Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wide but weird?

I’m still without my DSLR, and missing it. Yet I have been experimenting with my android camera phone, and more specifically the update to Camera Advance Lite which is now called ProCapture, and I’m just trying out the free version. Today I saw I nice set of clouds and their refelections and a group of ducks leaving v trails across the reflections. Just begging for a nice wide panoramic image. I knew that ProCapture claims to offer both a wide shot mode, that utomatically links together 3 photos to produce a high resolution wide image. A little more about the High resolution claim later
When you set ProCapture in Wide shot mode (on the upper mode tool) it lets you take three photos (at your own pace). These p[hotos like others taken with ProCapture seemed well exposed (see collage above) then the phone’s screen  blanks and you see the processing and the normal spiraling indicator. this ran so long my phone shutdown the screen and every after refresshing this it took what seemed like a few minutes. The resulting image (see below) it was only a thin strip across the phone but looks out at that sized.
I’d made the classic mistake when hand holding the phone (what else was I to do?) at a title between shots to the panorama assumes an titled horizon. I’ve added the black edge so I could show how much I had to straighten the image by.
Once loaded onto my computer and reviewed at higher resolution I discovered there where some amazing difference between the camera stitched image and the original photos. Where are the duck’s  V traces in the water for example. Has the vertical scale been compressed? why is so much of the foreground missing? This so called high resolution composite image is actually smaller that the individual photos! This lower resolution of the in phone processed panoramics is a disappointment in most places I have found it (eg see my storm panorama post)
To make sure these are not just stitching artifacts I also stitche the original images with Autostitch (lower image below). It looks fine just Like I expected.
Stitched in Camera with ProCaptureStitched using Autostitch later on computer
Clearly it is worth waiting to do an autostitch back on the computer. from the point of view of image quality. I discovered there are other reasons to be careful when using the wide shoot and panorama setting, over and above the length of time required to process the stitching in camera
WARNING: Don’t forget to reset the camera mode back to Normal, otherwise to might find your next three shoots seem to work, only to find the phones disappears in the processing mode and after a long delay announce no match could be found. Fair enough. The bit that isn’t fair is your three photos will be gone!
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