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Was this flawless Photo Sphere panorama taken with a Google Nexus 4 on a tripod?

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Was this flawless Photo Sphere panorama taken with a Google Nexus 4 on a tripod?
Google posted a new advertisement on its YouTube page several hours ago showing off a cool new feature of its Nexus 4 smartphone – the Photo Sphere. For those not familiar, Photo Sphere is used to capture 360-degree panorama photos, and here we have a few examples as to how they look. Now, you're probably aware of the method for producing panoramic photos – the user swipes the phone horizontally while it takes multiple photographs, which then get stitched together resulting in a single image. This technique might require a steady hand, however, if you want your photos to be ideal. 

And speaking of steady hands, Google might have actually used a tripod to take the photo you see below. An eagle-eyed reader of ours pointed out a strange shadow in the middle of the photo, which appears to be cast by a tripod and a person taking the shot, even though if the advertisement is to be trusted, the Photo Sphere is supposedly being taken by a pretty lady holding a Google Nexus 4 in her hands. The mysterious shadow is visible in the video as well. 

Of course, we aren't entirely sure whether a tripod was really used, but the evidence is there and we have to bring it forth. Sometimes images captured with Photo Sphere aren't stitched well, unless the user stands almost perfectly still, but the ad demonstrates how an ideal panorama can be taken with no effort at all. That's a case of an advertisement being misleading, some might argue, and we tend to agree, although its is probably not as bad as that Nokia Lumia 920 ad that wasn't taken with a smartphone at all.

What do you, guys, think? Is that a tripod in the middle of the photo, or could it be something else? Let us know down in the comments!

Thanks for sending this in, David!

source: Google (YouTube)

Was this Photo Sphere image taken with a Google Nexus 4 on a tripod?

Was this Photo Sphere image taken with a Google Nexus 4 on a tripod?



50 Comments
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posted on 20 Dec 2012, 02:36 20

1. Evil.Bunny (Posts: 41; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


So what's the big deal ?

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 02:49 16

4. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


Big deal or not, Google should apologize on this.

We all know the Nokia OIS fiasco. Conceptually Nokia also had a defending statement, because they never claimed that the footage was taken by L920, still they apologized.

Google should take that as example and release a small apology. That's all they need.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:02 4

9. MeoCao (unregistered)


Your should know that an advertisement is generally different from the actual thing. Turn on your TV and you see it in almost all ads.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:27 5

12. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


A small apology won't hurt. It's not like they totally clean, they showed a lady taking this pic, while real job was done by a tripod.
Tell me if I'm wrong.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:41 14

14. MeoCao (unregistered)


I saw an ads yesterday, a boy drank some kind of milk and he grew 10cm something in an instant.

Do you think the milk producer should apologize too?

I saw a TOYOTA in an ads which looked glossy and decidedly different from the same TOYOTAs on the streets. Should TOYOTA apologize?

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:51 4

18. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


I'm just talking about what you're arguing Wendy with.
You are biased towards Google and Android.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:52 1

20. MeoCao (unregistered)


May be, so you should point out what the bias is :)

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 06:30 3

28. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


mate just forget trying to be reasonable. people on here show there true colours

basically its ok for google to do anything but if another company do or have done similar its a disgrace. google is the new apple to these android fanboys like MeoCao.

as for the tripod thing, google should clear this up and apologise. they could have stated ''tripod used'' but didnt so there misleading everyone just like nokia had even if it was unintentional.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 09:18

36. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


So true..

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 11:05 1

40. Dr.Phil (Posts: 865; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


My only question: where's the shadow of the cameramen and producers that were shooting this commercial?

To be honest, even when Nokia had the whole "not taken with an actual Lumia 920", I didn't really care. I mean if you really think advertisements showcase a reality then you need to wake up. They are all just doing something to get your attention and make you think that if you buy said product you will achieve such results. It's up to the consumers to do their research and go test the product to see if it really does what it claims to. Neither the Nokia ad nor the Google ad fall under false advertisement because neither came out and said if you buy this product this is what you will get. Instead, they both used marketing schemes to make the consumers BELIEVE that if you buy this product this is what you could get but they never actually SAY this is the exact results you will achieve.

Have you guys never seen a pharmaceutical drug commercial where they make it seem as if you take a certain drug for rheumatoid arthritis you will be this happy-go-lucky person free of pain or if you take a drug like Cialis then your sex life is somehow magically better?

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 14:48 1

45. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1064; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


Google aint Nokia so they shouldnt apologize for anything! They are a legit company and most of your computing prowess is based on the tech developed by Google...your basic search for infinite knowledge couldnt have been quenched if it werent for google...so show some respect its highly due mate

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 17:46

46. apoorv.chincholkar (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Dec 2012)


Please.

Hey tough guy internet warrior. Yes you. Stop being a troll.

Let's put a face on this tough guy internet warrior.

Moderate your posts, please.

i.imgur.com/RpJNE.jpg

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 02:53 2

5. MeoCao (unregistered)


Right, it's doesn't matter.

It would have difference if Google claimed this is "SAMPLE" taken by N4.

Nokia got a lot of heat b-c the L920 "samples" were in fact taken by a DSLR.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:16 7

11. wendygarett (unregistered)


At least Nokia apologies for faking it LOL

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:43 1

15. MeoCao (unregistered)


haha, NOKIA lied, they showed the "SAMPLES" and samples mean to be real.

ads do not mean real generally.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:47 5

16. wendygarett (unregistered)


that also an ads bro LOL

but hey, google removed the video... probably a sign to apologies LOL

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:51

19. MeoCao (unregistered)


Did you follow the Nokia case? It was not an ad, it was samples. Nokia also had many L920 night photo "samples" which were in fact taken by a DSLR.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 08:10 1

32. jibraihimi (Posts: 660; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


Hahahahaha..... You my friend should get the award of 'Times fool of year' . First of all nokia never claimed that OIS shot were taken by Lumia 920. They were showing some samples, and in that samples OIS effect video was also there, but it was blunder by marketing team that failed to mentioned that videos were to show the result of OIS effect, and that it was not the real deal, and it was mistake by all the tech sites mentioning that the video was from Lumia 920 without first confirming the same from Nokia, and to hide their shortcomings they began to blame Nokia for misleading people. Whereas Nokia Never claimed those videos were from Lumia 920. Even after that Nokia apologised for that mistake...............and if you have seen real videos from Nokia Lumia 920, which shows OIS effect then you might have seen that Lumia 920's real camera samples are really very good, and it does what it says. So please stop making more fool of yourself by defending google, because mistake is mistake, and they should atleast clarify it, if not apologize............. Worshipping one company and brand is not going to take you anywhere, so please your brain and be rational, don't just be a stupid fanboy..............

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 08:13 1

33. jibraihimi (Posts: 660; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


Ooops, in the end I wanted to say please use your brain. But this autocorrect has now started to eat the words also..... :)

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:53 2

21. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


Haha true. Fanboys going wild, they see every other platform/OS glowing with red color. Motto is, 'We are always true'.
Gimme a break.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:59 4

24. RapidCat (Posts: 351; Member since: 12 Jun 2012)


lol google not faking this, because this taken using N4, not using DSLR

using tripod or not is optional.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:50 2

17. brar.arsh (Posts: 121; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


Yes, Its an ad and not a "Sample".. Nothing wrong in it..

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:32 4

13. sid07desai (Posts: 245; Member since: 03 May 2012)


No big deal. I was too eager to buy Nexus 4 because of android 4.2 and it's features like photosphere but had to compromise on low space, mediocre camera and lack of lte. But then I saw a Galaxy Note 2 video on youtube which had a custom rom showing the same photosphere feature with better quality. My doubts have been cleared. Note 2 it is.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 02:43 8

2. tiara6918 (Posts: 1324; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Whether the Photo Sphere image was taken with a Google Nexus 4 on a tripod or not, it doesn't really matter. At least google is showing off a revolutionary new feature may it bring good images or not..

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:00 3

8. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


If only people could be so inteligent at time the OIS fiasco happened...
Anyway, an example such as this is good of displaying the concept. For actual performance, we are waiting for real photosphere captures!

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 12:53 1

43. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 279; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


I have photosphere on my Galaxy Nexus. From my personal experience I don't see the tripod as being a big deal. The real challenge in photosphere shots has to do with the action around you. People, for example, are usually moving and not standing around like mannequins, so I can see seam areas between some of the shots. Don't get me wrong, it does an amazing job and I love the results I get, but no, it's not 100% perfect in real-world use.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 08:17 2

34. jibraihimi (Posts: 660; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


" At least
google is showing off a revolutionary new
feature may it bring good images or not.."
Well miss this revolutionary new feature was already available on WP7 in the form of 'photosynth'........... So nothing new here, in fact you should check photosynth, it does better job than this........

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 02:45 7

3. whencatsruletheworld (Posts: 16; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


Tripod or not, it was taken with a Nexus 4. Unlike Nokia who misled their customer by using a DSLR.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 02:53 1

6. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


No proof that it's even taken with N4.

I'm kidding of course, when a little doubt creeps in, you can assume every possible conspiracy, no?

This is like deja vu... same happened with the 920 but later they proved their ability. I hope google should do the same, show some real world examples!

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 02:58 1

7. whencatsruletheworld (Posts: 16; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


Yeah i guess so. Lets all wait for real world examples! (Y)

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 20:56

47. sarel (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Dec 2012)


Look at far right windows frame, that is not align properly. For me, this photosphere sample come directly from Nexus 4.

SHAME on you guys for being bias. This is bias article also.

Thank you.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:13

10. roscuthiii (Posts: 1785; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Well... as a panoramic shot, the center appears to be the least distorted portion of the image while the further you get towards the edges you have more and more distortion.
If the "tripod" is supposed to be the shadow we on the bottom of the photo, just to the right of center then it must have some really funky curved legs to appear as straight as they do. Just take a look at the lights top center, the floor boards, or hell, even the rug...

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:55

22. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


Dude it's clearly showing curved legs.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 03:58

23. random1204 (Posts: 26; Member since: 26 May 2010)


There was also a story on...AndroidPolice I believe? That looked into the Beta version of certain system files in 4.2

Funny enough, the instructions that were supposed to pop up the first time you used Photosphere (Then called something completely different, being Beta) said to rotate around the phone, acting as though it's on a tripod.

This is exactly how you are SUPPOSED to do it, though a little less shaky, since it's on an ACTUAL tripod.

...why was this story even published without research of this kind?

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 04:58 1

25. lukasound (Posts: 150; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


guys, it's a freaking commercial... are they also faking it if they use professional lighting too keep the room evenly lit? i have used photosphere on my S3, and it works great, even without a tripod, as it warps pictures to stitch them correctly, but a much bigger problem is lighting. it does color correction to even out the photos, but still, exposure and white balance make most of photospheres look uneven. they should lock white balance and exposure after the first shot, even if it meand underexposure or burning out parts of it, it would feel much more natural. you would only have to take the first image on the most neutral place...

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 05:06

26. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


lukasound? Vocaloid fan by chance? on PA??

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 05:24

27. lukasound (Posts: 150; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


sorry, i don't know what you are talking about :)
my name is luka, so that's my sig everywhere ;)

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 09:24

37. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


you can google it... well anybody who knows might assume that you are Vocaloid fan.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 06:51

29. aquadust (Posts: 18; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)


Love how they use ND filters on windows to dramaticaly reduce dynamic range of the scene, even the best DSLRs cannot capture such high DR... + they used very strong studio lights to increase scene lightning inside the room :)

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 06:57

30. PointMaza (Posts: 60; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)


yeah! it is taken by nexus 4

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 07:38 1

31. gazmatic (Posts: 521; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


I remember the lumia deal... but it delivered in the end

all they have to do is add a disclaimer and its no big deal

however... there is such a thing as fanboyism....

willing to defend or attack at the slightest provocation...

I say.... unless you have shares or stock in the companies you should just simmer down and enjoy technology

it is not like you are being paid to defend a brand or attack another...

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 08:51

35. TritonForceX (Posts: 57; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)


I'm an admitted FanDroid, but even I think this is nitpicking on both sides. SMH

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 09:38 1

38. ChafedBanana (Posts: 355; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


So what if Google used a tripod for the commercial. Its a commercial. You can't believe everything you see on TV. However, Photosphere stitches the photos together quite well most of the time. Of course you need a steady hand. Isn't it a good idea to have a steady hand anyway when taking even a single photo?

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 10:06

39. ChafedBanana (Posts: 355; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


The neat thing is that you can upload your Photospheres and if Google approves them, they're published to Google Maps. Here's one taken without a tripod that came out pretty good:http://maps.gstatic.com/m/streetview/?ll=41.608289,-88.018743&t=m&layer=c&panoid=RrT78alWO6sAAAAAAAAWyw&cbp=12,,,,&z=16&cbll=41.608289,-88.018743&hl=en

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 11:29

41. iDroidWin (Posts: 117; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)


Honestly, it doesn't matter. What Nokia did was used a completely different instrument. Panaroma always require a steady shot. I infact knew if beforehand that if you want to take an awesome photosphere, you have to use a tripod. I have seen some pics by some users. Tripod or not, its a sell for me. I didn't care for Nokia's apology. Camera is good for 920. Video is second to none (proof is in the video taken by a guy on a skateboard). Same goes for google. Google's apology won't make their photosphere's any less good. Same goes for Nokia.

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 12:31

42. dsmboost (Posts: 43; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


If anyone remembers advertisements for games that worked with the playstation eye, it would always show the video images as being almost like HD quality. When in reality, the resolution is really piss poor. No one complained about those ads though. At least the pictures are actually being taken by the advertised product here..

posted on 20 Dec 2012, 12:57

44. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


you can take a perfect photo sphere if you have steady photographer hands and everything remains still enough.

posted on 24 Dec 2012, 16:38

48. ensostyle (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Dec 2012)


img26.imageshack.us/img26/7875/41043759.jpg

also i don`t think all people on image was in real room and it was not taken with one round or the same settings, since windows not too bright.

posted on 24 Dec 2012, 16:50

49. ensostyle (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Dec 2012)


db.tt/psszHsYW

posted on 29 Dec 2012, 18:04

50. Tobybear (Posts: 3; Member since: 29 Dec 2012)


Look at the shadow from the piano leg. It starts where the piano leg touches the floor. The same is true for the shadows coming from the people standing on the floor, and and the people and chair on the left. Then look at what people are saying is the tripod shadow, what is supposed to be coming from the right leg of a tripod starts in the middle of the photo, but there is no tripod leg where the shadow starts.

A shadow of an object on the ground will start from that same point on the ground.
Unless someone photo shopped out the tripod but not the shadow, that shadow that looks like a tripods right leg could be something overhead.

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