Software Lets Cameras Take Billion-Pixel Images

A device that lets a camera take pictures with 100 times the resolution of the most advanced models on the market is poised to revolutionize amateur photography.

The Gigapan allows people to take pictures which are more than a gigapixel — or 1,000 megapixels — in size, effectively turning a single photograph into a panoramic experience, around which the viewer can navigate on a computer.

Yet the actual camera used is no more specialized than a regular digital model.

The Gigapan uses a robot mounted on a tripod to command a normal camera to take several hundred separate photographs of a single scene — each at a slightly different angle.

The individual photographs are then stitched together by software on the owner's computer — much as amateurs have attempted to do for years by after taking several pictures of a wide landscape, only with more impressive results.

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