What you see here is not one image but a series taken and then automatically stitched together by the Sony A55 into one panorama image.
The camera has a sweep mode. You point the camera at one end of the panorama you want to capture, press the trigger, and then sweep the camera view across the panorama you want to capture. The only settings I can see that affect this mode are sweep to the left or sweep to the right. The camera will call bully on you if you try to trick it in this regard.
Interestingly enough, the camera also saves the imagery as video.
The only downside I have seen is I believe I have one such sweep where the exposure changes in the middle of the sweep and that exposure shift is clearly visible even to untrained eyes
Obviously, sunsets and wide vistas will be the normal subject of this mode, but I say why not use it to capture other shots and see what happens? Such is the case with the truck photograph you see above.
What are particulars on this photo?
Now, again, DigiKam is not working so the exif data on the photograph is not available. However the subject is truck after a detailed cleaning and wash. Yes, I applied a hard-wax to the truck too and I always get a thrill after apply the hard-wax to take some pictures of that. It gives me a soft-endorphin buzz or something (which are the best ones — the sweet buzz of accomplishment).
The photo was taken with the stock lens that came with the camera and that is an 18-55 mm. Since the ambient lighting and the subject are bright the pairing exhibits moderate depth of field, the droplets at the front of the image are fuzzy and at the back they are sharp.
How often will I be using this mode? Hard to say, but I am guessing I will be pulling this one out of my bag of tricks frequently. Often times, I am looking for images to form wide but thin images, e.g. a vista from a lakefront, I like these to form web banners and used to laboriously stitch images together one by one using The GNU Image Manipulation Program. I am glad Sony thought to include this mode, but please next time, allow us to fix the exposure!