When it comes to capturing stunning landscapes, frames are never sufficiently big, even when you have a wide angle lens with you! Well, suppose you have a wide angle lens with you; even then, you might have to crop an image if you want to have a focused panorama shot. Nevertheless, if you’ve a tripod and a camera with manual options, you have a better solution out there — Panorama shots through photo stitching! Photo stitching is a process used for creation of panoramic shot by combining several images, given that all these images have overlapping segments. The best thing about this method is that you can have a high-resolution panoramic shot using your 18-55 mm or other lenses.
Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with the term Photo Stitching — that is incredibly easier! In this post, we have a list of top 8 photo stitching software, which you can use for creating panoramic images that have enhanced clarity and resolution. If you want to use the software, you should be a bit more careful while you capture. For instance, it’s rather necessary that all the images should have common exposure and that tripod level should be kept same during the capturing process. If these are set, we will just move onto the list.
Best Photo Stitching Software
An open source initiative, Hugin lets you enhance your panoramic photography by combining overlapping images, as we said earlier. Hugin is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and it is being used by a large number of photographers when they need high-resolution panoramic shots. It’s a fact that Hugin prioritizes customizability & advanced functions, and thus it’s more or less for professionals. For instance, you can find control points and edit the parameters used so that you get the best output.
Other notable features of Hugin include its feature to correct shots that are wavy due to inconsistency of level, support for various projection types, advanced corrections, support for HDR Stitching etc. User Interface of Hugin is not that tough, but you can get accustomed to it if you’re ready to take some effort. So, go for Hugin when you need a feature-rich and professional panorama software.
- Price: Free
2. Image Composite Editor
Image Composite Editor is the common name for Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor and it’s a project from Computational Photography Group of Microsoft Research wing. Apart from combination of overlapped shots and the export to popular formats like JPEG and TIFF, Image Composite Editor offers support for Silverlight DeepZoom & HD View that are multi-resolution tiled formats. Also, there is an option to upload the multi-resolution output image to Photosynth site of Microsoft. Image Composite Editor is available only for Windows and it has support for Windows XP,7,8 and Windows 8.1.
Notable features of ICE are support for different kinds of camera motion, Gigapixel image support, the feature for exposure blending and the feature to automatically complete missing image parts like sky, clouds etc. An extreme newbie and professional would find Image Composite Editor to be useful and that is what keeps it apart.
- Price: Free
3. Kolor Autopano
Kolor Autopano is a premium photo stitching software that is available for Windows (Windows 7, 8; 64 bits only, ready for Windows 10), Linux Ubuntu 14.04 and Mac OS X 10.5 & later! In spite of the features it offers, Kolor Autopano comes with an extremely intuitive User Interface, which lets almost any user to complete the panorama stitching process in two steps. There are two variants of Kolor Autopano you can get — Kolor Autopano Pro and Kolor Autopano Giga. The latter variant offers additional features like masking tool & pre-stitching plugins. However, general features of Kolor Autopano include support for up to 400 input file formats, 7 export file formats and the ability to create both 360 Degree and 180 Degree Panorama shots by putting the least efforts.
If you want to really know the power of Kolor Autopano, you can check out the Gallery page, where you have a set of panoramic shots that are stitched using the tool.
- Price: 99 Euros for Autopano Pro and 199 Euros for Autopano Giga
Autostitch is a bit different from other photo stitching software we have mentioned here. Unlike those, you can use Autostitch to stitch photographs in the most effective way without any kind of input from your side. For instance, the first photo stitching software mentioned in the list wants you to choose matching points and then starts merging. On the other hand, Autostitch can find matching sections of inputted images and proceed with the image stitching process.
There is a demo version of the tool available, with lesser options, but you will have to go for the Pro version if you need features like Cylindrical and Planar projections. To find matches between images, Autostitch uses the SIFT Algorithm. In short, when you need an image stitching software that is simple enough, you can move on with Autostitch. It is available for both OS X and Windows.
- Price: Free Demo & Commercial Variants available
PTGui is a blazingly fast solution you can depend upon when you need a photo stitching software with an impressive User Interface as well. Available for Mac OS X and Windows, PTGui suits well for professionals as well as amateurs. There are some features you’d miss if you stick onto the normal version of PTGui but the general scenario of features is impressive, indeed. For instance, the features section includes automated stitching images, support for gigapixel panoramas, wide export file format support, interactive adjustment of panorama perspective etc. Also, the upgrade to the PTGui Pro version will give you Viewpoint correction, HDR Panorama stitching support, Exposure Fusion, global adjustment of exposure etc.
In addition, PTGui has support for various types of projections too. If we are to consider all these, PTGui makes sense as a professional photo stitching software.
- Free: Personal License available for 79 Euros
6. PanoramaPlus X4
PanoramaPlus X4 is yet another commercial software that lets you create stunning panoramic shots without requiring you to dedicate that much effort into it. The whole process is more or less automated that you won’t have to think about matching points or other technical stuff when you’ve launched this tool. On the other hand, you can choose all the images you want in the complete panoramic shots and move on, quite simply. Notable features of PanoramaPlus X4 include the ability to get panorama shots from videos, tools for optimizing the panorama shots by means of many kinds of editing, integrated sharing features for uploading directly to Facebook & Flickr, etc.
Also, PanoramaPlus X4 is offering support for almost every popular image format too. Considering the amount you have to pay, what you get is Christmas!
- Price: £20.42
7. ArcSoft Panorama Maker
ArcSoft Panorama Maker is a multipurpose photo stitching software that is available for both Windows and Mac OS X. An optimal panoramic image is three steps away when you’re using ArcSoft Panorama Maker to deal with the stitching process. In both creation and editing sections, ArcSoft Panorama Maker has impressive features to offer you. For instance, when it comes to the stitching aspect, you have five different stitching modes; you have to select a desired format and choose the photographs to fill the space — you’re done.
On the other hand, when you want to edit a panorama shot, there are a lot of options. For instance, there is Align Points and Photo Blend to help you have tweaks on overlapped areas while fine-tuning features of ArcSoft Panorama Maker helps you get the best output in terms of panoramic images. Considering these all, ArcSoft Panorama Maker makes sense — simple as that.
- Price: $79.99; Free trial available
8. Panoweaver 9
Panoweaver 9 is yet another panorama stitching software that gives you the final output in just three steps! You will be able to use it for stitching various kinds of images like Fisheye photos, normal photos and RAW & HDR Photos, with same level of effectiveness. Coming to the output, you can get Cubic, Cylindrical, Spherical or a single fisheye projection mode. Of course, you can have enhanced features if you’re ready to upgrade to the Pro variant of Panoweaver 9. There are both Standard and Professional versions of Panoweaver 9 and there is difference in terms of availability of features too. For instance, you can get support of batch stitching and batch publishing only in the Pro version.
If we are to consider all these, Panoweaver 9 is indeed a notable solution, we bet. Panoweaver 9 is available for Mac and Windows, by the way.
- Price: $99.95 for Standard and $299.95 for Professional
SEE ALSO: 10 Best Free Photo Editing Software
Have you used any of the photo stitching tool mentioned in our list of best photo stitching software? Do let us know in comments section.