Panorama Beta

It’s been a while since I last blogged, I’ve been very busy with a new puppy and a change of work. It’s all go, but the time off has given me chance to use the Arc and a new photography app that’s been released. 

Originally only meant for the X10i, Panorama Beta can be used to take – you guessed it – panoramic photos. I used it briefly on the X10 and was pleased with the results, though it wasn’t long before the wizards at XDA managed to manipulate the app to work on the Arc. Handy hints on how to do this can be found here (be sure and have a good read of post #12)…

Having the app on the Arc makes all the difference, as you get all the decent camera features like Exmor and Bravia incorporated into the photo. Of course, some would argue – and I would join them – that this sort of feature should’ve been on the phone in the first place. It was, after all, a standard feature of the Cybershot series and a very welcome and useful additional feature it was too, much like Best Pic?

If you remember BestPic, it took 9 photos in rapid succession and you picked the best. Panorama on the Cybershot phones only took three photos and you could only go from left to right.

Panorama works as if BestPic and Panorama are combined. You open the app, select which way you want to panorama to go (which is so much more useful than left-right) press ‘play’ and then pan whichever direction you told the app you wanted to move in. Cleverly enough, the phone will only let you move in the direction you’ve told it to move in. The app takes a series of photos (I don’t know how many) and cobbles them althogether to take some very cool photos, letting you pan through up to about 270 degrees.

You do have to be careful moving the phone; if you pivot any faster than a snails pace you can get some banding on photos if you move too fast, but otherwise the results are very pleasing indeed. Check out the shots below;

These were taken at Hard Rock Calling on the evening of June 25th 2011, waiting for and during, Bon Jovi’s performance:

These were taken at Ashton Gate Football Stadium on the evening of June 27th 2011, again during a Bon Jovi performance:

Taken on Berrow beach 02/07/11:

Taken at a wedding 02/07/11 (this didn’t come out so well, but you can still see how effective it is:

The photo below was also taken using Panorama, but treating the app as a wide-angle lens.

It takes photos at a relatively low number of MP – in fact I’d be surprised if it’s anything more than HQ VGA – but the results are still impressive. I had only used the app twice previously before testing it out on the 65,000 strong crowd in Hyde Park and as you can see, the shots above aren’t too shabby at all. 

Kudos to SE for developing this, hopefully the beta testing will go well and the app will be rolled out officially to the Arc, Neo et al


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