I haven't tried the wave 3 beta of Live Photo Gallery, so this might have been improved upon already, but I've been playing with Microsoft Research's Image Composite Editor, and it turns out that the panoramic stitching it does is often even better than
that in WLPG.
I've been stitching my holiday snaps together with Live Photo Gallery, and despite myself being a very poor photographer and generally too impatient to set proper lighting settings and stuff, it got some pretty good results. Today I ran the same picture's through
ICE, and I noticed that it was able to handle the various dynamic ranges and lighting conditions much, much better than WLPG. Compare:
(Dead Indian Pass in WLPG and ICE, respectively. Notice the bands of light in the left half of the top picture)
(Again, WLPG on top and ICE on the bottom. Notice the various tones of blue in the sky on the top image.)
A tricky one, with the lower part (being in the shade) coming out very dark, but having a clear sky and brightly lit Devil's Tower in the top part. WLPG added a weird bright haze in the middle and in general lit up the picture, ICE managed to keep the whole
range of dark versus light.
I did notice that ICE threw up more weird artifact (like roads suddenly splitting and shifted vertically half a centimeter or so), but overall, I'm really impressed with how it managed to make the brightness of the composites much more uniform than WLPG.
By the way, ICE's auto crop feature (where it sets the cropping rectangle to the largest possible rectangle that doesn't include transparent bits) is ideal. Would love to see that in WLPG.