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Although I'm a fan of Photoshop for all of my post production work as a wedding photographer, nothing compares to the excellent Panorama Maker from Arcsoft when it comes to stitching sequential images together in a panorama. It's so simple to use and I would challenge anyone to see the join in the final image.
My daughter was 7 when she took a series of pictures overlooking Akaroa bay in New Zealand on a small compact digital camera. We used Panorama Maker to stitch them together and I got the resultant image produced on canvas. The picture now hangs by our front door and visitors comment every time they come about the quality of the shot (taken from 5 originals).
The intro version can be downloaded freely so effectively you can try before you buy. I did this with version 3 a couple of years ago and now have full versions of 3 and 4 pro on the two PC's in my studio. RAW is supported for PC and will shortly also be covered for MAC's as a free upgrade in the near future.
Another real saving for me has been whilst upgrading my film archive to digital images. I use a Hasselblad X-Pan for the large congregation shots at weddings but digital scans are restrictively expensive for this format. Using a standard 35mm negative scanner however, I can scan one end of the elongated film strip and then the other with about a 50%25 overlap in the middle and stitch them seamlessly together using Panorama Maker and saving me about £10 per image (and a trip to the lab to do it).
The software creates vertical or horizontal panoramas and will easily create a whole 360 degree stitch which is great for use online (virtual tours of houses) use by estate agents or on the hotel web sites for wedding venues.
Affordable, easy to use and truly professional results. I love it.
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