Developer Conrad Kramer was poking around in iOS 5 when he stumbled upon a hidden panorama feature built into the operating system. It allows you to create panoramic photos by simply sweeping your camera across a scene. If you’re familiar with iOS, unlocking the feature involves changing a single line in a preference file (set EnableFirebreak to “YES” in com.apple.mobileslideshow.plist). People with jailbroken iPhones and iPods can also download the new Firebreak app in Cydia.
The camera is thrown into the air and captures an image at the highest point of flight – when it is hardly moving. The camera takes full spherical panoramas, requires no preparation and images are taken instantaneously. It can capture scenes with many moving objects without producing ghosting artifacts and creates unique images.
It uses 36 separate 2-megapixel mobile phone camera modules, which are mounted in an enclosure that’s padded with foam. Photographs can then be downloaded to a computer via USB and viewed in a spherical panoramic viewer. Video after the jump
Ken Murphy created this time-lapse showing an entire 360-degree view overlooking San Francisco using only a single camera:
The camera (a Canon A590 with CHDK installed) snapped an image every five seconds while the motorized mount slowly rotated, making a single rotation in 90 minutes. I assembled the images into this panoramic movie, in which each “pane” is actually the same movie, slightly offset in time. The panes combine to make a single 360-degree view. [#]
Ryan Burnside recently set out to find a cheap way to shoot 360-degree panoramas of scenes, and discovered that shooting a Christmas ornament (or any other spherical reflection) captures all the information needed — all that’s needed is a way to “unravel” the spherical image. Burnside found that the free image editor GIMP can do the trick. Read more…
German sports photographer Peter Langenhahn has an interesting way of documenting the important moments in a sporting event. Instead of showing them each in a separate photograph, he shoots events from a distant perspective and combines the important moments into a single image afterward. For example, one of his panoramas shows every single foul called throughout the course of a soccer match. After shooting up to 3,000 photos during an event, he spends up to 2-3 months combining them into a photo thats 100 GB in size and takes 6 hours just to save.
Jeffrey Martin, the guy behind the world’s largest indoor photo, has done it again — the founder of 360cities was hired by Wembley Stadium to shoot a massive 20 gigapixel 360-degree panorama of the 2011 FA Cup Final this past weekend. About 1000 photographs shot with a DSLR and robotic tripod head were needed to capture the 90,000 fans in attendance, and the final image was processed with a workstation that had 192 gigabytes of RAM and 24 CPU cores!
Check out the final photo here or read about how it was made. You can also tag people you know in the image — tens of thousands have been identified and tagged already.
What you see above is the largest true-color photograph of the night sky ever created, shot by 28-year-old amateur astrophotographer Nick Risinger using six astronomical cameras. It’s not just the view of the sky from one location, but is instead a 360-panoramic view of the sky taken by trekking 60,000 miles across the western United States and South Africa starting in March 2010. The final image is composed of 37,000 separate photographs. Check out the massive zoomable high-definition version of the photo here.
Microsoft’s jaw-dropping Photosynth technology has arrived on the iPhone as an app that allows you to easily create immersive 360-degree panoramas. All you need to do is load up the app and sweep your camera around in every direction, and the app automatically snaps photographs filling in the panoramic image (you can also tap it if it gets sluggish with its snapping). Read more…
Check out this bizarre looking homemade medium format camera spotted by tokyo camera style on the streets of Tokyo, Japan. That bizarre glass bulb you see sticking out of it is the 360 degree lens that projects panoramic views onto the 120 film inside the camera. Read more…
Lens attachments for the iPhone 4 already exist, but the GoPano micro is a bit different — it’s a 360° lens that records every direction at the same time. Once it’s recorded, you can go back and use a special viewer to watch the video from any perspective, panning the scene as the video is playing. EyeSee360, the company behind the product, has launched a Kickstarter project to fund it and gauge interest. After setting a goal of $20,000, they’ve already managed to raise over $50,000 with more than a month remaining. Backing the project for $50 on Kickstarter will preorder you one of these lenses.