Olympus Panoramic Instructions

Most Olympus cameras now provide panoramic functions.  I've had great success using the included Olympus Viewer 2 software to produce pleasing panoramic pictures.  Here are my steps for creating a good Panoramic on an Olympus camera:

Taking the pictures:

  1. Make sure you are shooting JPegs for the Pano!  Raw will not work unless you first convert the RAW files to JPEgs, then stitch them in Olympus Viewer 2.
  2. Put it in Pano SCN mode and select PC stitching (if available).
  3. Hold the camera vertically for a horizontal pano (or vise-versa for a vertical pano).  This is important to prevent the horizon from bowing (curving) and preventing distortion in the picture.  You should ideally be over 50mm equivalent when framing.  That's why I always use portrait mode so I can zoom in more, but still get in everything I want.
  4. Zoom in as much as possible and still get all the detail you want in the shot (leaving a bit of room for cropping)
  5.  Use the arrow keys on the controller to select the direction to pan.  This should be UP or DOWN while holding the camera in portrait mode and doing a horizontal pano.

  6. Take as many pictures as you need.  You will take more because you are holding it vertically and because you have zoomed in. 

  7. End the pano mode.

Processing the pictures:

  1. When back at the computer, load up Olympus Viewer 2 (free download from Oly's site).  It will detect that the pictures are panos and IIRC it shows the numbers of the pano photos. 

    1. If you shot the Pano in RAW, then first process into JPEGs.
    2. You will then need to rotate them to get them to line up before trying to stitch since you took the horizontal pano in portrait mode.  Otherwise Olympus Viewer gets confused.

  2. Select Tools->AutoPanorama

  3. If the correct photos aren't selected (I think if you only have one pano, it selects them all correctly), then select the photos you want.

  4. Click on stitch.

  5. Now you will have a highly detailed pano image.

Examples:

Here are a couple of samples showing the final output.

This one was taken with my Olympus E520 on the way in to work one morning:

 5 images

And this one was taken recently with my Olympus E-PM1 at the Oceanside Pier in California:

 5 images

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

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Comments

Total comments: 6
1946120886Jl
By 1946120886Jl (4 months ago)

I have a new Olympus E-PM2 camera and I do not have a clue as to how to get photos in a panaramic mode to stich together AND neither did Olympus Technical Support. I have a MAC and use I-Photo for my photo library. Using Ulymus Viewer 2 was useless. How are panaram shots done?????? Please keep it simple.

0 upvotes
Dr Matt
By Dr Matt (Jun 13, 2012)

Here's a couple of tips if you don't use olympus viewer..

1. Google 'Microsoft ICE' - this is a freeware program from Microsoft for stitching Pano's. It's not perfect, but it's big plus is it's ease of use. Just drag and drop your pics into it's main screen and it does the rest - as a bonus, it works with Olympus RAW's as well! (It does with my E-510 raws anyway).

2. If you have time, take one photo with the lens cap on before you start your pano sequence, and one after you finish. This makes it dead easy to see which pics are for the pano when your importing them to the PC/Mac.

3 upvotes
Kevdog
By Kevdog (May 14, 2012)

No, it should adjust the aperture even in Pano mode. Here in AZ I can't take pictures wide open very often!

0 upvotes
norgear
By norgear (May 13, 2012)

Had good results with the panorama feature in my new OM-D except for the fact that it will only operate at maximum aperture. I have tried both the Panasonic 20/1.7 and the Summilux 25/1.4, am I doing something wrong or is this an "undocumented feature"?

0 upvotes
Mister H
By Mister H (Mar 27, 2012)

Thanks for posting - I may give this a try with my E-PM1!

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Mar 26, 2012)

Thanks for an interesting and informative article. Unfortunately, this process still involves 8 steps, which is why I never use my E30 for making panorama shots. My Sony A55 however, can do it one simple step... using the "sweep panorama mode." This is one feature I wish Olympus would copy.

6 upvotes
Total comments: 6