Showcase: Motion panorama with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge
In true Samsung spirit, the improvements and new features packed into its latest Galaxy S phones—the S7 and S7 edge—number several dozens. For the most part, the company has focused on improving the hardware, but there are quite a few new goodies on the software side, especially on the camera front.
That's right, not only has Samsung moved to an entirely different, 12-megapixel snapper, but the underlying camera software has been upgraded with some new features—like Motion panorama. You might have missed this one during the entire hoopla, but it's actually a curious sliver of functionality that is worth exploring in brief, just so you know what's in stock should you go for one of the new phones.
As the name suggests, Motion panorama is alike to your normal panorama—there's a switch on the top of the interface to turn it on. Doing so, however, will force your S7 or S7 edge to shoot a video alongside the panorama image each and every time from there on. In result, when viewing the creation within the built-in Samsung Gallery, you'll be able to see a moving snapshot of a moment, instead of a still panoramic photo, meaning the new phones can be put to some fun creative uses. Unfortunately, you can't share these creations—at least we know of no easy way—as this is a proprietary format. Instead, you can choose to share either the image or the video from the Motion panorama, but not both at once—recipients have no way of viewing them.
In our experience, Motion panorama works fairly well. The image quality is untouched, while video is recorded at 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, which is decent, and both are superbly stitched together with no weird visual aberrations or artifacts. On the downside, the S7/S7 edge constantly prompt you to tilt them to explore your creation, but navigating panos this way is exceedingly awkward, as the phone gets stuck constantly. Overall, we can't say this is something you'll be making regular use of, but we imagine that Motion panoramas at, say, huge events, would serve to capture the mood and vibe of ambiance.
Here's a quick demo of what Motion panoramas look like in person: