Photo Gear,  Software

Panorama for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 vs. the Canon 5D Mark iii

One of the new features for photographers in iOS 6 is a built-in panorama mode in the Apple supplied camera app.  The new panorama feature allows iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 owners to take up to 240 degree panoramic photos.  The feature is not available in the iPhone 4 or earlier, or any iPad model.

Of the two photos below, one was taken with the iPhone 5 and processed with Snapseed on the iPad and the other was taken with the 5d Mark iii and processed in Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5.   Can you tell which panorama was done with the iPhone 5?

Hinckley Lake iPhone 5 Panorama
Hinckley Lake 5d Mark iii Panorama
OK, it's pretty easy to tell the difference.  However the iPhone 5 panorama only took, me about 10 minutes to take, process and email the finished photo.  The finished iPhone pano was a 1MB jpeg file.  Conversely, the Canon 5D Mark iii panorama took me much longer to upload, merge with photoshop, crop, straighten and process.  For a quick panorama for travel and nature photographers (or if you don't have a 5D Mark iii with you), the iOS 6 panorama feature doesn't do a bad job. 

The panorama mode in iOS 6 is also easy to use.  Simply:
  • Select the Apple Camera App
  • Click on Options
  • Press Panorama.  
  • Once in Panorama mode, click on the camera icon, and smoothy move the camera from left to right keeping the arrow on the horizontal line.    
  • When you've finished press Done
  • Then press Done again.
  • You need to go to options and reselect Panorama mode after each shot.  The camera defaults back to normal mode after every photo.
  • Slow and steady.  The slower you go the better the image seems to turn out.
  • If you pan the entire 240 degrees, the recording will automatically finish.

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