.1 or later and is iOS 4.x compatible. Pano works with iPhone 4 and iPhone 3Gs. I haven’t tested it on the iPhone 3G, but I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work. It’s a solid app and available for $1.99 on the App Store.

Pano works just the way you would expect it to work, if you have used other panoramic software before. You take a set of pictures, which will be stitched together at the end of the process. Pano lets you take up to 16 pictures, although I only tried it with 11 myself. When you start the App it takes over your camera and you can begin taking the first picture right away. There’s no setup required. The only thing you have to choose is the orientation that you want to take pictures in — landscape or portrait.

After you take your first picture, Pano shows you an overlay of the previous shot at the side of the screen. You should try matching that with the next picture you take, in order for Pano to be able to stitch it up smoothly afterwards. The matching is a little tricky, since the iphone is quite small and doesn’t have a camera friendly shape. However, Pano does a great job smoothing out your mistakes in the end.

When you are done taking all your pictures you send Pano off to do its magic. It’ll merge all the shots taken into one panoramic photo:

For Pano, stitching photos together is a three-step process. First, it uses pattern-matching techniques to find out exactly how each pair of adjacent photos overlaps, and then it finds the best way to align them. Second, Pano applies a colour-correction gradient across each pair of photos to correct for the iPhone camera’s autoexposure and white balancing. Finally, all the photos are blended together and the image is cropped to a neat rectangle. Voilà! All in a matter of seconds.

The photos that Pano creates are quite stunning. You can see that Debacle put a lot of effort into creating a great App. It supports mulitasking, which comes in handy, when you are interrupted in the middle of taking your panoramic pictures or having them merged. The user interface is easy to use and looks awesome.

If you are in need of a panoramic photo App, Pano for iPhone definitely is what you are looking for. The price is reasonable, considering that you get an amazing app, which does exactly what it promises.

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