In-Camera Panoramas: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I get a kick out of creating landscape panoramas. When trying to photograph a beautiful vista, panoramas come closer to what I'm actually feeling while standing there.

Many cameras these days will handle the alignment and stitching for you. Some do better than others. I recently tested the Olympus TG-1 compact "tough" camera in Maui. While doing so, I tried its auto panorama scene mode. Here are the results.

Good Panorama Good Panorama

The camera performed well when I did this three-frame pano of the Maui rainforest. There are most likely flaws in the shot. But the forest hides them pretty well. This one I could show to friends.

The Bad Bad Panorama

Things got worse, however, when I tried to shoot ocean scenes with big skies. In this shot, the alignment is off, and you can see the seams in the sky where the 3 frames are adjoined.

The Ugly The Ugly.

But wait! Things can get worse. In this attempt just about everything that could go wrong, did.

Moral of the story. Handheld panoramas captured in auto stitching mode are a total crap shoot. Technology can make up for some of my laziness. But sometimes I just have to break out the tripod and shoot things the old fashioned way.

I have to admit though, these were fun to make.

You can find more photo tips and "photography how tos" on my Pinterest page.


You should try the Sony cameras for the panorama mode. They've had them in many of their cameras for awhile and I'm oftensuprised at how well they do.

I totally agree. When I first tested the NEX series, I was very impressed with the in-camera panoramas. They seem to have figured that out.

Crapshoot - yes you're right. Same goes with a lot of the standalone panorama software out there. Up until last year, I still wound up hand stitching most things. Now there are a couple of programs out there that actually perform to my satisfaction.