Monday, March 16, 2009

Gigapixel photos with a Digital Camera.

There are three ways to capture a moment. 1) By trying your best to memorize it all. 2) By taking a picture of it and 3) by videotaping it. Since memory does not serve the majority of us well, and video cameras are too much of a hassle, the majority of us resort to taking pictures. A new technology that is taking the world by storm is the Gigapan. The Gigapan was developed at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a tripod robot that fits with your standard digital camera, takes thousands of pictures at maximum zoom and then later with a photo stitching software, puts them all together to form a very high resolution and detailed panorama. Its capabilities and works are amazing. It is simply incredible the detail that can be seen with the Gigapan. With all the positives, there are a few negatives with the Gigapan. The problem lies with the very large and spectacular panoramas. Only a very powerful desktop computer will be able to handle such creations. Another problem lies in printing these photos. It is impossible to see the detail of the photo when printed. So then you question is, what’s the point of taking these spectacular pictures if you can’t print them? The answer is for your friends and family to enjoy on website designed specifically to hold such spectacular pictures.
At a price just about 400 dollars, I would say you’re getting your money’s worth.

This is an example of what the Gigapan can do. It was used to capture President Obama's Inaugural Address. It is seemingly effortless trying to count the 50 stars on the third flag hanging from the building.

This is another example of the capabilities of the Gigapan. You can easily see those two well dressed business men standing in the courtyard having a business discussion.


1 comment:

  1. Checking out every little detail of the inaugural panoramic was really cool (I couldn't find myself in the crowd though). I would like to comment on the usefulness of this technology. I didn't think gigapan adequately addressed what 'gigapixel' photos could potentially do for research and astronomy.

    The next iteration of this technology will likely be in space. Especially in recent years, the Hubble Space Telescope has been showing its age. Perhaps implementing this technology into the Hubble would considerable lengthen its useful life? I wouldn't be surprised if NASA decided to make that change. If any organization has the money or resources to do it - NASA does.