Microsoft’s latest iOS offering hit the App Store today in the form of Photosynth; a fantastic photography application for taking 360º panoramic photos on your iPhone. It’s a free download, and one of the most impressive panorama applications I’ve tried.
The first thing I noticed about Photosynth is how easy it is to create your panorama. You simply tap the screen to start and then move your device around – up, down, left, right – and the application captures the images automatically, so there’s no need to move your device bit by bit while tapping a button to capture each tile.
When you’ve captured the images you want, simply hit finish and Photosynth will start ‘stitching’ your photos together. At this point you’ll notice how quick the application is. I found I waited a significantly shorter time than I have to with other panorama applications – but this will, of course, depend on how many tiles feature in your panorama.
Once you’ve produced your panorama, you can share the photo with your friends via Facebook, or Microsoft’s Photosynth.net service, but you’ll need a Windows Live ID for that.
I’ve only played around with Photosynth for around half an hour before writing this, but so far the quality of the images it produces seems to be pretty good. I didn’t notice any issues at all with the panoramas I had created. There’s also a setting to help prevent lighting differences in each capture by locking the camera’s exposure control.
There is one downside to take into account, however; when creating your panorama, you need to remember the bits of your image you’ve already captured, as the application seems to only show you your previous tile. It’s easy to miss bits out or make overlaps if you’re not just moving your device from left to right.
I certainly recommend Photosynth to anyone who enjoys creating panoramic photos. It’s got some really great features and beats some of App Store’s finest panorama apps, such as creating interactive 360º panoramas, and including Bing map data to show where your shots were taken. You can’t ask for more from a free application!