AutoStitch Panorama vs. Pano – iPhone Panorama Apps Review

A previous post about the You Gotta See This! app – I went looking to see what other types of panorama apps there are out there. I had bought one several months ago called Pano – but the favorite it seems, as far as I can tell from posts I was finding online, is another one called AutoStitch Panorama.

I was impressed with a few of the AutoStitch Panorama features – namely the fact that you can just take as many photos as you want, using the regular iPhone camera. You don’t have to take them in any particular order – just shoot away (but try to get a 30% overlap). And you can crop the photo yourself at the end.

However, despite the rave reviews the app was getting – I was not impressed with it’s stitching results. I tried several times to be as careful as possible about the photos I was taking, making sure the phone was the one rotating, not me – making sure the photos were well in focus, angles were consistent, etc. – and yet in just about every panorama I took, there were way too many “bad overlaps” and a lot of ghosting for my satisfaction. This was especially noticeable if there was a definitive structure line in the picture (like a post etc.)

However, the application I had bought those many months ago – still created the best looking panoramas. But where Pano fails, is what I liked about AutoStitch; with Pano, you do have to take the pictures in a particular order, and in fact, you have to take it in a particular direction too – left to right (I can’t find anywhere a way to change this). Also – you’re restricted to taking the pictures going in one straight line, if you want to add more “height” to the panorama, you can’t. But in the end – the panorama you get, is very clean – with minimal oddities in the overlap. When you’re taking the pictures – it shows you a shadow of the edge of the late photo you took, so you can be sure to get the right amount of overlap and help line things up. (However, this isn’t very useful if the scenery is somewhat repetitive) :)

But the proof is in the pictures. Take a look below. Same scene – two different Panorama apps:

First by AutoStitch Panorama:

(right click – and open link in new window or tab to see the closeup. The “lightbox” thing doesn’t do so well with how wide these are…)

Might be easier to see the details on VR rotator (You’ll be able to zoom in/out in the VR rotator thing)

Second by Pano:

(right click – and open link in new window or tab to see the closeup.)

And again the VR rotator.

I think the difference is really clear. You can see I was able to get more height on AutoStitch, but the ghosting was ugly. Pano’s panorama was beautiful – but limited.

Again, this is why I think that there is in fact room for one more panorama app despite You Gotta See This!‘s claim that “there are already plenty of panorama apps.” I think making use of the gyroscope in the phone is an excellent way to improve on what’s already been done. (And actually on a slight tangent – with the gyroscope in the phone; WHY oh WHY!???! is there no “stabilizer” in the iPhone camera? In this day and age – all digital cameras have stabilizers so that you don’t have to hold your breath and hand very very still so you don’t shake the camera. And yet the iPhone camera lacks a stabilizer. Really?? I hope we don’t have to wait as long as we did for “copy/cut/paste” to get camera stabilization. Seems to me, with the gyroscope in there, it should just be a matter of software. What good is that great camera on the iPhone if every photo I take is blurry???) =steps off soapbox=

AutoStitch Panorama: $2.99*

Pano: $2.99*

*price at time of this writing.

Updated to Add: I just recently made another panorama using Pano – I still think this app does a much better job than AutoStitch – but just to prove it’s not totally perfect -you’ll see in this most recent one – a small oddity to the right of the picture where the trees and grass are duplicated. It didn’t get the overlap perfect at the end there – but still pretty good. Also – This time I used the app in portrait mode, rather than landscape to get as much height as I could. It’s a smaller area (only about 90degrees rotation). Here it is.

1 Comment

  1. motled
    Oct 21, 2010

    Just planning to get an iphone (limited myself to my work BlackBerry for years) and am surrounded by iphone and droid users. Was making a list of apps to get for my planned iphone purchase and wasn’t sure about pano vs. autostitch. I really appreciate the review. I’m a systems engineering manager and I’m impressed with your detail and introspection with the apps. Very helpful review. Thank you much! :)

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