Anyone camera shopping for themselves this Christmas may like to note that some compacts now have a feature called 'panorama assist' that folk may find useful for doing panoramas of their favourite waters. If the camera also has Manual, I would recommend this over the assist method. However, if there is no Manual, then 'assist' will help. What it does is locks the exposure (aperture, shutter speed and ISO) and white balance on the first frame and keeps it locked while you pan and shoot the remaining frames. You will still need stitching software, but you will get a much more seamless result than if you shoot with any differences in exposure or white balance between frames.

The only downside is that you need the first frame to be representative of the whole set and, being at the edge, it often isn't. I would try experimenting with shooting a sacrificial frame somewhere in the middle first (to give the camera its settings), then go to the left edge and pan and shoot the whole set, then just delete the sacrificial first frame.

(Sorry if this is old hat to many of you, only I just updated my compact from one that was 8 years old! )