130 Megapixel scanner camera

Made from a 1200 dpi epson scanner and a manual focus canon lens, this camera captures 130 Megapixel images. With a resolution of 13,068 x 10,173, these pictures are very detialed. You can see some examples in his flickr set. It doesn’t look like they’re the full size originals though.  If you want to build your own, here’s a good start. Keep in mind that it’s from 2004 though.


  1. grizball says:


  2. Edd. says:

    There is a couple of full resolution shots on the second page if noone saw them

  3. Zahlman says:

    The Japanese-ification of “scanner” strikes me as a little strange. I would have expected a simple カ rather than キャ. Anyone qualified to comment here?

  4. Hacker says:

    The transliteration of English to Japanese often surprises native English speakers. For example, “candy” is turned into キャンデ not カンデ; “violin” is usually written ヴァイオリン instead of バイオリン ; “shirt” becomes シャツ and so forth. I don’t know why, but it is often the case.

  5. nipponese says:


    It is not strange at all. It is common practice to make the japanese pronunciation as close to the original language (within the limitation of the kana) as possible.

  6. confuted says:
  7. Jim says:

    It is certainly hacked, but the results speak for themselves.


  8. Bill Hates says:

    Great Fotos !! Great Hack!

    P.s. Fuck you! Grizball!

  9. Otter says:

    Brilliant! I can think of real professional uses for this too. I hope he’s working on a patent (if possible) and/or marketing.

  10. Tachikoma says:

    Fantastic. I should build one of those one day!

  11. freyyr890 says:

    lol, the full res image crashed firefox when I tried to load it. I guess the mozilla devs never planned for 130 megapixel images embedded in a webpage.

  12. ribblem says:

    Awesome post! I had thought about doing something like this, but I’m glad to see some people have already done it. Maybe I’ll try to improve on their designs.

    One thing I noticed on the full resolution images is that they are blurry. 35mm lenses were never designed to handle this resolution. It would be nice to see how much sharper the image is if they used a large format lens.

  13. no shit! :D

  14. sexiewasd says:

    I can see an arm hair on his table. I am impressed by the results that he got from this hack.

    (@ freyyr890) FF 3.5b99 handled it like a champ.

  15. JPL says:

    Great hack!

    @otter – Devices using this principle are called digital scanning backs, and have been in use for a while in professional large format photography.

  16. absolutezero says:


    Keep telling yourself that hair came from his arm and I’ll do the same :)

    “I built a scanner camera, and all I have to show for it are these hi-res pubes”

  17. countchocula says:

    the main problem, it seems to me, is the slow speed of the scan. if you take pics of anything moving faster than a snail, your “high-res” means nothing.

  18. absolutezero says:


    I agree that’s the biggest technical hurdle of the project, but when I first read the post, I thought the slower speed of the scan might be able to produce some pretty interesting results…

    I imagine aiming this thing down a busy downtown area in maybe New York or some such place. Huge stationery buildings all around, and maybe a few cross-streets with heavy traffic. It seems to me all the stationery objects would show up as expected, but the stream of moving objects I could only imagine would show up as a stream of mis-matched patches in strips perpendicular to the direction of travel.

    I would love to toy around with a device like this, I’m sure you could produce some pretty interesting artistic type shots.

  19. Fry-kun says:

    Welcome back to the age of sitting still for 5+ minutes to get your shot taken :)
    Hehe, I kid.. awesome hack!

  20. F7 says:

    An interesting use for this would be to set it up on the finish line of a race. You’d get a bit of distortion based on speed, but assuming everyone arrives at close to the same time you would get a cool bunched together shot of all of the runners in placing order, letting their movement do the work of the scan. That, and the ground in the photo would all be the color of the finish line, which is usually a brilliant white, so it would make the scene a little surreal.

  21. sly says:

    hmm… my firefox handled it like a champ too… 3.0.10
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/2009042316 Firefox/3.0.10 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729

  22. Ryan says:

    Check out the link in the additional article, the guy took a picture with the garage door opening. http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/tech/wacky_garage.jpg

  23. MrX says:


    My firefox handled it just fine.
    Don’t like firefox?
    Develop your own browser!

  24. cmholm says:

    This looks like an improvement over a couple of older scanner camera experiments I’ve seen. It still suffers the limitation of a fixed “shutter” speed, such that *any* movement will lead to interesting effects.

    I’ve got a number of old dig cameras in my junk drawer. I wish I had the bsEE brain with which to create a hybrid sensor array on a common focal plane (as opposed to an array of cameras), roughly along the lines of the PanSTARRS ccd array: http://pan-starrs.ifa.hawaii.edu/public/design-features/cameras.html

  25. Wwhat says:

    Sure puts good use to broadband too :)
    Flckr has a pretty decent speed incidentally, nice serverpark.

  26. Wwhat says:

    When I opened a 3rd large one in both firefox and then an external viewer it did slow my system down like mad I must say, but FF was OK and didn’t crash or anything.
    This on 32bit XP, single core system.

  27. alex says:

    @F7 This can produce very interesting effects, but a panning motion is required. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slit-scan_photography

    @ribblem 35mm lens are the sharpest of them all, with leica at the top. The reason large format lens make better photographs is the film size. Large Format lens lack the resolving power of 35mm lens.

    sweet project!

  28. BikeHelmet says:

    Opened fine for me, and all I can say is… wow, detailed!

    I noticed the text on the right side of the image was more blurred than the text on the left – but that might have to do with the angles of the objects, I suppose.

    I have FF 3.0 – with mem cache bumped up to 256MB on an old Athlon XP w/ 1GB of RAM.

  29. fiend says:

    nice camera.
    for the rest of you, learn english. japan sucks.

  30. -hero says:


    no i cant


  31. richard says:

    Please check this out. I had thought it was gone to Internet Heaven, but here it is.


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