Samsung NX10 Photoshop CS5 iMac i7 Technology driven images

There have been many posts here about creating Panoramas using panoramic stitching software such as photomerge in Photoshop or PTGui. One of the advantages of stitching using multi images is to produce very high definition files with a high pixel count suitable for large scale reproduction. Doing this means that you don't necessarily need to use a camera with a lot of MP.

Samsung NX10 30mm f2 pancake lens

The disadvantage of doing this has been the time taken to produce these images. Anyone who has done it will realise that the software needs to analyse and then warp and blend the images into a seamless whole. There is often touch up work to be done later plus cropping and usually further warping and scaling to produce a final image. This often means anything up to a 1000% increase in the time needed to produce one finished picture.

Samsung NX10 30mm f2 pancake lens

During the recent excursion along the River Avon we decided to take a lot of images for the specific purpose of stitching them together later. Since the trip was unplanned we only had the Samsung NX10 plus the 30mm f2 lens with us. We duly produced about 150 files which when combined would provide the raw material for 18 "stitched" images.

Samsung NX10 30mm f2 pancake lens

Since the iMac i7's arrival we had tried creating a few "stiched" images using photomerge & we were impressed by the increase in speed. Also using Photoshop CS5 we had noticed that Adobe have tweaked the software again & there is a marked improvement in its ability to produce wide panoramic images.

However this time we decided to use PTGui. This is very good, simple to use software which we would highly recommend. One particular advantage that this software has is the ability to batch process. We consequently used this to process our River Avon images.

PTGui is fast working software and it has recently been optimised to process even faster. However we weren't quite prepared for the extraordinary performance that it produced on the new iMac. It was actually producing finished Panoramas in seconds. The 18 Panoramic stitches were created in around under 1/2 hour. Thats less than 2 minutes each! This was using jpgs rather than raw files and the 8 rather than 16-bit option. However we find that neither working from raw files or using 16-bit produces better images anyway. The files were then ready for editing in Photoshop. Again the work time was much reduced. The iMacs quad cores speed everything up and Adobe have done a good job in optimising this version of Photoshop to achieve significantly better performance. We had noticed improved speed over CS4 on our old iMac. A nice change to use upgraded software and find that it works faster. The usual equation of upgrading your computer to get better performance & then finding that once you upgrade your software the manufacturers have added so much that you are back where you were before doesn't apply here.

So overall an illuminating exercise. Shooting multi-image stitched panoramas is now not the chore it once was. There has been some reluctance on our part to shoot many recently because of the work load involved. The improvements in both processors and software, that we are now able to take advantage of, has made creating these stitched images a pleasure again.

Samsung NX10 30mm f2 pancake lensa