A tale of 2 panoramic renderings

Recently I wanted to take a panorama of a room to show off the StarWars bits contained therein. At my disposal was a Galaxy S4 and the might of a Canon 50D, EF-S 18-55mm f/2.8 IS + Lightroom 5.x and Photoshop v5.1.

Which of these 2 systems was able to create a more pleasing pano ? Well you might be surprised.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Panorama


(click for web view embiggened)

Firstly the S4 was a breeze, like many smart phones – just turn on the pano feature and slowly move the phone across the scene, keeping the little square in the slot and avoiding “slow down” warnings along the way. The Galaxy S4’s camera is fixed at f/2.2.

Final pixel size: 7,145 x 2,239

Canon EOS 50D with Lightroom + Photoshop


Next I took 12 overlapping fixed focus, fixed aperture, fixed exposure shots at ISO 1250, f/3.5, zoom 17mm and exposure 1/160sec. I colour balanced, pulled detail back into blown out highlights, increased clarity, vibrance and saturation, noise reduction and a bit of sharpening – all this in Lightroom and all applied equally to all 12 photos. Next I selected them all and Opened as Panorama in Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop automatically layered them, matched them and rendered a wobbly edged pano which I cropped as the best rectangle I could. Then I saved as a JPG. Phew that was a lot of effort compared to using my mobile.

Final Pixel Size: 7,439 x 2,150

So you would expect the might of all of that software paired with a modern-ish dSLR would massively outperform a several years old mobile right? Well I don’t think it did.

I wonder if say a Galaxy S7 versus a Canon 5D mkIII 24-70mm f/2.8 would be just as close ?

The S7’s camera is a huge improvement over the S4, and the 5DIII is a couple of orders of magnitude better than a 50D, and Lightroom CC can do panoramas natively now. Would be interesting to know if they are still neck and neck.

A tale of 2 panoramic renderings

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