Researchers develop the first ever gigapixel camera

Are you still excited about the Nokia PureView camera (you know the phone that has a 41 megapixel camera)? If yes, it’s time for you to checkout the AWARE-2, a gigapixel camera developed by the researchers at Duke and Arizona Universities.

Electrical engineers at the two universities had collaborated in a research which has just produced a promising product for the future. The huge camera built by them, which is about 2.5 feet high and 20 inches thick, promises to capture 50 gigapixels (equal to 50,000 megapixels) of data seemingly making the future of photography more exciting. The camera was developed by synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device.

“The development of high-performance and low-cost microcamera optics and components has been the main challenge in our efforts to develop gigapixel cameras,” says David Brady of Duke.

“While novel multiscale lens designs are essential, the primary barrier to ubiquitous high-pixel imaging turns out to be lower power and more compact integrated circuits, not the optics.”

The researchers expect the camera to achieve a more efficient and compact physique within five years, making it available to the general public by then. The camera in its current design consists of only 3 percent optical elements with the rest consisting of electrical components. The miniaturization of electrical components has always been a challenge, with electronics engineers only recently achieving a lot in relatively short span of time. We can only hope to see similar developments towards making a hand-held, point-and-shoot gigapixel camera a reality soon.

[via Engadget, TG Daily]

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  • Steve


    Ah, a thinking man! Not to mention that the more pixels in a specified size chip, the smaller the individual pixels and thus the less ability for each pixel to capture dim light. For available light photography, fewer pixels will provide a clearer image than more pixels in cameras with the same size imaging chip. I expect that the Nokia camera mentioned is worthless except in bright light.

  • Kraal


    I don’t really think so. Like John said, only those who /really/ need to enlarge photos.
    Otherwise, my guess is that this kind of camera is going to me mostly useful for situations where people need to capture a high detail image of a place a human can’t actual go. That’s all I can think of.

  • Hamza

    @Lew: +1

  • My immediate thought was “I’m bug eyed!”

    Or, they are – it’s sort of like an insect’s compound eye, isn’t it?

  • Lew

    Let’s see. 24 bytes per pixel times 50 gigapixels = one hard drive per photo. Seagate thinks everyone should have one of these cameras.

  • John

    You will notice the difference if you are a professional and you need to do serious enlargements!… hd already helps but this is just too good to be true! :) … and of course, people who will be printing their photos to their inkjets or at a photo shop or at “Chinamart” will stick to lower res (and i am sure more affordable!) cameras…

  • JT

    I can’t even imagine what a 50 gigapixel photo would look like. Next question is are you really ever going to notice the difference when you print it at a photo shop, or walmart like most people do?