Create Awesome 3D Panoramas on Your iPhone with Photosynth

Photosynth is a free iPhone app developed by Microsoft that allows you to shoot and share 3D Panoramas from your iPhone!

See an example of one of the panoramas below (Note: You may need to install Microsoft’s free Silverlight plugin)

The El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore

Anyone with an iPhone (or iPod touch) should definitely check out this fun app!

Where to Find it:

You can find the actual app here (or just search “Photosynth” in the app store).

If you would like to share your panoramas you’ll need to visit and create a Windows Live account (if you don’t already have one) to sign in.

What’s awesome about this app

  • It’s free!
  • Easy to create. No need for tripods or big dSLRs. With practice you can probably create one in about 30-45 seconds.
  • The resulting 3D panoramas give a really great sense of what it’s like to be standing at the place the shot was taken.
  • The app will stitch images together right on your iPhone
  • You can view the panoramas on your iPhone
  • You can actually zoom into the stitched image!
  • Upload to – a great place to check out a ton of incredible panoramas!
  • Share on Facebook
  • You can embed the panos in your blog or website

What’s not so awesome

  • The app rarely does a perfect job of stitching things together. It’s likely partly due to technique (you have to shoot a lot of overlaping images and you end up moving around a lot). It’s also due to circumstance, if there are objects moving around in your pano you can hardly expect it to be able to stitch them together well. Still I suspect the technology will improve. For a free app, it’s still magic!
  • If you miss an area of your pano the app will just fill it in with black. I suppose there is no perfect solution for missing image data.
  • If you want to share your panos, the person viewing your pano will need to install the Silverlight plugin. It’s a free plugin that’s easy to install, but it would be nice if it wasn’t required.


  • Find areas with a scene that fully surrounds you. It’s a bit of a different way of thinking about photography, but it will provide the most dramatic results.
  • Try to cover your scene in columns of images from top to bottom. I found the app had more difficulty stitching things together well when I just took photos in a random order.
  • Be steady. You’ll need to take a lot of photos, so it’s easy to accidently move when the photo is being taken. This will result in blurred areas in the pano where one image had camera shake. I think this is more of a problem in lower light situations (like the bookstore above)
  • If you like creating these 3D panoramas Microsoft does have a desktop version of the sitching software so you can create higher quality, higher resolution 3D panos.
  • Have fun!

Here are a few more panos from our recent trip to Buenos Aires:

A street corner near our apartment

An incredible wine store

The airport, about to go home


Rob Lim

Hi there, I’m Rob! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I love all things photography: shooting, teaching and always learning more! If I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique, I’m probably reading a book or planning our next adventure!

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1 Comment // Leave a comment

  1. We've played with this app a bit too, and it's really fun. You guys did a killer job with those panos! :)

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