A Gigapixel Camera Composed of Dozens of Microcameras

Duke engineers showcase a prototype gigapixel camera

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Want a camera with a lot a resolution? You might think that the solution is just to spend some big bucks. After all, if you’ve got about US $10 000 to spare, you can easily buy a digital SLR with a 40-megapixel sensor. But David Brady and his colleagues at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering have taken the phrase “high resolution” to a whole new level. They’re building gigapixel cameras, which produce images that resemble some of the panoramic mosaics you may have seen. The difference is that Brady’s cameras can take giga-snapshots, capturing the entire scene all at once rather than forcing you to take a series of images and later stitch them together.

We spoke with Brady, along with some of his colleagues and graduate students in the Duke Imaging and Spectroscopy Program, who explained a bit about how their gigapixel camera works. A scholarly article on their device appeared Wednesday in Nature magazine. They’ve shared much interesting technical detail on their project’s website and also offer images for you to peruse. But before you dive into all that, hear what the researchers have to say about their creation by viewing the video above.