Panolapse Review

panolapse review

Recently, Patrick was nice enough to let me try out the full version his Panolapse software for this review.  A free version is available, so you can try it out before making any decisions.  If you’re wondering if it’s even worth a free trial, here’s the demo video they put out on YouTube.  Spoiler, definitely worth a try (IMO).

Check out my full Panolapse Review after the read more, including an animated moon photography montage that I did using it and Cyberlink Powerdirector 12 (my review of 11 – it’s about the same).

After experimenting with the full version of Panolapse, I really think it’s a cool piece of software.  It definitely has it’s limits, but for certain situations, it could be really useful.  Here’s what I thought was excellent, some things that could (and hopefully will) be improved, and some possible issues one might have with the software.

Excellent Features

  • The program’s primary tool, zooming in on a photo (you can import and animate just one, which is really cool) seems to work quite well.  Unlike a normal video editor (like Cyberlink, which I use), it, as advertised, actually adjusts the perspective.  It will render in a series of photos or in several video formats.  Neato!
  • Auto detects lens type – I really have no idea how it does this (maybe it’s in the metadata somewhere), but when you load images onto it, it will tell you what kind of lens you’re using.  For my moon shot, it said a “300mm” lens, which was correct, and with GoPro images loaded onto it, it said “fisheye.”  As you zoom with the program, it will display the equivalent lens length, so if you’re somewhat of a novice (as I am), this can really help you predict how a new lens would perform.
  • Also of interest, was the batch rename tool.  This can be very useful if you’re importing a series of images into a video editing program, as the images in each sequence are always named in the same series (0001, 0002, etc).  On the other hand, maybe this could be done automatically instead.

Improvements

There’s a few things that would be cool to see, but don’t greatly impede the program’s functionality.  I’d love to see these features implemented:

  • Option to invert mouse control
  • Only certain FPS values available on MP4 output
  • No “New file” option, only “quit”
  • ctrl-z for undo would be good
  • more frames on preview
  • Using this to import video as well as photos would make it really cool.  On the other hand, this is probably a giant leap from what the program does now.

panolapse-cars

Possible issues

  • No “official” installation.  Would activation be lost if accidentally deleted?  On the other hand, it’s pretty cool to just be able to run a program without any setup besides unzipping.
  • Said “demo” on program even after activated in the “Help” menu.  Not that I really care.

Conclusion

As I said earlier, I think the demo’s at least worth a download.  If you are a really serious photographer, possibly it’s worth buying.  I hope this package continues to improve, and hopefully it will become more and more full-featured!

On the other hand, if you’d like to go “old school” and pan your small camera mechanically, like a cave man, check out this awesome GoPro panning timer here!