Version Reviewed: 3.2 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)
Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
iPhone Integration [rating:4.5/5]
User Interface [rating:4/5]
Re-use / Re-play Value [rating:3.5/5]
What is Pano?
A simple application, Pano for iPhone and iPod touch allows you to create seamless panoramic views (or photos), right on your device - or so Debacle claims. I took the app for a test drive, on the new iPhone 3GS (with auto focus) and here's my experience.
What is a Panoramic View?
"In its most general sense, a panorama is any wide-angle view of a physical space. It has also come to refer to a wide-angle representation of such a view, whether in painting, drawing, photography, film/video, or a three-dimensional model."
Opening the app, you'll be presented with the normal 'camera' view, ready to take a photo. Pano numbers your photos from 1 to 16, with 16 being the limit of photos you can physically take with the application, to create any one pano. Just like you would on the normal camera application, to take a photo with pano you simply hit the camera button bottom center. The app starts you off in portrait mode, and this is especially good if you want to take a panoramic view of say for example, a waterfall.
However, there will be times when you need to switch landscape, to capture that perfect moment. To do this simply hit the 'Cancel' button in the bottom left of the 'camera' screen. From here Pano will throw up two further options; Switch to landscape mode, and Resume shooting. Hitting resume shooting is pretty self-explatatory, and the app will continue to let you shoot your pano in portrait. Tapping 'Switch to Landscape' does just as it says. The app will swicth modes and instead of taking photos in portrait, will allow you to take them in landscape. This is handy if your taking for example, a panoramic view of a sunset, or skyline.
Once your done with creating your pano, simply hit that 'Cancel' button again, and select 'Create my Pano now!'. The app will then stitch your photos together. The pano I took consisted of 6 photos, and took about 20 seconds to process. While the app processes your photo, you'll see a progress bar which states 'Merging'. Every panoramic view created by Pano is automatically saved into your iPhone camera roll, or in the iPod touch's case, your Photo roll. Once you connect your device to your Mac, your pano is then available via iPhoto, for import - and I have to say, the quality is pretty great.
Here's one I took earlier:
As mentioned before, the app can be quite hard to align the photos manually - especially if you haven't got the most of steady hands, like me. But, it does help you along. Taking the first photo with Pano will result in the app switching to the second photo view. When it does this, it also overlays (very faintly) the last piece of photo 01. To a degree, this helps in allowing you to perfectly align your photos, for that seamless look - and I'm sure, if you do have steady hands, you probably will get a perfect panoramic, but so far, I'm yet to create one without noticeable photo overlap.
Overall, what can I say? Pano is a great tool for panoramic shots. Although not perfect, as advertised, Pano's output quality and easy of use shines through. If you're a keen photographer, and want to be able to capture a full scene on the move, Pano is for you.