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What Is a Digital Panoramic Camera?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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A digital panoramic camera is a type of camera that captures digital images and is designed either specifically for taking panoramic images or includes functionality to make taking panoramic images easier. Panoramic images are those that are taller or wider than standard images and seem to capture more of a scene than standard cameras typically do. This can be created though a number of methods, often depending on the type of camera a photographer is using. A digital panoramic camera usually includes functions that make capturing and creating this type of image easier, or functions that allow a panoramic image to be captured in a single shot.

Though different methods can be used to capture panoramic images, a digital panoramic camera typically makes the process easier, often requiring less editing of the final work. These cameras typically require no film and save images captured by them in a digital format. Some of these cameras may save panoramic images to an internal storage device, such as a memory card. A more elaborate digital panoramic camera can capture images that are so large that the resulting file is saved to a connected computer or tablet device as the picture is taken.

Panoramic images, including those captured by a digital panoramic camera, are either substantially taller or wider than standard images. These cameras capture scenes of greater detail and a larger scale than those images captured by other types of cameras. One common way in which a digital panoramic camera can be used to capture and create these images is through a process called “stitching,” which uses a series of images to create one larger, final image. This often requires a great deal of editing after the initial pictures are taken. Some cameras can include features that make these images easier to capture, such as showing part of a previous picture on the camera display to make it easier for a photographer to more accurately align it with subsequent images.

A digital panoramic camera can also capture a single panoramic image with one shot, rather than multiple shots. This can be done in several different ways, though less expensive cameras often create panoramic images by moving the camera in an arc or along a path. The camera maintains an open exposure throughout this process, capturing an image that is larger than a standard, single exposure image. A more expensive digital panoramic camera can use other technology to allow a greater amount of information to enter the lens of the camera and retain this data to create a large, panoramic image with a single exposure.

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