Scientists at Duke University have created a digital camera that boasts a whopping 50 gigapixels. The camera, dubbed AWARE-2, uses 98 separate 14-megapixel microcameras and a special spherical lens. Each microcamera captures a tiny portion of the scene and a specially designed processor stitches the images together. Processing the data is so hardware intensive that 97% of the camera is made up of electronics and computer components (the other 3% is the optical elements).
Here’s what the camera looks like:
The researchers believe that gigapixels may one day fundamentally change the way we think about photography, saying,
Ubiquitous gigapixel cameras may transform the central challenge of photography from the question of where to point the camera to that of how to mine the data.
Imagine that. Photojournalists will be able to take in entire scenes and then crop out their desired photographs afterward. Sports photographers will be able to snap pictures of all the action and then extract images of key plays. The camera current has a pretty hefty price tag (~$100,000), but mass manufacturing could one day drive it down to $1,000 — cheaper than many DSLRs on the market today.
Image credits: Photographs by Duke University