Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
I journey rather a lot and I like taking panorama pictures in scenic places. They’re a good way to seize the immensity of the Alps, the peacefulness of the Slovenian seashore, or the Toronto skyline from the islands. However every time I take a panorama shot with my Pixel 7 Professional, I discover the outcome disappointing. That is purported to be the most effective digital camera telephones in the marketplace, however it might probably’t sew a few photos collectively to make an honest panorama — how come?
I had ignored this side of the Pixel’s pictures expertise till I went on a visit with a pal who carries an Apple iPhone 14. That’s after I (begrudgingly) seen that their cellphone was taking a lot, significantly better panorama pictures than my Pixel. So what offers? I picked up my outdated iPhone 12 Professional Max to research this often-forgotten side of cellular pictures.
The iPhone captures panoramas with all lenses
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
A little bit of digging revealed that there are two main variations within the panorama-shooting expertise between Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Pixel, and the primary one is clear from the second you launch the mode within the digital camera app.
Google doesn’t give me any management over the pano expertise. I can begin capturing utilizing the cellphone’s essential rear lens and cease — that’s it. Apple, then again, lets me take panoramas with the entire cellphone’s lenses. Since I’m utilizing my iPhone 12 Professional Max for instance, I can shoot panoramas with the principle lens, the ultrawide, and the two.5x telephoto lens. That’s already a serious benefit. The flexibility of zooming or increasing may be very neat and lets me body the shot precisely how I need.
The pictures under present the identical river financial institution shot with these three lenses. The primary lens does the job, however I can think about the ultrawide being very useful for capturing extra majestic landscapes and the zoom being good for metropolis skylines.
iPhone vs Pixel panoramas: A difficulty of decision and element
The second distinction is within the ultimate picture. The Pixel 7 Professional shoots very, very low-resolution panoramas — or at the least it compresses them instantly after snapping them. The largest panos I’ve saved are round 1600 pixels in width, and not more than 5MP in measurement. Ouch. For a sensor that’s able to 50MP and binning all the way down to 12MP, 5MP is so, so meager. That is late ’00s or early ’10s digital camera period.
In consequence, Pixel-shot panoramas are nice if I take a look at them on my cellphone’s display screen, however don’t stand as much as the pinching take a look at. Particulars are inexistent. The primary purpose to make use of the panorama mode, i.e. the flexibility to seize extra in a single photograph with out the trouble of guide stitching, is totally misplaced as a result of I find yourself with fewer particulars and knowledge than if I snapped an ultrawide shot or acquired a number of common pictures and mixed them in Photoshop later.
By comparability, Apple captures and saves panoramas at — or close to — every sensor’s most decision. The ensuing picture is a high-resolution snap with loads of element; many of the panoramas I’ve shot are greater than 20MP and generally even reached 60MP in measurement. The distinction is admittedly night time and day and I can pinch in to disclose rather a lot.
Right here’s one other crop from one other riverbank snap. You’ll be able to see that, in contrast to the Pixel, the iPhone manages to seize lots of element from the buildings and bushes.
The Pixel 7 Professional panoramas get HDR and colours proper
The Pixel nonetheless manages to attain some factors, although — at the least in comparison with my older iPhone 12 Professional Max. Panoramas shot on my Pixel 7 Professional have a greater dynamic vary than these I took on my iPhone.
Apple doesn’t appear to be utilizing any HDR corrections right here: Some areas are overexposed, others underexposed, and panoramas don’t forgive that. You’re already pushing your cellphone’s digital camera by mixing many “mini” scenes of various brightness and publicity, and the iPhone doesn’t do itself any favors by completely eschewing HDR. Nonetheless, I point out this with the caveat that I’m utilizing an older mannequin, so possibly the newer iPhone 13 and 14 have mounted that.
The Pixel additionally wins a number of additional factors for its distinctive 360 photograph sphere mode and the liberty to seize panoramas in any course (i.e. it might probably snap them right-to-left and bottom-to-top, in contrast to the iPhone which solely does left-to-right and top-to-bottom). Plus, personally, I choose Google’s shade science even when it feels a contact over-saturated. I discover Apple’s colours too cool. See for your self.
Pixel 7 Professional vs iPhone panorama: A ‘clear’ winner
Regardless of the Pixel’s higher HDR and colours, I’ve to present Apple the win right here if just for the higher-resolution snaps. You’ll be able to all the time edit and enhance colours, however you may’t add element.
Once I seize panoramas, I do it to get extra into the photograph — extra width or peak, extra element, extra attention-grabbing topics — and be capable to recall that second in time later as if I’m seeing it with my very own eyes once more. My eyes don’t see a blurry mess, they see element, and the Pixel 7 Professional fails to ship that, sadly. The iPhone does. And the choice to change to the ultrawide or zoom lens to border issues otherwise is the cherry on prime.