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

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)

Related phones

Nexus 4
  • Display 4.7 inches
    1280 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    1.3 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB,
  • Battery 2100 mAh
  • OS Android 5.1 Lollipop



50. Tobybear

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 29, 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.

49. ensostyle

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 24, 2012


48. ensostyle

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 24, 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.

44. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

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

42. dsmboost

Posts: 46; Member since: Nov 01, 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..

41. iDroidWin

Posts: 117; Member since: Dec 07, 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.

39. ChafedBanana

Posts: 409; Member since: Sep 20, 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

38. ChafedBanana

Posts: 409; Member since: Sep 20, 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?

35. TritonForceX

Posts: 60; Member since: Sep 27, 2012

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

31. gazmatic

Posts: 822; Member since: Sep 06, 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...

30. PointMaza

Posts: 60; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

yeah! it is taken by nexus 4

29. aquadust

Posts: 29; Member since: Sep 13, 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 :)

25. lukasound

Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 16, 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...

26. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

lukasound? Vocaloid fan by chance? on PA??

27. lukasound

Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

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

37. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

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

23. random1204

Posts: 28; Member since: May 26, 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?

10. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 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...

22. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Dude it's clearly showing curved legs.

3. whencatsruletheworld

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

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

6. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 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!

7. whencatsruletheworld

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

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

47. sarel

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 20, 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.

2. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 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..

8. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 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!

43. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 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.

34. jibraihimi

Posts: 816; Member since: Nov 29, 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........

1. Evil.Bunny

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 29, 2012

So what's the big deal ?

4. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 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.

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.

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