The Cycloramic app gives iPhone users a new way to take panoramic pictures and videos. If you have the new iPhone 5 it works completely hands free. You just have to place your iPhone upright on a smooth and level surface, then press go. You phone rotates 360 degrees, taking pictures, then automatically stitches them together. Your panoramas can then be viewed in the 3D viewer. The app also allows you to record panoramic videos and convert other panoramas into videos. (Updated 11/07/13 to reflect update to version 3).
Cycloramic iPhone App Features
Hands-free mode (iPhone 5 only)
Guided mode (iPhone 4/4S/5)
Images upto 2500 x 16000 pixels
Creates panoramic pictures and videos
Photo editing and filters
Automatically saves to camera roll
Convert panoramic photos to 24 second HD movies
Cycloramic iPhone App Performance
To use the hand-free mode on your iPhone 5 you need to set it to vibrate on silent and vibrate on ring via the settings. You must also remove the cover if you have one. The iPhone then needs to be stood in an upright position on a smooth, level surface - glass, marble or polished wood are listed as examples. Here is a video of the app in action:
As you can see it rotates round and matches up the circles, stops, takes a shot, then starts the process over until it has gone round the full 360 degrees. Your final picture is processed and displayed in the 3D viewer. Videos are slightly different as rather than stopping it just continuously moves until it has gone round completely.
Picture quality is fairly good, our example is around 11 megapixels, but there are some slight stitching issues and the light shining through the window has caused a slight exposure issue.
The app originally only did videos and again, quality is good, but it does seem strange shooting a video in portrait, rather than landscape orientation. Version 2.1 has since been launched which allows you to convert any panorama photos, including those already taken using other apps, into HD videos.
If you don't have an iPhone 5, or can't find a suitable flat surface to use the hands-free mode, you can use the guided mode which is similar to the panorama mode found in the default iPhone camera app. You're also now able to edited your pictures with effects, frames, stickers, cropping, brightness, contrast, saturation and more. There's some useful features here but it feels like it has been borrowed from another app. For example, the cropping doesn't allow you to perform any useful crops and there are options for redete, teeth whitening and blemishes - these are unlikley to be an issue when shooting panoramas. You can also export the frames which have been used to create your panorama, this means you could stitch them together in Photoshop.
Cycloramic iPhone App Verdict
The Cycloramic app certainly looks impressive when rotating itself around and it's nice to see the iPhone being utilised in this way. The app is now on its third version and each and every time there is a substantial improvement. Image quality has improved on version 2 and the editing features are mostly useful and of course if you can't utilise the handsfree mode you can use the guided mode instead.
Cycloramic iPhone App Pros
A unique way to take panoramas
Fast and easy to use
3D viewer for picture playback
Picture panoramas can be turned into videos
Cycloramic iPhone App Cons
iPhone moves away slightly from its original position when shooting video
iPhone camera app produces better images
Needs a flat surface
Image editing feature is good but needs improving further
VALUE FOR MONEY
The Cycloramic iPhone App is available from the iTunes Store for £0.69. For more information please visit the Cycloramic website.