Dear Microsoft; this is what I want for Photosynth

photosynth1 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I was excited when I first saw that Photosynth had made it to iOS, but then I found out that you have to use the device’s camera to take pictures on the spot- you can’t use existing images of any kind. That’s quite a lot down since the iPad 2’s camera is pure crap, and it makes an otherwise awesome concept practically useless. Here’s what it should have been like.

Using existing images is perfectly possible from a technical point of view, which panorama software has proven for years. That’s really what Photosynth is, after all- panorama software. It just has a innovative way of displaying the images. Photosynth is after all several years old and has up until now been Windows only, where you use Photosynth (the program) to upload individual images or Microsoft ICE to create single, stitched images like the iOS app does.

Below is an example of a Photosynth made with the iPad and one using Microsoft ICE and images from my compact camera. The iPad’s infamous bad image quality shows quite clearly in this Photosynth and aside from triplicating the sun it also has serious issues stitching the mountain in the horizon together. The latter issue is both because Microsoft’s panorama stitching algorithm is crap and because the iPad’s focal length means you need so many images to “scan” the entire view. Despite that, it’s a heck of a lot faster to use the iPad app, because it stitches everything together on the spot. The iPad image was uploaded before I left the area, while the compact camera one needed processing on a computer afterwards- which is why I want the iOS app to be able to stitch existing images together in the first place rather than just using the computer program.


So Microsoft, if you’re reading this, please allow us to import existing images into Photosynth for iOS! I love the app, but not iPad 2 image quality.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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