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Photosynth for iPhone: capturing the unphotographable

We are having some unusually fine weather in the UK and I went for a walk in the Derbyshire Peak District yesterday. I was reflecting how hard it is to photograph wide vistas of countryside when I remembered that I installed the Microsoft Photosynth iPhone app a couple of weeks ago.

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It really is easy to use: you just fire up the app, tap to start a new picture, and turn the iPhone to new positions guided by on-screen markers. When the iPhone beeps, hold it still and a new photo is added.

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Panoramic photography is not new of course; my old Canon Ixus has a panorama feature. However, you have to navigate several menus to get the mode engaged, manually position the camera, and then use a separate application to stitch the images together.

The Photosynth app by contrast is great to use, and I have taken a landscape picture which I would never have bothered with before. My only complaint is that the beep can be hard to hear, but even if you miss it, the app does a reasonable job, especially in bright sunlight.

There are plenty of interesting images now turning up on the official Photosynth site – check the Mobile Panoramas section.

For more information see the official announcement post and video.

The point to ponder is why the app has come out first for Apple’s iPhone, rather than the company’s own Windows Phone7? Apparently a Windows Phone version is in preparation.