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How to Use Panorama and Photo Sphere Modes on the Nexus 7 Tablet

The Camera app on the Nexus 7 tablet features two fancy, still-shot modes: Panorama and Photo Sphere. Both let you capture the world around you in a unique way.

  • The Panorama is a wide shot. To make it work, pan the tablet across a scene. The Camera app then stitches together several images to build the panorama.

  • The Photo Sphere is like a wraparound panorama, covering left, right, up, down, and all around. The end result is an interactive image you can pan and tilt to see everything around you.

To shoot a panoramic shot, follow these steps in the Camera app:

  1. Choose Panorama from the Camera Mode icon.

  2. Hold the tablet steady and then touch the Shutter icon.

  3. Pivot in one direction as shown on the screen, following along with the animation.

    Watch as the image is rendered and saved to the Gallery.

To create a photo sphere, obey these steps in the Camera app:

  1. From the Camera Mode icon’s menu, choose Photo Sphere.

  2. Position the tablet so that the dot on the screen lines up with the circle.

    Use the artificial horizon that appears to help you line up the camera.

  3. Systematically turn in every direction, lining up the camera with the dots that appear on the screen.

    You’re not done until you’ve lined up the camera with every dot.

When the photo sphere image is complete, the Camera app renders the final result. You can peruse it in the Gallery or immediately by swiping the screen to the left. Touch the Photo Sphere icon to interact (pan and tilt) with the image preview.

Photo sphere shots work best with static surroundings, such as landscapes and still life images. Trying to take a photo sphere image of people or other lively objects, such as an exploding volcano, yields disappointing results.

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