The wide-angle zoom of your smartphone has also a different name: the Panorama mode. But don’t be fooled, it is a true zoom and a quality one!

Even with its short “wide angle” focal length, a smartphone may not be able to embrace all the immensity of a scene or subject. Switch then to panorama mode in your photo application. This is not a gadget feature: it offers a field of vision that exists only with specialized objectives (and therefore expensive) and the photos have a giant resolution!

Panorama horizontal de Punta di Campomoro in Corsica
Punta di Campomoro in Corsica. Horizontal panoramic photo shot with an Apple iPhone 5 with the stock photo app in Panorama mode. Photo processed in Adobe Lightroom Mobile. © Amaury Descours

Why is Panorama Mode a zoom?

A zoom lens is a lens that offers you different angles of view (fields of view) by varying the focal length. Visually, you magnify or shrink the scene to fill the picture.

The vast majority of smartphones do not have any zoom. For reasons of compactness and price, a smartphone has only a fixed focal length with a wide angle: about 65º for a focal length equivalent to 28mm in full size 24x36mm.

With the Panorama mode, you can take pictures with a field of view in excess of 65º and up to 360º if you like. You decide: you are your own zoom!

Raise the head

Do not just set the horizontal panorama mode. Also consider the vertical panorama mode!

Mode Panorama sur Apple iPhone
The Panorama mode of the stock photo application of smartphones, as here on an Apple iPhone, can also be used vertically. © Amaury Descours
Photo panoramique verticale de la tour Chrysler à New York
Chrysler Building in New York. Panoramic vertical photo made with an Apple iPhone 5 and the stock photo application in Panorama mode. Processed with Google Snapseed. © Amaury Descours

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Read 11 other insightful tricks in my free e-book “Take Beautiful Smartphone Photos: 12 Mistakes to Avoid when Shooting“.

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