Panoramic Photos & Videos


A panoramic video or photo is a wide-angle capture of a scene. Capturing multiple angles of a landscape, panoramic photos and videos must have wide aspect ratios and a 360-degree field of view. These types of photos and videos can be filmed in several types of layouts, including spherical projection, cylindrical projection, and the “doughnut” projection.

A panoramic photo is a stitched compilation of several photos. A panoramic video is a stitched compilation of several takes of a video. The largest difference between the two is obvious. Pano-shot photos are simply still shots while videos capture a panorama in motion. Creating a panoramic video is slightly more complicated due to the processing power needed and a higher quality video is recommended to avoid parallax and stitching issues.

Panoramic photos have been used throughout history. Before the invention of the camera, panoramic depictions were painted onto the walls of the Sistine Chapel, giving visitors of the church an in-depth view of a work of art.

How to Shoot

You only need a few things to capture panoramic photos and videos. In previous articles, I review tips and tricks for taking great panoramic shots in further detail.

  • 360 stereoscopic camera

You’ll need a camera with a wide-angle lens and that preferably shoots in 1080p. I recommend the HeroBlack 4 by from GoPro or an Oculus Rift camera.

  • Several overlapping takes of an image or scene

Unless you use a multi-camera system for your shots, you’ll need to take several shots in different positions with your camera. A panoramic head will make it a lot easier to take images that about 180 degrees apart.

  • Stitching Software

After shooting, upload your images or video takes to a stitching software program, which will find control points to create one seamless image from all of the photos or video takes.


Panoramic photos and videos are used in an array of disciplines. They have an important role in 3D videos and 360 videos and photography because they create a sense of depth. There is an entire discipline to which panoramic photos are dedicated to – spherical photography. The spacial presentation and immersive effect of panoramic photos and videos make them perfect for creating content for virtual reality when combined with sensory controls. The user can click the photo and drag it around, allowing them to explore the space.

Additional uses for panoramic photos and videos are virtual tours, virtual product presentations, films, games, and advertisements.