Difference Between Panoramic and Wide

You must have come across mesmerizing wide photos taken by professional photographers that capture a very wide view of a scene or a structure in comparison to the regular photos that cannot capture such a large view. These are called panoramas that are taken using special panoramic cameras. It is a photo that gives a very wide angle of view. Panoramic photography is also called as wide angle photography. It produces images with elongated fields of view. The difference between panoramic and wide angle is often misunderstood by people and they believe it to be the same. However, it is not so and there are differences that will be discussed in this article.

While panorama is reserved for a wide photo only, wide is a term that is used for wide angle lens that is used to produce a panorama. Camera manufacturers use the word panoramic for any print format that has a wide aspect and not necessarily images that have a large field of view. In fact, in their panoramic mode, Advanced Photo System cameras have a field view of just 65 degrees that can at best be classified as wide angle and not panoramic. Panoramic cameras are of several types such as rotating cameras, swing lens cameras, wide angle cameras and stationary panoramic cameras. Thus it is clear that wide angle cameras are only one of the many types of panoramic cameras and should not be confused with being a synonym of panoramic cameras.

Another way to look at panoramic and wide is that while a panorama can be created by simply stitching together 2 or more photos using software, you may need a wide angle lens if there are moving subjects in your field of view. A wide angle lens is an attachment to the front of the camera’s lens which enables you to get a wider field of view. If you are taking a group photo with lots of people that do not fit in and you cannot back up as the room is small, you can make use of a wide angle lens to create a wide angle photo that looks like a panorama.

In brief:

• Panoramic and wide angle are two different methods of creating photos that provide a wide angle view.

• While in panoramic you can simply attach 2 or more photos to produce a wide photo, wide angle lens provides a wider field of view when attached to the front of your camera’s lens