Someone told me the latest Google Camera app does a much better job of stitching spherical panoramas (or as Google calls them: #Photospheres). I did some testing, but found it is still important to keep the smartphone camera in the same place to improve the quality. It occurred to me that using a stick (a walking stick for example) would make it easier to hold the camera in place. The smartphone’s camera lens still requires about 25 pictures to do a complete sphere, requiring you to turn around 5 times plus straight up/down shots. This only takes about 1-2 minutes though thanks to the fast camera speed on my Galaxy S4. Even more amazing is that it only takes 1-2 minutes for the software to stitch the images into a single panorama.
While Karen was doing some shopping at the Cuadan Waterfront shopping center, I tried out the new app in between the stores. They had recently put in a decorative “roof” of colorful umbrellas in the corridor and set out some tables and chairs. Unfortunately, there was a lot of foot traffic for this test, so the stitching ended up with a few parts of people missing, and a woman with a cast on her arm appears 4 times. But, I was amazed at the quality of the stitching otherwise, and my feet don’t appear either. All this for less than 4 minutes of effort! I will be taking more panoramas this way for sure. Here is the resulting panorama:
After you click on the “PLAY” button, make sure to select the FULLSCREEN option to see the full detail. An interesting thing to note is the detail on the sculpture close by. Are they fish kissing or people?