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I’d like to believe that the photo industry has advanced quite far, despite still being behind phones somehow. I think that we’re now at a point where cameras can do even more. For example, a bunch of cameras try to do high megapixel modes and lots more. And years ago, they did panoramic modes as JPEGs. But I genuinely feel like it’s time they took that further. My idea: a panoramic RAW file that stitches together using similar tech as the high megapixel and multiple exposure modes.
A while ago, camera manufacturers started saying that they’ve maxed out what’s possible with still photography and that they’d focus more on videos. But I sincerely disagreed. Modern cameras are competent tools, but camera manufacturers aren’t imaginative. That’s why it’s shocking that the panoramic raw photo mode hasn’t become more commonplace.
You’re probably sitting there wondering why manufacturers haven’t made this yet. Well, for the past two decades, they’ve all been telling us that we can do that in post-production instead. But lots of us don’t want to sit in front of a computer slaving away to combine an image. However, if I needed to, I’d surely bring a panoramic raw photo that’s ready for me into Capture One to do some minor edits. The best part of this is that so many brands can do this differently.
- Canon can do this using the same multiple exposure technology that they’ve had for years. You’re just blending the photos together left to right.
- Sony doesn’t have a multiple exposure mode anymore. But they had a panoramic mode.
- Nikon can have panoramic RAW and apply its cool creative effects. The Sunday and Somber look are bound to make the mountains render really cool!
- Panasonic can do panoramic raw and apply their L Monochrome or Cinelike profiles to the images. Just imagine something genuinely looking like Panovision?
- Leica has the durability in their cameras to really encourage this.
- I’m not sure why Olympus doesn’t have this. They’re the brand I’d most expect to do panoramic raw.
- Fujifilm is where this would probably be the best. Imagine a panoramic RAW file in Velvia or Classic Chrome? It would look just like those old Nat Geo spreads in magazines.
Naturally, these would be huge RAW files. So I’d expect the imaging processors to take a bit of time to line everything up. But Sony used to make this the easiest with their Sweep panorama mode years ago. For some odd reason, everyone got rid of it, and it hasn’t been back since. Yet, most modern cameras can do things like apply clarity, high dynamic range, etc. So just imagine a high dynamic range panoramic raw image with clarity bumped up a bit. And you’d get both a Raw and a JPEG. Wouldn’t that be awesome for landscape photography? And what about cityscapes?
Some of the closest I’ve gotten to this is with a 16:9 photo aspect ratio. But that gives us a smaller image. Why can’t I have a bunch of raws combined in-camera?
Just also think about the beautiful prints you could make. Further, imagine when the camera gets older, you convert it to infrared. Now you can get infrared panoramic photos. You’re more inclined to stay with the camera system then and won’t want to switch. Camera manufacturers want people to stick with their system more than anything else.