Edited by Jason Parnell-Brookes

August 31, 2020

The Best Panorama Photo Stitching Software

When faced with subjects with 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 you might want to create a panorama using the best photo stitching software to join several photos together, creating an image with a wider field of view, or even a time-lapse collage.

To learn how to take a panoramic picture, simply frame up your scene on a tripod, and compose your images vertically. Ensure the tripod is level and then take photos of your subject. It is recommended to overlap each shot with the previous one 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:

Windows only:

Mac only:

Windows and Mac:

Windows only:

Mac only:

Autostitch

OS: Windows, Mac

Price: free, commercial options available

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

Pros:

  • Ability to process and stitch together a large number of images in one click
  • Automatic blending and lighting correction

Cons:

  • The resulting panoramas sometimes need cropping

Hugin

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux

Price: free (open-source)

Hugin is possibly the most up-to-date panoramic software to stitch photos together. 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.

Pros:

  • Generation of HDR panoramas
  • Adaptiveness to camera distortions

Cons:

  • Might be hard to master at first

GigaPan Stitch

OS: Windows, Mac

Price: free

GigaPan is well-known for its complete panoramic set-up, including camera equipment, software, and support on the website. GigaPan Stitch, its panoramic software, can be used with their tripod-mounted motorized 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 to view GigaPan panoramas around the world.

Pros:

  • Large GigaPan.com community for support and sharing
  • Software goes together with the purchase of GigaPan EPIC

Cons:

  • The membership on GigaPan.com varies from $25 to $1000 per month

Here’s a review by Digital Photography School:

Proceed to the Digital Photography School website

ArcSoft Panorama Maker

OS: Windows, Mac

Price: $79.99

With a simple-to-use graphical user interface, ArcSoft has 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.

Pros:

  • RAW files support
  • Photo and video editing options

Cons:

  • During the free trial period, the results can only be saved in 1:16 size

Read reviews of the program by Amazon users:

Proceed to Amazon

Panoweaver

OS: Windows, Mac

Price: $99 (standard), $299 (professional), with a free trial

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 and Flash VR and view content on desktop and mobile devices.

Pros:

  • The resulting panoramas are navigable and web-ready
  • Support of both spherical and cubic projections

Cons:

  • During the free trial, all panoramas will have a watermark on them

PTGui

OS: Windows, Mac

Price: $153, with a free trial

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.

Pros:

  • Generation of HDR, spherical, and gigapixel panoramas
  • Processing several panoramas simultaneously

Cons:

  • Purchasing the program after the trial is quite an investment

Read an overview of the program by DPREVIEW:

Proceed to the DPREVIEW website

Image Composite Editor (ICE)

OS: Windows

Price: free

ICE by the Microsoft Research Computational Photography Group is an intelligent panoramic stitcher that stands out a little from other panorama stitching software. 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.

Pros:

  • Autofill in the missing areas of photographs
  • Export in layers

Cons:

  • Stability of the program can be improved

Panorama Stitcher

OS: Mac

Price: $15, with a free trial

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.

Pros:

  • Automatic cropping and color correction algorithms
  • Moving objects correction

Cons:

  • During the trial period, it’s only possible to stitch no more than five photos

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:

Read about software for stitching photos together

Read about software for stitching 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