I have a new tool/toy to use/play with, an iPhone 6 Plus. I’ve got a couple of stories to tell about it (later) but two of the ultra cool things is has are: 1) a really good quality built-in camera, and; 2) the ability to take panoramic pictures.
I’ve been playing with this for years using stitching software. (Search for “panorama” and you’ll see the seven that I’ve posted in the last four months.) Stitching can be done with as little as two pictures, by I usually use anywhere from thirteen to seventy-two pictures. When you’re using a DSLR with 8 to 10 megapixels images, allowing for overlap, you still end up with images of (respectively) 9,307 x 3,693 (34 megapixels) up to 76,534 x 3448 (263 megapixels). You can also spend a fair amount of time processing all of those photos through the software
Naturally, I was curious about the quality and ease of use in the iPhone 6 panorama mode. I found that it’s really easy, although it’s much easier to end up with really odd artifacts (something else to play with) of anything moving as you pan the camera. There’s no processing – you just download them off of the camera. The quality was pretty good (on the very far right you can read the plane’s ID on the information plate), a little below the mid-range for the stitched panoramas, but with far fewer artifacts of the kind that show up when two adjoining pictures don’t quite match up during stitching.
This panoramic picture was taken last week at the end of Day Two of the NASA Social at the Armstrong Flight Research Center. (Click to enlarge.) We finished the day at sunset at the Edwards Air Force Base Flight Test Museum.
This panorama comes from a single image of 13,596 x 2,992 pixels (41.7 megapixels) taken with an iPhone Six Plus.
I was standing in the middle of a huge half-circle of planes, stretching from the:
- B-52 BUFF way off in the distance at the far left, to the
- UC-45J “Expeditor”
- N.F.11 “Meteor”
- F-84F “Thunderstreak”
- CT-39A “Sabreliner”
- Sikorsky H-3C helicopter
- F-16 “Fighting Falcon”
- F-111A “Aardvark”
- NF-4C “Phantom II”
- YA-7D “Corsair II”
- about half of the T-28B “Trojan” on the far right.