RCPano is an iOS App that takes images for a 360° aerial panorama using your Phantom, Mavic or other DJI drones. Navigate your aircraft to the location you want to take the images and let RCPano do the rest. The app works with the OSMO to take the images of the sky or for a ground based panorama. Why the Spark is only partially usable for the creation of a panorama can be read in the Statement on the Spark.
RCPano will take care of altitude, pitch, roll and yaw to maintain the aircraft's position as accurate as possible to minimize stitching errors. It does not rely on the built-in programs of the aircraft to let the drone stay in position but tracks the position ten times per second and makes adjustments as needed in realtime. This reduces drifting and stitching errors.
Panorama with rotation around the nodal point
Instead of rotating the drone with yaw commands (as you would do with your left stick on the remote), RCPano also utilizes pitch and roll to rotate the aircraft around the nodal point of the camera. In low wind situations this significantly enhances stiching quality especially when operating at low altitudes or with objects near the camera.
The Mavic Pro is DJI's first drone where the camera is not mounted underneath the copter but in front of it. With this technique the height of the drone could be significantly reduced and transportation is much more easier. With the Spark, DJI continued to build aircrafts this way. For the shooting of panorama images the position is disadvantageous, because the camera is moved out of the nodal point considerably. This can lead to stitching problems as you might know from panoramas taken with a cell phone. As with the other supported drones RCPano compensates the camera position by rotating the drone around the camera axis, not the center or the drone. You will find more information regarding the Mavic Pro here: Shooting Panoramas with the Mavic Pro.
Only take pictures that are needed
With RCPano, you configure the number of rows and columns the software will shoot images at. The nadir image (camera facing straight down) is always taken. Optionally, you can reduce the picture count when the camera is facing towards the ground while maintaining the overlapping percentage defined by the column count. This decreases the number of images for post processing and the time needed to shoot a full panorama.
Multiple camera modes
Using RCPano you can operate the camera of your device in three modes: M (manual), P (program) and TV (shutter). Models capable of adjusting the aperture can also be operated in AV (aperture) mode. Besides that, you can set the white balance and AEB picture count. All other parameters like picture style can be configured in the DJI GO App and will not be changed by RCPano. During operation, RCPano will show you the current ISO, shutter speed and EV, which can be changed as you would do in the DJI GO App.
RCPano supports the zoom lens of the OSMO+ and the standard zoom lenses for the Zenmuse X5 and X7 camera series and calculates position and overlapping for every image at the current zoom level and requested row and column count. This makes real gigapixel panoramas possible. Using the OSMO+ panoramas with up to 1.4 gigapixel can be shot.
The AEB mode is intended either for HDR shooting or to select the best image from a series of shots. For this purpose, each scene is shot multiple times with different exposure values (EV). Typically, the photographer is almost free to choose these values. Since mid-2017, DJI's firmware only allows EV values of ±0.7 EV, which is not sufficient for 360º panoramas when the sun is visible in the scene. RCPano avoids this restriction. Here you can find further information on the enhanced AEB.
If you take photos in manual mode, you know the situation: Exposure is correct for the sky, but as soon as the gimbal moves towards the ground, the images may be underexposed. For this purpose, RCPano has the Row-EV: An EV value can be added to the exposure per row of the panorama to compensate the underexposure when facing the camera towards the ground.
RCPano knows the position of the sun. In manual mode the exposure can be reduced while the camera is moving towards the sun to reduce overexposures. The automatic reduction is applied to images with the sky covering at least 50% of the image, having the gimbal positioned horizontally or pointing upwards. Here you will find more information on the Sun-EV.
After RCPano has taken the pictures for a panorama, a Papywizard-XML file is created which describes the panorama taken. With the information from this file, programs such as PTGui or Autopano can make a rough pre-alignment of the images, which makes stitching much easier, especially for difficult shots in the sky or in areas with little or no control points. More information can be found here.
While RCPano is primary designed to be a panorama application, it also supports single shots with the current settings. Especially with the Enhanced AEB this feature is very powerful for the creation of single HDR images.
RCPano can operate the DJI OSMO to create the images for the zenith. Together with the images taken by the drone you can create a true 360 degree panorama image. The OSMO is placed on a tripod below the copter and the shots have to be taken around the same time. An example of the usage of the OSMO can be found in the operation section.
Of course the OSMO can be used without a drone to create a complete ground based panorama. RCPano can assist you in creating the nadir (bottom) image and shooting a gigapixel panorama with the OSMO+.
Currently DJI Phantom 3 Advanced, DJI Phantom 3 Professional, DJI Phantom 4, DJI Phantom 4 Advanced, DJI Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2, Mavic Pro, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic Air, Spark, Inspire 1, Inspire 1 Pro, Inspire 1 RAW, Inspire 2, OSMO Standard, OSMO Pro, OSMO RAW, OSMO Pro and OSMO+ are supported. RCPano will recognize the different OSMO models, the App was only tested with the OSMO Standard and OSMO+.
The following zoom lenses are supported: Zenmuse Z3 (OSMO+), Mavic 2 Zoom Camera, Zenmuse X5S with Lumix 14-42 and Olympus 9-18. Exchangeable fixed focal length lenses (Zenmuse X5 / X7) are supported with 12, 15, 16, 17, 24, 25, 35, 45 and 50mm. The lens must pass its focal length to the firmware of the drone to be supported. If RCPano cannot recognize a lens, a message is shown. If you send us this message, we will implement the support for this lens if possible.
RCPano has several built in security features described in detail on this page. Please only fly at locations where you are allowed to.
RCPano runs on iOS devices with iOS 12.0 and above. We have no plans to make the software available on Android devices. Trust me. Click on the link to view the version history of the app.
If you have any questions regarding RCPano or the operation, check out our FAQ or feel free to use the contact form to send us a message. We are always looking for friendly beta testers.