Jerry - I've been seeing that "square stitching" in the SX10 Manual. I'm just wondering if one can create what would be a combined 7296 x 5472 image - then crop a, say, 4000 x 3000 image from any part of it - say, the centre - and have "an image that the camera can't do"...?
> Or just "crop across" to have, at different "heights" - 7296 x 2736 images from the same "stitchup"...?
I think you forgot to account for the 30% or so overlapping of images that the stitch mode uses to match adjacent images when stitching. To do what you want would probably take 3 images in each direction or a total of 9 images to create the file size you proposed. Then cropping it to 4000x3000 would be easy. However, I am not sure what you would gain from shooting a non-merged image in a wider angle or from a greater distance and just upsize the crop in photoshop.
As you change the angle of each image (assuming your using a tripod) the stitch program may not match up perfectly (it really will not) so you will have to deal with some distortion or image ghosting. Let me know if you try it and hit works.