Well most phones have this built in and there is a basic one in every copy of Lightroom and Photoshop, but I’ve found those ones are pretty basic. I’ve also used the open source Hugin. This seems to work pretty decently, but for a while, it wasn’t even working on the Mac, but the 2018 version seems to have fixed this.
In looking for a better system, the reviews (Have Camera Will Travel) show that PTGUI is pretty good. They have a nice download and in comparing them with the Hugin, there are two big advantages:
- Hugin only supports TIFF input so you have to output some big TIFF files, but PTGUI also handles raw format (at least for the Sony family of cameras). In the old days, I would do some correctly first with distortion correction and vignetting first, but with the Sony 50MM F/1.4 camera, these are so slight that you can pretty much take RAW input. In fact, the JPEGs I’ve been pulling are so good that except for cropping, I’m wondering whether or not for most shots, I should just take in the in-camera JPEGs out.
- More control points. This is a nerdy thing, but for panoramic stitching to work, you have to identify points that are in common between different photos. In the sample I tried, Hugin by default found between 10-15 points per photo, but PTGui found 30-40. That is supposed to result in better alignment.
Now the big drawback is that PTGUI does cost 99 Euro, although they do include a year of updates, while Hugin is free. But the east of use helps and beside, it is nice to support all those developers doing good work (outside of behemoths like Adobe 🙂