Tips on Taking Panoramic Photos With the iPhone 5

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September 26, 2012

iphone 5 panorama

One of the new offerings of the sixth generation Apple iPhone presented this September 12 is the Panorama feature for the iSight camera. And while it is true that nothing much has changed in terms of the camera (it still is only 8 megapixels for the rear though the front camera was changed from VGA to 1.2 megapixels cam), the special feature of panoramic photos on iPhone 5 made people want to sell used iPhone all the more.

Technically speaking though, panoramic photography isn’t something new on smartphones. Last year, Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc made great waves for Android users for putting in a 3D Sweep Panorama and Sweep Panorama feature on their 8.1 megapixel Exmor R camera. Several Windows based phones also have panoramic camera features including some HTC smartphones as well as a couple of the Nokia Lumia phones. With the amount of smartphones becoming more camera-focused than ever, Apple has finally realized they should be putting in something fresh by now so that people won’t sell iPhone for other brands. But the panoramic photos feature on iPhone5 will surely compete with similar features on the Nokia Lumia phones.

Actually, panoramic photographs are not so simple to do using a real camera. Creating wide views on your cam seems easy but creating a 360 degree photo out of multiple photos takes sharp photography skills, mad passion for detail and very steady hands to do the trick neatly. The photos also need to be edited on a photo manipulation software to stitch them together. Apparently, technology has made that easier for even the normal electronics consumer. But to perfect a picturesque panoramic shot, it would still be best to follow these simple tips on shooting panoramic photos with iPhone 5.

Tip # 1 Hold your iPhone upright. While a lot of smartphone users think that panoramic shots should be taken with the camera position horizontally, it actually isn’t the right way to take panoramic pictures. So people from Apple knew exactly what they were doing when they designed the panorama camera feature as a ‘portrait’ or upright position rather than horizontal. Pictures tend to look wider on the horizontal position making it look unnatural whereas the most ideal are tall photos so you can get a maximum view of the landscape and also make it easier for the phone to stitch your photos.

Tip # 2 Do not use your iPhone’s LED flash. If you want really good photos under ‘dark’ circumstances then you should sell your iPhone and just get a digital SLR. Because unless you are in pitch black darkness, you shouldn’t open your iPhone’s flash for panorama photos especially outdoors. The goal of panorama pictures is to showcase the beauty of an entirety rather than glimpses of it. Part of that beauty comes from natural lighting, something that you should always aim for when taking any kinds of pictures.

Tip # 3 Do it again and go full circle. Steady the camera and twist your body not just your hands because your hands are likely to be wobbly and if you drop it you’ll have to find someone who’ll buy broken iPhones. Hold your iPhone in front of you with squared shoulders then go from left to right. Take another photo so that if you don’t like the first, you can always combine two panoramas by editing them. Just make sure that in editing and cutting the photos you overlap them by 30 to 50 percent. Also, stand on a fixed point and turn in a circle! It’ll make your photo wider and you’ll see a 360 degree picture!

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  • Great article! The iPhone 5’s Panorama is really for keeps! I love it!

  • Jo

    “panorama with LED on” for indoor group photos will still be handy and popular if the option becomes available.