I cannot see any form of blurring from motion, or stitching artifacts. It seems impossible to have been over time. Was this a special lens that they used? If so, what's it called?

It's incredible!


As many answers are pointing out, stitching artifacts are in fact present on the photo.


The basic idea is a setup of cameras phisically fixed on a spherical rig that shoot a photo at the same time, and then each of the images stiched with some pre defined parameters as the relative positions of the images does not change.

The central point is displaced so you can sometimes find some misaligment, specially on closer objects. (An explanation on this misaligment here: Do I "need" a panoramic head to shoot 360 panoramas?)

The more cameras you put, the more Mpx you have. This ammount of cameras also defines the focal distance of each shoot. If you want a longer focal lens, you need more shoots.

Take a look at the setup for google street view: https://www.google.com.mx/search?q=google+street+view+camera

There are some other consumer cameras with smaller Mpx output, but the idea is the same, like Bublcam or NokiaOzo. There were several Startups to make this kind of cameras inclusive for video.

  • While the other answers did mention what type of setup or how long the shoot might take, yours did link to some pretty interesting articles and described the setup in a little more detail.
    – zedjay72
    Jan 23 '17 at 21:26
  • I don't think a rig with multiple cameras was used, as for such a picture you would defnately use a professional camera. More likely they used a automatic panning head, like for example: panoramic-photo-guide.com/gigapan-epic-pro-review.html
    – Douwe66
    Jan 23 '17 at 21:43
  • You can easily make a rig of EOS 1 if you want. A Head do not take simultaneus photos. But yeap probably a head was used because some seams looks like they did not shoot at the same time.
    – Rafael
    Jan 23 '17 at 23:31

It is defenitely stitched, although I must say it's done quite well! Here are two examples I found in a minute.

enter image description here

enter image description here

With the cameras they have nowadays I don't think it took very long at all. Assuming it is a few gigapixels, using a 50MP camera, you would only need about 100 pictures. With the ammount of light those can be taken in less than a minute (with the proper equipment).

As equipment, most likely CNN used an auotmatic panning head with a high end DSLR or mirrorles camera. Something like the GigaPan head shown below.

enter image description here

  • Someone's watch shows 12:10, while a clock tower shows 12:18, so either one pan takes at least 8 minutes, or (more likely) it's a stitch of multiple takes.
    – Webveloper
    Jan 21 '18 at 23:52

When you shoot panoramas, the amount of overlap you have during the stitch is key--with enough overlap, you typically have enough 'clean plate' to erase most ghost/clone/stitching error mistakes you come across. It's mostly a matter of how much time you want to spend retouching the image. But if you're experienced, you can pick out the "errors" caused by the stitch. I found some clones of two girls who apparently were moving too fast not to make it into two separate member images outside of the overlap area. This doesn't ping as an error for most folks looking at the image, because it's not that obvious as a movement error.


There's also the fact that most people don't move a lot when someone's giving a speech. :) And that the vast majority of them probably aren't at the edges of the member images. Also, an autopano rig is probably going to be snapping these images off pretty quickly, so folks mostly won't move far, if they do move, between the images.


There are many gaffes stitching the Gigapixel CNN Presidential Inauguration photo.
enter image description here

If you examine closely this photo is full of Photoshop gaffes and bad stitching, there is man with a grey coat, glasses, red tie and iphone WITHOUT A LOWER BODY AND LEGS (first wall) and also other legs without a body (to his left) and there are other SHOES WITHOUT LEGS. (first barrier right) . In the right tower there is a man giving his back to camera but some tiny awkward shoes are coming to the front. These portions are been obviously badly doctored. Keep looking for more....GL

enter image description here

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