• Price When Reviewed: 328

  • Pros: Easy to use, good value, no click charges, now works with digital SLRs with fisheye lenses as well as compacts.

  • Cons: Any fisheye system has limited resolution. Lenses and rotators are expensive. PanoWeaver can’t work with panoramas less than 360 degrees.

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10 Best Buy We rate this 9 out of 10

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Shanghai-based EasyPano offers major competition to the iPix when it comes to panorama creation software. The program stitches fisheye lens photographs into seamless spherical panoramas. These are viewed in Web sites or presentations.

You can buy and download Panoweaver online, and unlike iPix there’s no on-going click fee to create panoramas. You need a 180+ degree lens and a special tripod rotator mount from iPix or Kaidan.

The initial release of Panoweaver 4.0 is for Windows, with a Mac OS X version due around July. Digit tested Panoweaver 2.0 early last year, which stitched pairs of fisheye images. Panoweaver 3.0 added support for three fisheye images, with more overlap for better blends.

 border=0 /> </div>Panoweaver 4.0 can also cope with four or six incomplete circular ‘drum’ images and optionally integrate extra images shot straight up and down to cover the gaps. It can import six-faced cube images (from other fisheye or 3D scene generators) and stitch those.
There’s now support for most digital SLR cameras fitted with fisheye lenses (though only a full-frame SLR such as the Canon EOS 1Ds series can capture a fully circular image from the £500 Sigma 8mm lens). Until now, most people have used Nikon’s £250 FC-E8/E9 fisheye lenses with its Coolpix compact digital cameras.
The revised controls now allow pre-stitching to test the settings, and you can refine the automatic matching and blending by manually identifying any number of matching points in pairs of overlapping images. You can now zoom into high magnification (800 per cent) to identify match points and change the relative sizes of the various view panels in the main window. New stitching algorithms shorten the processing time.
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