Cameras

Welcome To The World Of Gigapixel Photography

If you feel that your pictures sometimes lack fine-grained detail, they probably do. At least when they’re compared to photographs taken with a new supercamera developed at Duke University that’s capable of instantly acquiring images packing in a staggering 960 million pixels.

The 93kg device (pictured below) stitches together images from 98 separate 14-megapixel sensors to create the images. While there have been other examples of gigapixel photography in the past, they have relied on panning a camera across a scene, sequentially recording images which are later stitched together. This device, however, captures all the images simultaneously.

The resulting images are so detailed that they can reveal a 3.8cm wide object from 1km away. The image above (click to see a bigger version) shows one of the camera’s test shots of a traffic circle. The insets images are digitally magnified by a factor of 13 and show details from 15m to 93m away. The images provide a 120-degree wide view, so look a little bit like the results you might expect to see from a fisheye lens.

One challenge remains though: to make the device, which currently measures 76cm x 76cm x 50cm, just a little more pocketable. [Nature]

Image: Duke/Nature