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Seitz's 160 Megapixel Digital Camera

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the whew-i-was-worried-there dept.

207

An anonymous reader writes "Digital cameras had been lagging behind Moores law for a while, but Seitz has taken a massive step forward with their announcement of a 160 Megapixel digital camera! At almost 20" long, with a price tag of around $36,000, and with on-board gigabit ethernet to copy off the image it's not exactly going to take on the consumer market, but how long before we see this resolution in a mobile phone?
Even with todays current range of digital cameras massive images are possible — such as the amazing 720 Megapixel image of Sydney Harbour"

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FT submission (5, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185065)

From the submission: but how long before we see this resolution in a mobile phone?

Enough with stupid tag questions already! Would submitters and editors please stop with this insanity - we don't need to be *led* into a discussion, we're good enough already.

Re:FT submission (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185633)

Giorgiorfr proposes that submitters and editors cut out the idiotic leading questions in their article posts. But will Slashdotters live up to their promise of being able to start a discussion on their own?

I have seen it! (1)

Ixne (599904) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185081)

The future of high-rez pr0n!

Re:I have seen it! (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185159)

Oh joy. The goatse fans will be happy.

Re:I have seen it! (3, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185177)

The future of high-rez pr0n!


Yeah, nothing like seeing the pores on the mole on Ron Jeremy's butt.

Re:I have seen it! (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185201)

Hey that mole has a name! It's GEORGE!

In a camera phone? Why? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185091)

megapixels without good non-fixed lens == pissing away bits.

Makes for great marketing though. Let them megahur^H^H^Hpixels fly! See, the megahurtz race didn't come back to bite the industry too hard, so no reason to learn.

Re:In a camera phone? Why? (5, Informative)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185277)

Diffraction ultimately limits the useful megapixels in digital photography. You cannot replace film/sensor area, and the economics of building large sensors will make them extremely expensive in the forseeable future.

I use a 4x5" large-format film camera. With 20 in^2 of film area and a flatbed scanner capable of 2400dpi, I get 115 megapixels. A drum scan at 4000dpi gives me 320 megapixels if I wanted. And because the sensor is huge, diffraction doesn't hurt me unless I stop down my lens to f45 or f64.

Now many say you can get this quality through stitching dozens of digital captures together....if that is your sort of thing.

Diffraction, shmiffraction... (5, Informative)

SnowDog74 (745848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186261)

Negative Refractive Index [wikipedia.org] ... specifically read the last paragraphs about superlenses and breaking the diffraction limit.

We're not talking science fiction. The concept has been tested in practical application and yielded orders of clarity beyond the diffraction limits of the wavelengths of light being captured.

Re:In a camera phone? Why? (2, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185419)

Where'd the camera phone come from? Did you even RTFA? I dont know about you but this doesn't look like a camera phone to me [roundshot.ch]

Came from blurb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185661)

I think it came from the part that says "but how long before we see this resolution in a mobile phone?"

HTH.

Re:In a camera phone? Why? (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186477)

I dont know about you but this doesn't look like a camera phone to me

I don't know....it looks like it could be a new N-Gage. I mean, in that picture, it kinda does look like he's Sidetalkin [sidetalkin.com]

Not even 1Gp. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185129)

Ahem. Gigapxl Project [gigapxl.org] .

Re:Not even 1Gp. (4, Interesting)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185821)

Ummm...call it what they like, but that's scanned film.

While not a gigapixel sensor, there is a guy that stitched together a gigapixel image from 196 digital photos, and he did this 3 years ago.

http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/gigapixel.htm [tawbaware.com]

Educated guess (5, Funny)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185139)

The sysadmins that host the 720 megapixel image of Sydney are probably not going to be sending you thank-you cards, I'm guessing.

Re:Educated guess (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185591)

Neither is the half-naked girl that you can see in the third tower on the right, fifth window down....(Zoom to maximum)

Re:Educated guess (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186485)

Nice troll,
Got me :-)

That or I'm blind....
-nB

The world's friendliest DDoS . . . . . . (4, Funny)

failure-man (870605) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185147)

That's it. Link a 720 megapixel image, on the front page of Slashdot, from an Aussie server, just as North America is getting into the office and commencing "working." ;)

Moore's law has what to do with this? (-1, Offtopic)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185153)

From Wikipedia
is the empirical observation that the transistor density of integrated circuits, with respect to minimum component cost, doubles every 24 months
Someone explain to me how that applies to Digital Cameras pixal density.

Re:Moore's law has what to do with this? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185215)

I have no idea how the photosensitive surface of a digicam works but I'd guess they are built using semiconductors. Obviously a higher element density on semiconductors means more pixel receptors on the surface then.

Re:Moore's law has what to do with this? (4, Insightful)

dmatos (232892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185299)

Since pixels need to collect photons in order to generate the electrons that form an image, the smaller you make them, the less responsive they are. With smaller and smaller pixels, you either need longer exposure times (opening yourself up to blur if the subject is moving), or larger lenses (which cost mucho mucho dinero). People are already making pixels at 2.5um pitch. You are unlikely to see any further major reduction in that size, given the constraints of responsivity.

Re:Moore's law has what to do with this? (2, Interesting)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185465)

This is why even a pretty good 6MP sensor - like, say, a Nikon D50 today - can produce much better pictures than a crappy 8MP point-n-shoot camera sensor does. By better I mean cleaner, less noisy, with more realistic color, etc, etc. Even with good lenses, the tiny sensors just aren't getting the light information they need to do well.

Re:Moore's law has what to do with this? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185493)

"With smaller and smaller pixels, you either need longer exposure times"

If the gaps between the pixels are getting larger, yeah... but if you have four pixels that are quarter the size, they receive quarter of the amount of light in the same amount of time... put the four together, and you end up with the same amount of light, no?

Re:Moore's law has what to do with this? (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186009)

Yes, but you start to get more noise in the photo. By dividing the total into smaller and smaller quantities, the sampling error will grow. The only solution is to come up with better and better measuring mechanisms, which they do with each generation of sensors, but the improvements are gradual.

Longer exposures overcome this limitation. It's kind of like using a stopwatch. How precicely can you measure a millisecond? How about a second? A minute? Your measuring error is pretty consistant no matter what length of time you are measuring. The difference is, the longer the span of time you are trying to measure, the less significant your error is.

Re:Moore's law has what to do with this? (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186297)

Yes . . . and no. Each photon that hits a pixel will create one electron (gross simplification). The electrons are shuffled through the CCDs in packets until they get to an amplifier at the end, which converts the charge into a voltage that can then be fed through an ADC to give you a digital number. Each pixel gets read out separately.

With a 10um x 10um pixel, you'll collect (say) 100,000 electrons at a certain exposure time. This translates to a digital number of 1024 (or whatever). If each pixel is only 5um x 5um, each pixel will collect 25,000 electrons, and the resulting digital number is 256. To get the same output with pixels 1/4 the size, you need 4x the light - either a larger aperture (or lens) or a longer exposure time.

The numbers can't just be gained up (digitally or in the analog world) because of noise. The amplifier on the CCD will give you a certain number of electrons in noise. If you get a larger signal through gaining it up, you also gain up the noise. You'll end up with a smaller dynamic range in the camera, where dynamic range is defined as the signal level at saturation divided by the noise level.

Now, there are some people who use smaller pixels, but use something called "binning" in low-light situations. In CCDs, it is possible to add the electrons from several different pixels together before doing the charge-to-voltage conversion. However, this results in a loss of resolution. With 2x2 binning, your 2k x 2k sensor effectively becomes a 1k x 1k sensor with four times the sensitivity.

Re:Moore's law has what to do with this? (3, Interesting)

MasterC (70492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185893)

...the smaller you make them, the less responsive they are.


Seitz: 160 megapixel in a 60x170mm sensor = 15,686 pixels per mm^2
1Ds: 11.4 MP in a 35.8x23.8mm sensor = 13,379 pixels per mm^2
Rebel: 6.3 MP in a 22.7x15.1mm sensor = 18,379 pixels per mm^2

The digital rebel has a higher pixel density than the Seitz. According to your quote, that makes the Seitz more responsive than the rebel but less than the 1Ds.

Like usual around here, the invocation of Moore is just to get /. editors to accept the story. The density has clearly been exceeded by *much* cheaper cameras. The only thing novel here is the 11.97 time increase in sensor area over the 1Ds......well, and the gigabit ethernet but... :)

(I prefer Canon so substitute in your preferred cameras where you see fit.)

Re:Moore's law has what to do with this? (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186203)

Well, if you really want to get into it, the Seitz sensor (actually made by Dalsa) is a TDI sensor. It is referred to as a "high-sensitivity linescan". In linescan sensors, there is a single row of pixels. You capture the image one row at a time. A TDI sensor works the same way as a linescan, capturing the image one row at a time. However, the difference is that there are more rows of pixels on the sensor. The electrons are moved through the sensor at the same rate that the image moves across it. This means you can get longer integration times per row, without decreasing the speed of the sensor readout.

Dalsa has a website that describes the different types of sensors [dalsa.com] and has diagrams that explain the functioning of TDI sensors.

The Dalsa sensor itself is not 60mm x 170mm. It is 60mm tall, and scans across an area 170mm long. The sensor itself actually pans across the back of the camera, to capture the entire image.

Re:Moore's law has what to do with this? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185371)

Someone explain to me how that applies to Digital Cameras pixal density.

http://www.howstuffworks.com/digital-camera.htm [howstuffworks.com]

KFG

Just an idea... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185181)

Maybe they need to replace the camera on Hubble Space Telescope with one of these cameras? Seems like only the government can afford one of these things, and can blame the manufacturer if the technician drops the camera when taking it out of the box.

Re:Just an idea... (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185937)

A couple of reasons at least. First, it takes many years and possibily millions of dollars to get something to be certified for use on aircraft, more complex and expensive for military aircraft, yet more for spaceraft (at the top, I suppose would be military spacecraft). But more importantaly are optics. Good optics make good resolution not super important. Just zoom and pan and take multiple shots. Its not like the subject is going to get distracted and want to go on a break. Just take 4x the shots and get 4x the resolution.

May I be the first non-cynical /.er.. (2, Insightful)

bytesex (112972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185209)

to say: wow. I think my jaw just dropped.

This is not a digital camera (4, Informative)

denisbergeron (197036) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185213)

It's a lens with a scanner !
Fast scanner, big resolution scanner!
But a lens with a scanner !

Re:This is not a digital camera (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185385)

It's a lens with a scanner !
Fast scanner, big resolution scanner!
But a lens with a scanner !
So an old-fashioned TV camera isn't a camera either? Because that too is a lens with a scanner.

Re:This is not a digital camera (4, Informative)

dmatos (232892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185393)

denisbergeron is correct. If you look at the specs, it says the sensor is a "TDI" sensor. This sensor scans across the focal plane of the camera. It is 7500 pixels tall, with 2500 each R, G and B pixels. The full pixel colour is interpolated for each pixel.

I think it's neat that they use the same "digital back" module on a 360 degree panoramic camera. The camera rotates at a constant rate, and the sensor can then capture the 360 degree image.

The only thing to watch out for with the 160MPix camera is the rolling shutter. One side of the image will be captured almost immediately, but the other side will be captured 1 second later (at max speed, max resolution). With moving subjects, this can lead to lots of strange image artefacts - squishing or stretching, multiple images, etc. Their website has a couple of images where this effect has been used artistically, but a tripod would be absolutely required to take a decent image of a still subject.

Re:This is not a digital camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185725)

Quite true. One thing to remember (or learn for some), is that that is what a CMOS imager actually is. CMOS imagers have an electronic rolling shutter where they offload one line at a time. They just electronically move to the next line instead of a system like this, that uses one line and moves the imager. Yes, the difference is speed, and if you try to use a CMOS imager in high speed applications you may see similar tearing/artifacting as mentioned in the parent.

CCD's capture and offload all the rows at the same time, so they don't suffer from this. Of course, you pay a bit more for that capability, both in cost and power (as any digital camera geek can attest to).

Re:This is not a digital camera (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186469)

Some CMOS imagers have separate collection and storage sites in each pixel. You can think of them as like inter-line transfer CCDs. This allows for a global shutter, and the elimination of any image smear or tearing. Of course, the older, simpler CMOS image sensors didn't have this capability, so you would have to watch out for rolling shutter artefacts on those.

It's not even new (2, Informative)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185957)

These guys:

http://www.betterlight.com/products4X5.asp [betterlight.com]

Have been making high resolution scanning backs for large format cameras for years now.

Re:This is not a digital camera (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186001)

It's a lens with a scanner !

We even have a phrase for such devices. That phrase is - "Digital Camera."

KFG

Scanner camera (1)

Casandro (751346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186053)

Well such scanner cameras aren't new. Many years ago, back when consumer digital cameras only stored 320x240 16 greyscale monocrome pictures, I have heared of one of those taking about a minute to take a high resolution picture.

What is rather amazing, however, is the speed of that camera. It can actually scan the whole picture in a single second. That's almoust like a real camera.

cameraphones (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185219)

160MP in a pinhole camera. That'll be sure to produce some great results...

Re:cameraphones (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185315)

Ah, but you could always say that it's art :

Random onlooker : WTF is that blurry mess ?
You : Art.
Random onlooker : Ah. Nice.

Re:cameraphones (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185363)

Not just any blurry art, but super high-resolution blurry art!

What is its dynamic range? (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185235)

What is the big point in churning up the pixel count, if the dynamic range is the same old 1.0e03? Human retina has a dynamic range 1.0e06, three orders of magnitude better. And it has about 2.7 million rod cells and cone cells. One can create amazing speakers with absolutely perfect sound fidelity at 150 KHz, but human ear cant hear it. There could be some applications not involving human hearing/cdplayers/boom boxes. But at that point it is not really a "speaker". Same way at 160e06 pixels or 720e06 pixels it is not a "digital camera". It is some exotic machine with really pathetic dynamic range and huge number of pixels.

Re:What is its dynamic range? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185453)

Well if you would of read TFA:

Dynamic range 1 : 2,600 (11 f-stops)

Re:What is its dynamic range? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185461)

It offers 48 bit TIFFs. Kind of like in camera HDR.

Re:What is its dynamic range? (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185933)

Just because the file format supports high range doesn't mean the data collectors do. The best radio amplifiers in the world will still produce crap if you use a tinfoil and paperclip antenna.

Re:What is its dynamic range? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185553)

What is the big point in churning up the pixel count, if the dynamic range is the same old 1.0e03?

Bigger pictures.

KFG

Re:What is its dynamic range? (1)

weisen (461536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185685)

I agree with the issue of dynamic range. I'm vastly more interested in greater dynamic range than in greater resolution.

However, when comparing cameras to human eyes you need to keep some things in mind. Your eye is constantly moving and the resolution is not constant across the field of view. Fovial high-resolution vision covers about the width of your thumbnail held at arm's length. You think that you're seeing a high-res scene because when you're interested in something, your gaze moves towards it. If you stare at this article, however, and without moving your eyes *think* about the rest of your field of view (e.g. your officemate sitting next to you), you'll notice that he or she is quite blurred. If you fixate on the middle of the screen, can you tell what time the clock in the corner says?

This serves to bolster your point, however I think that comparing biological vision to standard, static conventional photographic technology is comparing apples to oranges. It's a fun metaphor, but they're really quite different.

Re:What is its dynamic range? (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185865)

If you would like to improve the dynamic range, I would suggest applying oversampling post-shooting. You want 10^6 levels? Great. Let's approximate that as 2^20. Now, take the existing 2^8. Every doubling of pixels you combine into (averaging them) one adds one bit to each colour plane. Take the 160Mpx and decimate it to 39kpx, and you will have your dynamic range

Perhaps being more realistic with this unrealistic hardware, you could decimate the picture down to about 4Mpx, giving you a dynamic range of 2^14 levels.... not quite human eyesight range, but rather respectable.

Re:What is its dynamic range? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186097)

Really? You mean it is possible to take an 8MP image and squeeze it down to 2MP and get 4 times better dynamic range? How? Let us take a saturated pixel in the CCD. And its saturated neighbour. One might have been twice over the saturation threshold and the other four times over. They both register saturation thresholds. By combining these two pixels, how can we get more detail in the washed out portions of the image?

So you throttle down your aperture to make sure the highest intensity recorded is just the saturation threshold. At that point so little light hits the CCD that the "dark" area pixels are all below sensitivity threshold, or they all register 0 photons. Again combining them is not going to improve the dynamic range.

Re:What is its dynamic range? (1)

sidb (530400) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186137)

Most of your eye's resolution is in the center, but you tend to look around to see an entire scene. An image displayed large enough that you can't take it all in at a glance needs more resolution than your eye can see when it's only in one spot.

Linux support out of the box (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185255)

I find it interesting that Linux is mentionned as a control platform from the start. I doubt that many professional photographers actually use it since the tools aren't quite up to par with the commercial stuff for a number of uses (no "but Gimp can do it too whining please"). Were there that many requests for Linux support ? Or are the makers just Unix hackers ?

Even the portable control device is apparently by default a Sharp Zaurus.

Re:Linux support out of the box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185433)

Gimp can do it!

Keep your gimp... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16186441)

in the cellar.

Brace for the pr0n jokes (2, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185259)

20" long eh? That's almost big enough to *SANTIZED BY FCC* in one shot!

Re:Brace for the pr0n jokes (1)

djuuss (854954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185483)

you mean this camera can capture and star in pr0n at the same time?

For the love of God, or at least the server (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185281)

Lets do some back of the envelope math here, shall we? While it will depend heavily on how well the scene compresses, my digital camera averages about 400kb for a 2 megapixel shot at "pretty decent for mailing home quality" JPG. So that Aussie harbor is probably weighing in at above 300 MBs, and its a static file. This sounds like a job for bittorrent, not for "Hey, I've got a bright idea, lets Slashdot their webpage as the morning rush comes in".

Re:For the love of God, or at least the server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185533)

might be a slow one - this was the interesting one where you can zoom in and see a couple having fun in one of the windows....

.

It's the lens stupid (4, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185283)

The reason people use DSLRs is because even at todays 6-8 Megapixels the lens is the weak element.
Add all the pixels you want, without a bigger and better lens it doesn't matter.

Sure we can improve on the dynamic range and noise of the sensor, but the megapixel days are over.

Re:It's the lens stupid (2, Interesting)

EvilAlphonso (809413) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185783)

Quality glass is important, but you left out some other important aspects:
The sensor size, bigger is better but also more expensive
The heat dissipation of the sensor, so you don't get insane noise/deformation on long poses (astrophotography for example)

I'm still shooting film (Leica SL and Rollei SL66) most of the time, as until very recently it was hard to beat those cameras with decently priced DSLRs. On paper, 10Mpx DSLR isn't as good as professionally drum-scanned 6x6 negatives. However the gap isn't as big as one would think for most applications. Add to that the incoming pricing war in the prosumer market and I'm ripe for the switch (getting a Pentax K10D in November, with K-R adapter rings for my leica lenses).

I also honestly believe they will increase the megapixel count on full-framed sensors as there is demand for that in the pro market. For the sensors in P&S and phone cameras, I couldn't care less as it has been purely marketing gimmicks for some years now. :)

i found waldo (2, Funny)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185309)

he's in the second tall building from the left, 12th floor, 6th window. he's the one screwing his secretary.

Nice Experiment (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185329)

I am not sure that scan back digital cameras will ever be very useful for much more than studio work, as illustrated by the awful ergonomics of this particular one.

Molding finger grooves into anything is a silly idea. Molding them into a camera that couldn't possibly be handheld has to rank up there in the sillydom world.

Re:Nice Experiment (1)

phasm42 (588479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185747)

Molding them into a camera that couldn't possibly be handheld has to rank up there in the sillydom world.
OTOH, if you are holding it, even to move it somewhere, you want to make sure you don't drop it.

Re:Nice Experiment (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186257)

Eh! If I break it I'll just buy another.

KFG

Obligatory Dans Data "Enough already.. (5, Interesting)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185367)

I highly recommend giving Dans "Enough already with the megapixels [dansdata.com] " article a read. He explains the situation more clearly than I ever could.

Re:Obligatory Dans Data "Enough already.. (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185757)

Ain't that the truth! 6 megapixel compact cameras have pixels that are really noisy in all but the brightest light levels, and I'm not even that much of an image quality wonk.

I'd love more pixels (2, Interesting)

dk-software-engineer (980441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186175)

My dream is to have a fisheye-lens and a wicked amount of detail. That way I can take a picture without knowing exactly what I'm photographing. When I get home I can find many interesting high resolution photos of stuff I didn't even see when I was there.

That would open up for a completely different kind of photography. Put this in a mobile phone, and take one of those boring pictures of your friend looking very uninteresting on the bus, but now in the same picture you may find an interesting scene happening on the side walk.

Yeah yeah, it might not be worth the time once you get used to it, but I'd sure like to try.

Seitz = Goat Cam? (1)

bigdaddyhame (623739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185429)

This promo image [roundshot.ch] of the camera makes it look like goatsee...

My guess (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185435)

The article is quite skimpy on the technology. By the size of the camera I am guessing all they have done is to split the image optically into some 16 or 20 pieces and are using some 18 or 21 CCD image sensors to capture the image. They read these chips in parallel and load it into an internal buffer. The dynamic range if each CCD sensor is exactly same as what you could get in 5 Megapixel camera.

Re:My guess (1)

phasm42 (588479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185785)

It acts like a scanner. At 1/20000s exposure, scanning takes 1 second. I would guess it scales, so that at 1/60s exposure, it may take roughly 5.5 minutes.

Comes with a mac mini! (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185479)

Anyone notice that the data storage device itself is a mac mini in a bag?

Re:Comes with a mac mini! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185641)

I didn't know Mac Minis could be powered over ethernet.

What's the point? (1)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185515)

With other technological advances there are reasons for the extra speed, larger storage capacity, etc. Photography however suffers from other limitations that make anything above 8-16Mpixels virtually useless.

At best computer monitors have a resolution of 1600x1200, so without significantly zooming out, you can never display the entire picture on the screen. Printing is the only area where more Mpixels are needed, but even there, at 8.5x11 8-16 Mpixel images are crisp enough. There ARE areas where extremely high resolutions are needed, but they're definitely not consumer level.

I have an 8Mpixel camera, and I am not likely to want more any time soon.

Re:What's the point? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185755)

There ARE areas where extremely high resolutions are needed, but they're definitely not consumer level.

My mother prints on 2 x 3 foot paper.

KFG

Re:What's the point? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185777)

I hate to bring this up (I really feel that this "joke" has outlived it's usefulness but...):

No one will ever need more that 640k.

I'm sure many people "in the know" agreed with Mr. Gates when he said this. As much as we like to beat poor Bill up over this statement the truth is that I'm sure people are nodding their heads in agreement with you but, unless you have some serious insight into this issue, I can't say I agree with the whole "there is no use for it" crowd. I'd guess if you'd have that much insight into future tech tho that we'd not be reading your posts on slashdot either and that you'd probably be living on a tropical beach, laughing as the money was pouring into your bank account.

Maybe the end application of this technology won't be in a digital camera today as we know it but in other ventures where the video element serves a better purpose. We simply don't know and AFAICT it's not going to hurt anyone to pursue this.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186089)

Of course bill doesn't mind being beat up over it, as it's an urban legend.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bill_Gates [wikiquote.org]

" *
                    o Often attributed to Gates in 1981. Gates has repeatedly denied ever saying this:

                I've said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time... I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There's never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again.
"

Re:What's the point? (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186451)

Maybe the end application of this technology won't be in a digital camera today as we know it but in other ventures where the video element serves a better purpose. We simply don't know and AFAICT it's not going to hurt anyone to pursue this.
I think you both have parts of the truth. It's hard to imagine that there won't be some useful purpose for huge megapixel images. I don't know what that use is, but I'm sure it's out there or will be someday. On the other hand, it's also hard to believe that an ordinary Joe who takes pictures of his kids and dogs and pretty vacation spots could find any use for more than 8-16 MP. There are only so many things this ordinary Joe would do with his photos, and when they'll print with high quality at 8x12, there's just no use for any higher resolution. There are other things that could be improved that would be useful, for example the size of the sensor or quality of the lens, but higher resolution just won't get you anything.

Re:What's the point? (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185973)

Yes, the areas where more than 8MPix are not consumer level. However, at 30,000 euros, this camera is also _not_ consumer level. The people that are buying these cameras are the same people that will be making enormous billboards and posters. There is a market for these cameras, it's just not the general public.

Re:What's the point? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186129)

At best computer monitors have a resolution of 1600x1200, so without significantly zooming out, you can never display the entire picture on the screen. Printing is the only area where more Mpixels are needed, but even there, at 8.5x11 8-16 Mpixel images are crisp enough.
8.5x11 is hardly the largest size print people might want to make, though.
There ARE areas where extremely high resolutions are needed, but they're definitely not consumer level.
Sure, but one could argue that they only are not at the consumer lever because historically the necessary equipment (the equipment or service for doing the processing and printing as well as high-quality cameras) have been prohibitively expensive and complex to use for consumer use. If making, for instance, your own posters was cheap and easy, it'd be popular with consumers as well.

Panoramic Camera (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185521)

The camera is fairly specialized - it's a panoramic camera for commercial photographers. 160MP makes sense if you're going to do very large mural size prints. Think, giant travel scenery or product posters at trade shows or other commercial venues.

House with a view (1)

Nowhere.Men (878773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185815)

Even if you are surrounded by walls.
You just have to put some big panoramas on the walls.

We had that on one wall of our living room. Imagine that on the 3 walls of your garden. You add a powefull light for the sun and voilà!

We can now all go build condo on the grand canyon without destroying the view as it has already been digitalized at 160 Mpixels.

And If you are bored with the Grand Canyon after a while, you can replace the view by a view of Antartica. It will be refreshing.

TMPI - Too Much Personal Information (3, Insightful)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185527)

I think that I will *not* be taking pictures of my coworkers with this. I don't want to see anyone I know in that kind of detail. My most of my co-workers look like this [photobucket.com] anyway. Why would I want a closer-in shot to see the pores, etc.

2 cents,

QueenB

I say... (1)

Mr.Scamp (974300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185549)

We take up a collection to purchase one of these for the playboy photographers.

Not gonna happen (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185563)

[..]but how long before we see this resolution in a mobile phone?

I do realize that the future will bring us things that we simply cannot understand the use of today, such as computers exceeding today's super computers. But I doubt that just because the tech is going to be there, that we will see 160 MP consumer cams. Eventually, people will stop hearing megapixel and instead listen to other intuitive features. Maybe built-in software with 3D depth readability and such?

Scanners are about the same. Back when we had 300 DPI scanners, it was all about DPI. Now that scanners can make the balls of a fly look hairy with perception, there's no need for more.

OT: If you're thinking that 160 MP is a lot, how about 4 GP? You can check the proof right here [digital-lifestyles.info] .

Not a 720 Megapixel Camera (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185565)

"Even with todays current range of digital cameras massive images are possible -- such as the amazing 720 Megapixel image of Sydney Harbour"

To be fair ~ That image was made with 169 images from a Canon EOS 10D [dpreview.com] that has 6.3 Megapixels and then the multiple images were stitched together [docbert.org] using AutPan Pro [autopano.net] .

Nice but... (3, Funny)

jonr (1130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185585)

Was the Goatse man inspiration for this design?
I would love to own one, though.

"how long?..." (1)

TomatoMan (93630) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185611)

"how long before we see this resolution in a mobile phone?"

long.

Gigapan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185631)

The Gigapan [cmu.edu] creates multi-gigapixel panoramas using an off-the-shelf digital camera. The downside is that many pictures are taken and then combined into a single panorama. The upside is that it's much higher-resolution and a lot cheaper than $36K. Check out the site -- if you zoom in on the Golden Gate bridge you can see the speed limit sign :-).

Storage first, cameraphones second (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185663)

Granted it is difficult to get great pictures using a small fixed lens (ie cameraphones), and additionally just increasing pixel count doesn't directly increase image quailty, so I would think that part of the reason that we are holding at roughly VGA resolution cameraphones has something to do with storage requirements. *Most* camera phones are now the standard/base model phones. They don't spend the extra money on hardware for external storage, and also most of their users don't want to spend the additionaly money on storage. All of that to say, even if this was "available" for cameraphones, until we can easily have/add several gigs of storage, the ability to have several photos will probably be more useful that having *better* photos.

Obligatory adolescent humor (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185765)

Insert comment here about how this technology could be used to render highly detailed and accurate images of the undraped human form.

megapixels don't matter! (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185781)

It doesn't matter if you have a bijillion megapixels in your cell phone camera. Tiny crappy lense = crappy pictures.

Re:megapixels don't matter! (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186475)

Don't forget tiny crappy sensors.

Sydney Graffiti (1)

Mike Morgan (9565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185787)

I've never seen Sydney in person, but now I know that just about every building in the city is tagged with "Scott Howard" graffiti. The guy is just out of control.

What does MP count really mean? (1)

djuuss (854954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185795)

My phone has a 1 MP camera on it, my camera has 5MP, but an option to shoot at 1MP. Now, if i take a 1 MP picture with both of the same scene, the one i took with my camera looks exactly like the one i took with my phone, but without the snowstorm that seems to be raging on in the phone version. 700+ MP is not going to be any better in terms of actual image quality then current professional >50 MP cameras.

pre-2000 windsurfers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16185855)

Strange. The gear of those wind surfers is definitely pre-2000...

Its not the megapixels (0, Redundant)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16185895)

Cell phone cameras will never be an acceptable substitute for the hobbyist or pro-sumer. Megapixels are only a small part of what makes a quality photograph. Even if a cell phone were to incorporate manual settings for shutter speed, aperture and focus, there will always be one area in which they can not match a decent camera, and that is the optics. There's just not enough room on a cell phone body to incorporate a quality lens.

Thank guys. (4, Funny)

Devar (312672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186209)

You just slashdotted my country.

150MPixels on 1"x1.5" = 35mm film (2, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186391)

I read an article a few years back rating film resolution. They used "Pro" 35mm cameras with the best available lenses at the time, a good tripod, and test-pattern images. The best films rated in at a bit over 100 line-pairs per millimeter. That's 100 black lines with 100 equally-sized white lines between them, or 200 dots per millimeter. When you digitize, you play it safe and double that number to 400 dots/mm.

400 dots/mm on 24mm X 36mm film is 9600x14400 dots, or 138.24 megapixels.

When we can squeeze 138.24 megapixels down to a 24mm X 36mm area, "we have arrived." I'm putting my money on this being available in high-end-yet-still-under-$2000 cameras by 2012.

By the way, for some applications, such as portraiture, 8 megapixels produces beautiful 20"x30" prints. However, some applications demand better, particularly those involving severe cropping and expanding.

I can't imagine what for (1)

jason.hall (640247) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186483)

I guess if you're printing the photos billboard-sized, and stand 3 feet away to view them, you need this resolution. Otherwise it just eats up disk space. I'm a pro with 8 megapixel Canon 1D2N and 20D's, and with a top-end lens, 13x19 inch prints look fantastic. Heck, a billboard from my camera would look OK - if your viewing distance is a couple hundred feet.

Batteries (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16186547)

Hmm. What a dilemma. I care about the environment, but should I risk using rechargeable batteries in this thing?
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