I just returned a 280 to the store and one of the reasons was it had no panoramic mode. As I feared, I just spent all afternoon trying to unbend the horizon on a series of 180 degree panoramic shots I did in southern Utah. First with PhotoStitch, then The Gimp's lens distortion and perspective features. Not surprisingly it looked terrible. In the end I found a copy on the web which somebody else shot, which I should not have to resort to after buying one of Canon's newest and best.
I notice on my older ImageBrowser (18.104.22.168) it includes a feature to extract stills from a movie. Canon in its wisdom has decided I cannot open the 280's h264 mp4 on my model computer (though my computer will play them using non-Canon software) so I cannot explore further. However, I recall reading in one of the many, many camera reviews I perused that the panoramic mode on other cameras is lower resolution than normal stills and they require you complete your panoramic shot in 3-4 seconds. This sounds a lot like those are basically merged movie frames, and the 4s duration sounds like the 280's "hybrid" mode with which I never really experimented. Basically do a panoramic sweep while it is in hybrid mode. Can anybody able to run the newer Canon software tell me if the newer PhotoStitch can work with the hybrid files and/or movie mp4s to do panoramic photos? Does it do it in a more seamless fashion than the old PhotoStitch? If it can, AND Canon releases another firmware upgrade which this time truly fixes the battery life display issue then I may buy the 280 again.