Edited by Jason Parnell-Brookes

January 13, 2020

The Best Panorama Photo Stitching Software

When faced with subjects that have short and wide features such as landscape vistas it may be appropriate to crop the photo to remove unnecessary detail in the top and bottom parts of the scene. These images are known as panoramas.

However, sometimes a scene is so vast that even the widest lens you have doesn’t capture the full view, no matter how much you back up. That’s when it’s necessary to create a panorama by using the best photo stitching software to join several photos together, making a wider field of view.

To learn how to take a panoramic picture simply frame up your scene on a tripod, and compose your images vertically. Make sure the tripod is level and then take photos of your subject, overlapping the last photo by around 50%. This helps the software link each photo together easily. Below we’ll take a look at the best panorama software available for both windows and mac to stitch your images together.

Photo Stitching Software: Our Top Picks

Windows and Mac

Autostitch

Autostitch is a panoramic software which utilizes a SIFT algorithm to align separate images to create its seamless panoramic photographs. It works best when photographs are taken from a single point, for example, when swivelling the camera on top of a tripod. Rather than moving the camera around in the hand due to the perspective differences between shots. Autostitch was developed by researchers at the University of British Columbia.

Hugin

Possibly the most up-to-date panoramic software available from this list is from Hugin. Although 16 years old it not only stitches images into panoramas in traditional horizontal format and also projects panos into a fisheye shape, creating a circular appearance. Hugin is also a high dynamic range (HDR) generator.

GigaPan Stitch

GigaPan is well-known for its complete panoramic set-up, including camera equipment, software and support via its site. GigaPan Stitch, its panoramic software can be used with their tripod-mounted motorised gimbal head for ultimate stitching control or simply with separate photos taken normally. The software is designed for extremely high resolution panoramic images and has a large community online from which to view GigaPan panoramas around the world.

ArcSoft Panorama Maker

With a simple-to-use graphical user interface ArcSoft have now developed panoramic stitching software not just for windows and mac systems but also for mobile devices and supports 4K input and anti-ghosting formulas to keep panoramas sharp and clear.

Panoweaver

Panoweaver is designed to not only stitch photographs together for panoramas but has now also developed to encompass virtual reality tour creation. This is especially useful for those wishing to display 360 degree panoramas and location tours online via HTML5, Flash VR and view content on desktop and mobile devices.

PTGui

PTGui is a fast-processing panorama stitching software that had its biggest update back in 2018 after three years of work from the team. It can process a gigapixel panorama in only 25 seconds and boasts a drag-and-drop feature meaning minimal editing input from the user. It can even create spherical 360 and 180 degree interactive panoramas as well.

Windows Only

Image Composite Editor (ICE)

ICE by the Microsoft Research Computational Photography Group is an intelligent panoramic stitcher which stands out a little from other panorama stitching softwares. Not only can it do the usual panoramic stitching it can also automatically complete gaps in the panorama, give full-resolution previews and even generate panoramas from panning video and stop-motion action by overlaying key features on the background of the media.

Mac Only

Panorama Stitcher

Panorama Stitcher for Mac automatically aligns original photographs and supports both spherical and planar stitching making it useful for both camera rotated images and scanner/microscope style photos. It also combines the EXIF data from original image files and merges them into the output panorama photo.

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to create a panorama you must take several overlapping photos of the scene and then load them into a panorama editing software. The software then generates a panoramic images based on the available source files and may also (depending on the software) give layout options to change the size and shape of the pano. For more information read more here:

How to stitch photos together

You can stitch photos together on a Mac without installing a specialist panorama generator. Just follow the steps below:

  • Open your first image in Preview then press CMD + A to select the whole picture.
  • Press CMD + C to copy the image then head to Tools > Adjust Size.
  • In the window that appears untick the padlock symbol next to the dimensions then double the width in the box.
  • Press CMD + V to paste the original image on top of this now expanded picture.
  • Open the other photo in Preview, then copy and paste it into the expanded image. Drag the images until they form a panorama then save as a new picture via File > Save.

Movavi Photo Editor

The easiest way to turn any snapshot into an eye candy

  • Improve quality and retouch blemishes
  • Add effects and filters
  • Crop, straighten, and flip pictures
  • Change image backgrounds and remove objects