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This image of downtown San Jose is compiled from 87 snapshots from a Nikon DX40, thanks to Autopano Pro.
Stitching together multiple images to make panoramic photos involves a hefty amount of planning, preparation, and trial and error, as well as extensive post-production tweaking. Autopano Pro is a highly intelligent app that automates much of the task and creates some truly lovely panoramic shots with minimal effort.
Autopano Pro works with either JPEG or RAW files, and it had no problem parsing the RAW files from our Nikon DX40. One of the first things we loved about Autopano Pro is that it can automatically search a folder full of photos and find the ones that are related, that will ultimately end up stitched together. It then does a first pass at putting together the big picture, and you’re likely to smile when you see what the app comes up with on its own. The stitched-together images look amazing, including smooth blending of the edges of individual photos, and automatic color correction that instantly matches up images with different exposures and color casts. If you have a single folder with more than one group of images to be stitched, Autopano Pro will sort out the groups and create multiple panorama previews. You then choose which group you’d like to work with and are brought into a larger pane with an extensive toolset for fine-tuning the default results. There’s a final render process that creates the full-resolution master image in a variety of formats, including JPEG and Photoshop PSD files.
While the default settings produce excellent results, once you dive under the hood and access some of the precision options, you’ll discover that there’s an immense amount of control over exactly how the entire process happens. If you’re the tinkering type, it’s certainly possible to overwhelm yourself with the sheer depth and flexibility of Autopano Pro. The PDF manual is a must-read in order to really wrap your head around what’s going on behind the scenes and learn how to tweak the controls to make the final images perfect.Autopano Pro is the kind of software that will make you look at your digital camera in an entirely new light and will have you filling memory cards to the brim. If you’ve spent serious time trying to get other stitching tools to produce slick effects, Autopano Pro gives great results out of the box, although more advanced options can be difficult to learn.