Sweep Panorama Mode

The Samsung WB2000 and many of this years crop of cameras has something they call “Sweep Panorama”. It works in similar ways on all of these cameras. On the WB2000 by going into the Scene-mode and selecting the panorama mode you will be able to use the very handy “Sweep Panorama” feature. You just point where to start (this locks the exposure and AWB) , press and keep the finger pressed and then just slowly sweep the camera either right, left, up or down. It will show you a bar that grows as you sweep the camera up till the maximum width. Then, when you let go of the shutter release button, the camera will automatically create the panorama picture! It is that easy!

The width of the picture depends on how wide arc you sweep the camera over and the height of the picture depends on how straight line you will move the camera in. Have you fluttered a little up and down during your sideways movement the camera will have to crop out a part of the height of the picture. With the tests I did on free hand (no tripod) the best that I got was 720 pixels in height on a standard sideways panorama but it can easily go below 600 pixels if you flutter too much! You can sweep it sideways in portrait mode and get a slightly higher resolution.

This is most certainly a fun and quite useful feature for some people! It is very easy to use and produces a panorama – as promised! BUT remember that the resolution is quite LOW and the stitching is not that great. Depending on motif and how smooth you move the camera you often get a number of “waves” in the pictures and also some “ghostly” artifacts! This is masked a little by the fact that the panoramas are relatively small so you won’t see these shortcomings too clearly – especially on the camera display! It definitely lands in the handy and funny but NOT high quality sector of features.  Is this of use for you? Depends on your requirements! I would use it every now and then – but  just for fun!

For me I would say that the low quality/resolution of the panorama piuctures from this “Sweep Panorama” mode  would normally have me going about it the usual way instead! I would take several overlapping 10 Mpixel pictures and stitch them together automatically in the computer afterwards with the free Microsoft ICE  panorama software – and get beautiful high resolution panoramas! The fact that the WB2000 can’t easily lock exposure and WB complicates matters slightly – either I repeatedly lock exposure and WB at the same point (shutter release halfway) and reposition the camera for each new picture in the series or I use manual settings … or I just let Microsoft ICE sort it out!

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