Second generation HTC Windows Phone (Titan and Radar) owners have a panoramic setting in their camera app to let them stitch together three images to create a wide, panoramic image. But what about other Window Phone models? Enter the Windows Phone app Pano.
Pano was recently released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that will allow you to stitch together up to sixteen images to create a massively huge panorama. Pano has had a decent amount of success over on the iPhone and based on what we've seen, should be just as successful with Windows Phone users as well.
Pano is laid out really simple on screen controls to build the panorama, snap a photo, and change the orientation from landscape to portrait. You can use the hardware button to capture the images but the on screen button may be more convenient.
Once you take the first image, an alignment window is created to the left of the screen. It is a ghost image of the far right of your first picture that you will use to line things up for the next photo. Once lined up, snap your next photo, align things up again and repeat the steps as needed.
When you are through taking the photos, tap the check mark to build the panorama image. Depending on the number of photos being merged, this could take several minutes to process. Once complete, the panorama image is displayed and saved to your Pictures Hub.
In taking Pano out for a test spin, the end results weren't too shabby. Trying to shoot a panorama hand held can be challenging and the best results came when I used a tripod. This doesn't mean you can't shoot panos hand held but need to have a steady hand and avoid shifting forwards or backwards.
You need to concentrate on lining up the vertical lines in the alignment window. With shifts in landscape you may not be able to match things up exactly and I found that Pano made the necessary adjustments with the horizontal alignment. The merging seemed to struggle with curves (such as with the rounded sidewalk in the pond image) but for the most part did a really nice job of it. The blending of images was equally as nice to avoid noticeable stitch lines. Image resolution for the end product is 262 dpi. Naturally, overall size is dependent on how many images are merged together.
It is nice to be able to stitch up to sixteen images and change the orientation to portrait. You can just about shoot a 360 degree pano with Pano. In comparison, the HTC Windows Phones' panoramic feature, that is built into the camera app, is limited to three images.
At times it was tough seeing the alignment window outdoors and it would have been nice to have seen a setting to adjust the transparency. But it's nothing a little shade can't fix. I do like the ability to rotate the camera's perspective from horizontal to portrait. It adds a little flexibility to your panoramic situations. All in all, Pano is a nice photography app for your Windows Phone.
There is a free trial version available with the full version running $2.99. You can find Pano here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.