The guide to panoramic photography
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Updated on December 12, 2019

Panorama software

Panoramic photography and stitching pieces of software are now very numerous, but few offer stitching quality, flexibility of use, productivity. They can't thus be considered professional, or in any case, top-range. In this page, I'll share with you my experience of the qualities of each of them after making a non-exhaustive list...



If you're a beginner...

A new part of this guide is now dedicated to you. There you'll find simple pieces of advice to implement to stitch beautiful panoramas, choose your software, your hardware...

Create your first panorama Follow




Panoramic photography software

There are many of them and I imagine that most of you already have an opinion on the subject. Each will have its favorite because lots of stitching pieces of software, once mastered, are amazingly efficient. You can also be attracted to one panoramic piece of software but because of your lens and its distortions, have to choose a different panorama software, more powerful in this case...
Firstly, the aim of this tutorial is to introduce a few pieces of software that seem to be reference and I'll complete that list as my reviews go along.

Then, you have to know that some pieces of software will only allow you to make flat panoramas and others, flat or cubicles. Flat panoramas can be visualized like a classic panorama, meaning when necessary with the help of the horizontal navigation bar if the image is too big for the screen or in a visualization window in which we'll move inside the picture with the mouse. Cubicles, which more spectacular shape is a virtual tour on 360×180 °, can only be visualized in a window with a determined size. The mouse allows to move in all directions but also to zoom in the image.


A small list of panorama software...

  Editor Gigapixel Quality
Autopano Giga 4.4
Yes (1)
Autopano Pro 4.4
Yes (1)
PTGui 11.20
Yes (2)
PTGui Pro 11.20
Yes (2)
Hugin 2019
Yes (2)
Photomerge CC
Subscr. (3)
  Panoweaver 9.0 Easy pano Yes *** 150
  Software not updated
  ImageAssembler 3 Panavue No *** $64
  ImageAssembler 3 Pro Panavue Yes **** $129
  Microsoft ICE Microsoft Yes **** Free
  Panorama Factory panofact. Yes **** 70

* (1)
: full management of a gigapixel project shot with a motorized head.
* (2) : partial management of a gigapixel project shot with a motorized head.
* (3) : Photoshop is now only sold on subscription between $12 and $60 per month depending on the option.




PTGui Pro 11.20


My opinion on PTGui Pro 11.20

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Only in English, it is an excellent stitching software that has no competitor since the closure of Kolor. Its historical users obviously don't care about it and the new ones will have to get used to it! New version 11.20 - Learn more and download Suivre



My note : 10/10 - PTGui's first-time users love it and that's understandable. It was Autopano's competitor... but Kolor has just closed. We no longer have a choice, but it's serious because it's an excellent software.



Hugin 2019

Free !

My opinion on Hugin 2018

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Logo Linux

This multi-language, open source stitching software is highly valued by the discerning user community. Do not hesitate to put your hands in the grease! Quite close to PTGui it is also very powerful but some troublesome limitations compared to PTGui. To always have close to you in case ... - Learn more Suivre



My note : 8,5/10 - Hugin is very close to PTGui in its interface and its use because it initially uses the same tools Panoramatools but it is free!.



Photomerge CC 2019

Subscription : $9.99/mo

My opinion on Photomerge de Photoshop CC 2019

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Logo Windows

Photomerge is a Photoshop plugin that allows to assemble panoramas, possibly spherical but Attention! not complete. Photomerge does not know how to correctly assemble a complete 180 x 360 ° image for example.
It is very easy to use but also rather limited and really lacking flexibility of use. That said, the little it knows how to do it does very well, that is to say multi-ranged panoramas that do not go from floor to ceiling. The latest version even includes the ability to assemble Raw and generate a panorama in RAW format! - Learn more Suivre



My note : 8,0/10 - There may be cases where we need to Stitch a panorama punctually and it is possible to do it with Photomerge, a plugin integrated in Photoshop. Photomerge lacks flexibility and possibilities, but what it knows how to do is often very well stitched in an interface that is easy to understand without a learning curve. Credible punctual alternative.



PanoramaStudio 3.2.0 / Pro

$39.95 / $79.90

My opinion on PanoramaStudio 3.2.0 / Pro

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Logo Windows

This stitching software, multilingual, is very similar to PTGui in the approach and the interface. The tools therefore seem the same! And I happened to succeed panoramas with PS 3 that I did not manage - automatically - to do with Autopano Giga. The comparison stops there because APG is really more flexible to use ... but it costs is more expensive - Learn more and download software Suivre

My note : 8,5/10 - 8.5 because frankly it works very well and it costs significantly less than Autopano Pro version (3X cheaper!).




The process of panorama stitching

It is, once again, really very easy although each software has its own stitching process. But schematically the steps can be summed up as follows:

  • Autopan Giga 3.6 interface
    Open all the images you just prepared in the software in order to stitch them;
  • Indicate the software what you want to get - simple panorama, closed, geometries -, etc.;
  • Indicate with what focal the photos have been shot and more and more with what camera. It's not a gadget indeed because, in most cases, the software will take into account the distortions induced by the lens during the shooting. Numerous zoom lenses for digital cameras distort the images shot in a wide-angle position. However, I prefer to correct this type of defect BEFOREHAND because it often doesn't work so well and I think the software already has enough to do without that!
  • The software will then start working and give its verdict moments later. You may then have to edit certain zones if you think they haven't been stitched well and that's it!

And finally, you save the final picture in whatever file you want. The format, as for it, is important to make possible further edits in Photoshop easier. That's why I chose the extension PSD/PSB by default because it's a format:

  • Compatible 16 bits - 8 bits is enough most of the time, above all if you developed your photos from RAWs and the file will then be twice lighter.
  • Multilayer - very important - . We'll see in the next page, dedicated to final edits, how primordial it is to make your work easier when editing stitching artefacts or unwanted items in the field of view.
  • Compatible with a weight over 2 Go - PSD format, well-known of Photoshop-users, turns into PSB - B for Bold - when the weight of the panorama gets over 2 Go. And this often happens in multilayer panoramic photography with cameras over 10 Mo and when you stitch several photos together.

Other options are detailed for Autopano Giga in its dedicated tutorial. Other examples below:

A few examples

Stitch a panorama with PTGui 11 suivre
Stitch a panorama with Photomerge CC suivre
Stitch a panorama with Hugin 2019 suivre
Stitch a panorama with Autopano Giga / Pro 4.4 suivre

In the last page of this tutorial dedicated to panorama stitching, we'll make the last edits to our final panorama, this one that was just stitched in your favorite panorama software - Last final edits... Suivre

Next page 14/14 : last final edits suivre



Pratical Guide N°1 :
The Nodal Point

$12.90 USD


My practical guides in e-books - N° 1!

"Find the nodal point or no parallax point accurately in less than an hour"... whether you are photographing a simple panorama or a 360° photo - PDF of 100 pages - More information... Suivre

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