Apple provides a nice panorama function in its Camera app, and there are a lot of other apps that allowed panorama photos before Apple got there. One thing that always frustrated me was that Apple didn’t build HDR functionality into its app, but one app I’ve found does do wide panoramas and allow HDR.

DMD Panorama ($1.99, and the HDR function adds another $1.99) does a nice job and in some ways improves on Apple’s offering.

Other features include full 360 degree panoramas. The software uses some of the iPhone hardware features like the gyro and compass to make sure your panorama comes out looking good.

Using DMD Panorama

The app is similar to Apple’s in that your iPhone must be held in portrait mode. Take a picture, and pan to either the left or right. You’ll hear a click at the completion of each frame. Go as wide as you like, or rotate in a complete 360. An on-screen symbol will help you get your vertical angle right and make sure there is enough coverage at the edges of shots to get a complete blend.

DMD Panorama saves files in its own camera roll, or you can elect to save them to your iPhone photo storage. 360 degree photos won’t render properly in your normal camera library, but you can view them nicely within the app. There are also some available tools that will give you an embed code for online viewing.

DMD Panorama results

I tried regular panos with the app, HDR panos, and then compared them to the Apple panorama feature, which doesn’t offer HDR.

The first image is a DMD Panorama with HDR turned on:

Panorama shot with DMD Panorama, HDR feature enabled

Panorama shot with DMD Panorama, HDR feature enabled

Next is the Apple built-in panorama function. It’s a bit overexposed, especially to the right of the frame:

Pano shot with apple Camera

Pano shot with apple Camera

Finally, the first image with HDR processed with the free Snapseed app.

dmd panorama, pano, iphone photo, snapseed

The app allows you to use flash, auto flash or no flash, and HDR can be disabled. It also allows you to lock the exposure as you rotate, which can prevent blending problems between exposures if the scene has great variations in dynamic range.

The Bottom Line

In most cases, the HDR panoramas looked best, although the app doesn’t give you any controls for the strength of the HDR effect. I got my best results by importing the DMD HDR panos into Snapseed, which really livened them up using Snapseed’s HDR Scape function.

The app is a social app, so your panoramas are uploaded as you shoot them. You can turn this off by signing up for a free account, but I think they have that set up backwards. I’d prefer that nothing was uploaded without my say so, and I should be able to sign up to give permission. I know the idea here is not nefarious, they just want to create a busy community of iPhoneographers shooting and sharing panoramas. Still, I don’t like auto uploads of anything.

The app’s resolution is 1,300 pixels on the short side — lower than Apple Panorama. Otherwise, if your end result is to share your panos online, DMD Panorama is a fully featured panorama app that can give you nicer-looking results than the free Apple version.

DMD Panorama Lite, a no-frills version of the app, is available for free and will let you test out the app’s panorama function in lower resolution, but without the social sharing or HDR features.

The HDR function is the real plus for this app, but remember that it’s an additional $1.99 in-app purchase. With some more control over the HDR strength, this would be a class leading app. As it is, it’s very powerful, and having the ability to have wide panoramas done with HDR is a real plus.


App Store link: DMD Panorama – Dermandar

– Mel Martin

DMD Panorama 4.7

Effects Quality
Resolution and Image Quality
User Interface


Very powerful, and having the ability to have wide panoramas done with HDR is a real plus

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