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26 Gigapixel Photo Sets New World Record 139

Posted by timothy
from the stock-up-on-flash-memory dept.
FrenchSilk writes "The largest gigapixel photograph ever created with a DSLR camera was made by A.F.B. Media GmbH in Dresden, Germany. 1655 images, each 21.6 megapixels in size, were taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 400 mm lens over a period of 176 minutes. The images were stitched on a 16 processor system with 48GB of main memory, taking 94 hours to create the final result. The interactive view can be found here."
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26 Gigapixel Photo Sets New World Record

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  • Google Earth (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HateBreeder (656491) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:35PM (#30480460)

    If we're gonna stitch photos together, i think Google Earth is probably by far "higher-resolution" than this.

    Show me a SINGLE image sensor that can do 26GP and i'll be impressed!

  • Actual Largest Photo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:44PM (#30480594) Journal

    Legacy Project [legacyphotoproject.com], they converted an old hanger into a pinhole camera.

  • Largest Image Sensor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HenryKoren (735064) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:04PM (#30480846) Homepage

    Some related knowledge: The largest Image sensor (that I've heard of) is part of the "Large Synoptic Survey Telescope" in Chile and it weighs in at 3200 Megapixels

    http://www.megapixelmyth.com/?p=127 [megapixelmyth.com]

    Shameless plug: check out my blog at megapixelmyth.com

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:06PM (#30480856)

    Ditto that. I read the first few sentences without a problem, until I hit the part where they talk about pixels (picture elements). I couldn't figure out why the grammar and parentheses were that screwed up.... until I accidentally moused over a sentence with a Google pop-up asking me to improve the sentence. Only then did I realized I was looking the Google Translate page of the actual German page.

    Hot damn. Automated language translation has come a long way.

  • Re:Google Earth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:58PM (#30481346)

    There is a 111 MP single sensor camera that just got installed on a telescope. There's not a whole lot of point though. It's easier, cheaper and more reliable to create a multichip camera like the 1.4 GP camera installed on one of the telescopes in Hawaii. It's still one camera though, and takes the whole 1.4 GP in one shot.

  • Re:Google Earth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HateBreeder (656491) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @07:02PM (#30481386)

    Read about CMOS Active Pixel Sensors:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_pixel_sensor [wikipedia.org]

    The size is dominated by the transistors, the photo-diode shares the same feature size are the transistors since it's manufactured under the same process.

    Moore's law applies.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @07:41PM (#30481838)

    Stitching many images to form one big picture is challenging in many ways: First you need the camera and lens to capture enough detail. With a 400mm lens, it took a 21MP camera to get that much data. If you've ever tried to shoot a crisp 21MP picture at 400mm, you know that even just one of these 1655 photos is an achievement. Then you need the hardware to shoot these pictures in quick succession: The photoshoot took them three hours. During that time, the sun moves, shadows move, the color of the sky changes. The faster you can shoot the pictures, the better the result will be. The banding in the picture is a result of "only" shooting one picture every six seconds. You can't shoot to flash memory cards either, because they're going to be full all the time and you don't have the time to change them, so you need a camera which can shoot directly to a computer. Then you have lots of images on your hard disk and you need to stitch and blend them. Off-the-shelf panorama software is optimized for small numbers of pictures, so you have a couple of problems to solve on that front too.

    That said, personally I think that that resolution is too much. Due to the way these images are created, they don't work at all for even moderately dynamic views, they're always full of artifacts from the light change, they usually look quite dull when zoomed out and the interesting bits are lost in a vast desert of pointless detail.

  • by John Whitley (6067) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @08:00PM (#30482028) Homepage

    It's not just photographs. This is a problem when generally when a medium is applied to a primarily technical aim (e.g. breaking a record) vs. an aesthetic one. The best example of this I've witnessed was during my freshman year of college, when a music department Prof. had the class listen to the first public recording of tape loop reverb. IIRC, it came out of MIT. The recording was performed on the recorder (the woodwind instrument) by the then-current department chair.

    Now try to imagine sounds that would make Vogons would tremble in simultaneous delight and terror at this, and admit in defeat that their poetry is no equal. I can't recall hearing a brilliant rendition of anything on the recorder. Now combine that lackluster sound, with a /cough/ less than virtuoso performance and a good mangling by those first doozy steps into studio-created reverberation.... bleaaargh!

  • Re:Google Earth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @08:09PM (#30482112)

    Not in astronomy. Film and digital sensors respond to light in different ways. Digital sensors are MUCH more sensitive than film is, but much of that sensitivity is unusable in a regular camera because digital sensors also experience much higher levels of noise than film does.

    So if you're shooting regular landscape, portrait, whatever, you might well be right. But in astronomy that extra sensitivity actually buys you something.

    Most astronomical pictures you see are the result of long exposures, from seconds to weeks. With a digital sensor you can capture even very faint objects by taking lots of short exposures and then averaging them together. That gets you a bunch of advantages, such as being able to salvage data if something happens halfway through, exposing over multiple nights, and taking a LOT of pressure off your tracking apparatus. It's much easier to accurately track a target over a short exposure (and align the images afterward) than it is to keep up accurate tracking over an entire, long exposure.

    If you tried the same trick with film you simply wouldn't be able to image dimmer objects because they'd fall below the base sensitivity of each exposure.

    There's a reason astronomers were some of the first to use digital cameras, and that amateur astronomy was revolutionized by them.

  • Re:Shadows (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FiloEleven (602040) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:33PM (#30483588)

    They actually captured the same two people twice! There's a grassy patch near the lower right of the image that contains two bright red flags. Zoom in on those, then pan up and to the right to the sidewalk. There's a column with ads on it and some people walking to the left and right of that. Two of them are clearly doubled. I hope they get to see themselves.

    I don't care about the headline or the record. I think it's a neat image in its own right.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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