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Robotics Technology

Robotic Camera Extension Takes Gigapixel Photos 102

schliz writes "Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a device that lets a standard digital camera take pictures with a resolution of 1-gigapixel (1,000-megapixels). The Gigapan is a robotic arm that takes multiple pictures of the same scene and blends them into a single image. The resulting picture can be expanded to show incredible detail."
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Robotic Camera Extension Takes Gigapixel Photos

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  • by grimJester ( 890090 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @02:53PM (#23447076)
    Here [cmu.edu]
  • by Sitnalta ( 1051230 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @02:56PM (#23447110)
    Yep. Open Adobe Photoshop and go to File -> Automate -> Photomerge. Then simply point it to the folder containing your photo array.
  • Some Links (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rufus211 ( 221883 ) <rufus-slashdot@h ... minus herbivore> on Saturday May 17, 2008 @02:59PM (#23447128) Homepage
    This is a pretty cool project, and I actually saw it when I was at CMU a bit ago (and was wondering what the hell it was).

    There's a CMU press release [cmu.edu] about it.
    The site with all the pictures is http://www.gigapan.org/ [gigapan.org]
    You can see the hardware here [charmedlabs.com].

    The only problem with this, and any other multi-picture stitching, is that you get obvious stitching problems when there is any movement in the scene, like the trolley in the middle of this scene [gigapan.org].
  • by AsmordeanX ( 615669 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @03:38PM (#23447328)
    That's not really all that new. Motorized panorama heads have been around for a long time. People have even built them from Lego Technics.

    As an avid pano/gigapixel photographer myself I'm interested in any new entry into the excessively priced head market. I'm using a Kadian Quickpan Pro that cost me $400 a few years ago. An automated system would be very nice but the cost is usually horrific. I've even had a head custom built at one point.

    As for the use, I like to take big pictures. I have a 6ft x 3ft print hanging on my wall. The print is 400dpi taken from a 43000x22000 (just shy of 1GP). People see the picture and say it looks nice then walk a little closer, and closer, and closer. Pretty soon they are standing 4" away and excitedly reading the serial number on the front of a train car that is only 2" across on the print.
  • by RichardKaufmann ( 204326 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @03:43PM (#23447362)
    You're confusing three different aspects of quality:

    1. Resolution (the number of pixels in am image, here increased by stitching overlapping images)
    2. Dynamic range, color fidelity, noise (the quality of a particular pixel). This can be somewhat ameliorated by HDR photography or just averaging identical shots (all with no moving subjects and a sturdy tripod). Google Photomatix for details.
    3. Whether the shot is interesting, well composed, in focus, without motion blur, etc. Panorama photography is most interesting for its artistic potential; more pixels is just a delightful side effect.

    #1 and #2 can be addressed by money and a willingness to prostrate yourself to the camera gods. #3 requires talent!

    And to put a final nail in the megapixel coffin: check out http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/Equivalent-Lenses.shtml [luminous-landscape.com] (particularly Nathan Nyhrvold's comments) for a discussion of how sensor size and f-stop place an upper bound on resolution irrespective of sensor density. Physics can be a pain sometimes!

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @07:10PM (#23448666) Homepage

    what kind of a printer does it take to print a high res monster like that?

    This kind [epson.co.uk].

  • Also ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @07:22PM (#23448770) Homepage

    ... you might want to read more here [wikipedia.org].

  • by vandoravp ( 709954 ) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @11:21PM (#23450140) Homepage
    Sort of. Resolution is the fineness of information that can be resolved given a fixed size. Keep in mind that number of pixels is not exactly image size, which can be described in cm or inches depending on the context. For example, a 10in by 10in image at 300dpi will have a much higher density of information when compared to a 10in by 10in image at 72dpi. So, these gigapixel images are potentially much higher resolution, depending on the physical dimensions it is presented at. Compared to most graphics on the web, these images are insanely high resolution. However, if they were printed out at 300dpi, their resolution would be the same as any typical printout, except the prints would be physically gigantic. You are right though that "pictures with a resolution of 1-gigapixel" is inaccurate, so far as it is missing scale, as noted by the sib post, though it is implicitly compared to typical photo scales.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!