What’s a cheap, easy way to make drone panorama photos? The new, PanoVolo software was tailored specifically for turning your drone photos into panoramas. It’s a simple tool for anyone looking to expand their drone photography skills. The software creates drone panoramas in seconds.
Here at The Drone Girl, we were given the chance to try out PanoVolo. The drone photography software launched in December 2023, with the newest version released this past January (1.5.0).
PanoVolo costs $29.99 for a lifetime membership (with one year of updates included). With it comes state-of-the-art image analysis that uses the position and orientation saved by the drone to create geometrically accurate panoramic images.
There are a lot of options when it comes to the best ways to make a panoramic photo with your drone. Of them, Panvolo is among the cheapest. That said, the software has its limitations (which we’ll describe more below). However, the low price tag and easy-to-use guide make it ideal for new drone photographers.
Using the PanoVolo software
Before you can edit your photos, you’ll of course need to actually take panoramic images with your drone. When you are flying your drone, make sure you switch (typically on your controller) to save the RAW or JPEG originals of your panoramic photos.
If you are flying a DJI drone, you will have to wait until your drone is flying to switch on this feature. Don’t be like me, who spent a whole afternoon shooting on my DJI Mini 3 Pro, only to come home to try to upload the photos to PanoVolo and receive a continuous error message. (I had failed to save the original images).
However, when I went back out and shot new photos, uploading them to PanoVolo was really quite simple. You can upload the photos from your SD memory card or straight from your computer in under a minute. The software offers multiple customization options and accommodates both DNG (RAW) and JPEG images.
Once uploaded, the stitched drone panorama photos appear in the Pan Volo panorama viewer. PanoVolo uses optimized algorithms that combine the position and orientation information saved by the drone with image analysis to ensure that the stitched panoramas are visually stunning and geometrically accurate.
With a simple click, your DNG or JPEG images can seamlessly switch from spherical, cylindrical, and stereographic (or ‘small planet effect’) images. Additionally, PanoVolo allows users to pinpoint the exact locations where images were captured on a 3D map.
Depending on your original images, some orientations work better than others. I found the three vertical options (vertical spherical, vertical cylindrical, and vertical Mercator) to be great options for uploading your panorama on your Instagram story.
Personally, I hate when you go to post a panorama of your story and there is space on the top and the bottom. This orientation allows you to still have everything you captured in your panorama and fits the whole story.
Once you find the perfect orientation, saving the drone panorama photo to your computer or memory card is quite simple.
With the latest version, some of the recent highlights were the addition of the panorama central point selective feature. This feature allows you to select a new central point around which the panorama can be re-orientated.
It can be difficult to get your drone while in the air to be at the exact right angle. Given that, I found this feature beneficial.
Who is the PanoVolo software for?
You may be wondering: If my drone already has panorama shooting options, then why do I need PanoVolo?
First, not all drones are compatible with this feature, like the Autel Evo Lite, for example. If your drone fits into this category, then it’s hard to pass up the PanoVolo software.
If you are a skilled photographer who already uses the Adobe Suite, then this option is probably not for you. That software is far more robust.
PanoVolo allows novice drone photographer to adapt their photos quickly and seamlessly. Plus, the software makes sharing on social media incredibly simple.
Additionally, PanoVolo gives you the freedom to change the orientation of your panorama, no matter how you take it on your drone. Taking all those different panoramas straight from your drone would surely drain most of your battery and the spares.
But if you are new to drone photography and eager to show off your photos on social media? Then spending $29.99 certainly seems worth it.
It’s available on macOS 12 (Monterey) or newer, as well as Windows 10 or 11, 64-bit. Download PanoVolo here.