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Order Panorama Prints from Apple

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:05 am
by Stephen Hart
I've been very happy with poster-sized prints ordered directly from Apple. You can do it in iPhoto or Aperture. It's quick and almost too easy, and even the largest, 20 x 30 inches are only $20. Prints arrive in the mail in a few days.
I've ordered half a dozen of that size just for testing, and have been delighted with the quality. The colors, for the most part, are excellent, and the sharpness is nothing short of amazing.

But what's missing from iPhoto and Aperture on the Mac is a way to order panoramas. iPhones can take amazing panoramas in seconds. And with various software, you can stitch together stills from any camera into a pano (I use Photoshop CS6). But what do you do with them? On a 27" iMac, viewing a pano at full screen produces an 8" high photo. Pretty cool, but anything smaller than full screen looks small and skinny.

When the latest iPhoto iteration was released for iOS 7, it included an Auto Size option for prints, which they say is perfect for panos. I had to check it out.

I ordered two 8-inch wide panos as a test.

One was a huge Photoshop pano I made from 10 scans of a panoramic comic poster I bought. That was a bit too long, so I had to crop a bit. But the result of the test was excellent. And this was from the 4921 × 768 (3.8 MP, 1.15 MB) version on my iPad. The original has twice that many pixels.

The second was an iPhone pano taken up on Blue Mountain with Mt. Baker in the distant background. It's also excellent, with beautiful color balance and excellent sharpness.

I assume Apple will get around to adding pano printing to iPhoto Mac and Aperture. And I hope they include even bigger sizes.