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Draw the Curtains: Gigapixel Cameras Create Highly Revealing Snapshots [Slide Show]

Researchers are developing cameras that can take digital snapshots made up of more than a billion pixels

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NYC SKYLINE IN GIGAPIXELS

The researchers have several examples of gigapixel digital images taken using their technology. This one shows the New York City skyline, as seen from nearby Governor's Island. Zooming in on any portion of this panorama reveals faraway images in stunning detail, including the Statue of Liberty, boat decks and buildings.....[ More ]

DESIGN #3 (PROPOSED)

In the proposed third design, sensors could be attached to the inside of a spherical half shell slightly larger than the lens itself. The spherical lens would then be positioned inside the half shell so that each sensor would be coupled with a relay lens.....[ More ]

ATTACHED RELAY LENSES

The third design attaches secondary relay lenses directly to half of the ball-shaped lens (giving it a bumpy rather than a smooth look) and includes a large number of small sensors around that half of the lens.....[ More ]

DESIGN #2

The second camera designed by the Columbia researchers is a system that actually uses an array of five sensors arranged side-by-side that produces a contiguous field-of-view (FOV). In this second prototype the packaging around each sensor leaves some space between them.....[ More ]

DESIGN #1

The first prototype camera that the Columbia University researchers created is a single-element, monocentric camera that uses a pan/tilt motor to sequentially scan a single sensor to emulate an array of tiled sensors.....[ More ]

PERFECT SYMMETRY

Columbia University researchers propose three relatively compact camera designs for single-snapshot gigapixel imaging. Each design relies on a ball-shaped lens because it has perfect symmetry (leading to fewer aberrations) and consists of one element rather than several lenses that must be configured to work together, says Oliver Cossairt, a Columbia University computer science PhD candidate working on the project as part of his dissertation.....[ More ]

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