Panoramic photography, like the word panorama, refers to an entire view of a surrounding area. Panoramic photographs attempt to capture such a view. The origin of the word comes from two Greek words, παν (pan), which means “total”, and ὅραμα (orama), which means “view”.
There is no formal definition of the point at which the “wide-angle” ends and the “panorama” begins, but a truly panoramic image must capture a field of view comparable to (or larger than) that of the human eye, which is 160° by 75° from one point of view, and must do so by keeping the details accurate through the entire portrait.
Today, it is possible to take panoramic photos at any ratio using a regular camera, scanner or digital camera. A variety of software is available to do this, capable of combining multiple photos into a single image, achieving a view of up to 360 degrees horizontally and 180 degrees vertically, closing a complete sphere.
There are several ways to make a panoramic photo, either with the use of a specific equipment, such as parabolic mirrors, or with normal equipment such as a common camera or even with a telephone choosing the option “Panoramic”, manipulating the result to compose the panoramic. Many modern machines also bring functions for the automatic creation of panoramic images. Some models have graphics on the screen that facilitate the shooting of the next photo, so that the fit of the same is facilitated. Others make a video while you rotate the camera and then the equipment selects the frames and creates the panoramic photo from the junction of the frames. Notably some Sony models use this technique.
Photographers who take panoramas are called panoramists.