Creating Panoramic Photos With Your iPhone

Posted on Oct 22, 2008

One of the main reasons I use my iPhone is to take quick photos. Even though the 2 megapixel camera isn’t the highest quality, it’s the convenience and added iPhone functionality (eg. emailing) and the applications that I enjoy. One of my new favorite apps is Pano by Debacle Software (download from iTunes), which lets you take seamless panoramic photos through the iPhone’s native camera.

Pano is extremely easy to use. Launch the app, then take a photo of what you want as the panorama’s farthest left frame. You’ll take four shots total to make the panorama. Each time you take a photo, you can confirm if you want to use it or retake. After confirming the shot, the screen displays a translucent ghosted image of the previous right edge so it’s easy to match the image to take your next shot. Once you’ve taken four shots, the images are merged and the panorama placed into your phone’s photo roll.

Here are a couple of quick examples that I took. The images are sized down to 550 wide to fit here, but are originally 2686 pixels wide.

Street view at Stockton and Market, San Francisco:
pano-stockton

Night view of San Francisco:
pano-night

Abstracted view of my desk:
pano-desk

You can see more panorama examples on the Pano website, or in the new Flickr group for iPhone pano photos.

As someone that’s made panoramic photos manually or using desktop software since art school, using Pano was a pleasure and a nice reminder that at its best, technology makes our lives easier and more fun. I’ve got a new yet another hobby now.

I was also impressed by the personal customer service I received from Eric Akaoka, one of the founders. He saw my tweet while checking Twitter search and let me know that I just needed to restart my phone. I wish all customer service was this direct and helpful!

You can purchase Pano ($2.99) at the iTunes app store. It works with either the 1st gen iPhone or 3G. Two other panorama applications I haven’t tried yet are Panorama ($10), and PanoLab (free).

8 Comments

  1. Joe Lazarus
    October 22, 2008

    There’s a similar app called PanoLab which is also quite fun (and free)…

    Personally, I like when the photos don’t line up seamlessly.  PanoLab gives them more of a Hockney / collage effect.  There’s also a Flickr group for PanoLab

  2. Scott Mackenzie
    October 23, 2008

    Pano is the bomb. I’ve had it no more than 10minutes and I’m in love.

  3. Duo
    October 25, 2008

    Nice thanks, will give it a try.

  4. Justine
    October 30, 2008

    Oh nice!! Love your photos. Pano is seriously so addicting :)

  5. Andy Piper
    November 15, 2008

    While the Iphone camera is marginal at best, I am going to get this program mostly for the fun and artistic value.  I especially like your abstracted view of desk.  Thanks for the tip.

  6. Matt Shaer
    November 24, 2008

    Cool! If anyone’s got some particularly good photos (iPhone only, please), I’m putting together a gallery at http://iphoneart.tumblr.com/ and would welcome submissions. Info on the left rail.

  7. Pheak T
    December 8, 2008

    I’m actually trying to get this app right now, was searching for more info on this before adding it to my list of iphone apps. thanks for the post

  8. Shruti
    March 8, 2009

    Hi, found your website whilst looking for more details on Pano, looks like a great little app. I’m impressed with the results you’ve achieved with it, especially like the street scene, going to have to give it a go myself.