Terapixel images and see-through cameras: Real or Fake?


Once again it’s time for you, the sharp-eyed readers of Hack a Day, to decide whether the following video demonstrates technology at its finest, or if it is complete hogwash. This edition of Real or Fake? is brought to us by Hack a Day reader [Wizzard] who sent us a link to “The Invisible Camera

Watch the video embedded below to see the unveiling of this camera as well as a discussion of its new, revolutionary technology by its creator – photographer Chris Marquardt. The camera is composed of a simple, non-moving lens mounted in a completely transparent box made of specially polarized glass. This glass is supposed to align the ambient lighting, which amplifies the energy coming through the lens, in order to expose the special film they created for the camera.

The film was developed using standard film “combined with innovations in chemistry” to produce ultra-low sensitivity image media, which the creators are calling “Directionally Desensitized” film. This film can be handled in full light, as it is only sensitive to the high-energy light directed on its surface by the aforementioned lens. It is claimed that due to this special film, the camera goes beyond the Megapixel, past the Gigapixel, and captures images in Terapixels.

Now, call us skeptical, but isn’t it a bit early for April Fools jokes? We just can’t imagine any scenario where holding a piece of film in the sun as shown in the video would not cause it to be exposed in at least some areas due to the massive amounts of reflected light in the environment.

What’s your take?

125 thoughts on “Terapixel images and see-through cameras: Real or Fake?

  1. This is a total fake… No way that some guy who “makes film” has the chemical engineering background, OR the facilities to build a chemical filter that will only accept light from a single direction… Pinhole cameras bend the hell out of the light, that is why their images are so sharp….

    This is total crap…

  2. It does indeed seem fake, but for all you guys complaining about it being posted here, what better place to post such a question? Of any group on the internet, I believe this community is one of the best places to question the legitimacy of things like this. I, for one, like reading articles like this.

  3. A “pinhole” camera means the light is passing through a pinhole –lens or no lens– and being distributed across the film at EVERY possible angle dependant on the camera dimensions and size of the film surface. (Demonstrated at 2:00-2:15) So this whole “directionally sensitized” thing is complete BS from the start.

    i think I’d use a video like this in a critical thinking class or high school (maybe college) photo class to see how many people were drawn in simply because they WANTED to believe in something “revolutionary” rather than rationally thinking it through.

    Well done video — except for the “off the charts” light meter held behind the camera outside the polarized glass (around 2:30).

  4. I listened to the BS for a couple of minutes, and simply could not reconcile the clear plastic with any kind of credible explanation of how it works, polarised my ass. as for the IR stuff, have you seen a hoya 72 filter and how dark it is? and terapixel, mmmnm what? its analog, it doesn’t do pixels.

  5. directionally desensitized (analog silver halide)
    Could an expert in the science of the photographic process look at USA patent 6803182 doping silver halide emulsions with gallium and consider that other metals could be used to dope
    photographic film to different wavelengths of polarized photons?

  6. Chris Marquardt is a photography teacher and blogger. He published a posting on his blog entitled “The Invisible Camera” on 11/16/2010. The posting was about how after you’ve been bitten by the photography bug for a while you get to the point where you no longer see the camera when you are taking pictures. Its as if the camera becomes an extension of the photographer rather than a cumbersome tool used by the photographer. I believe this video is an attempt to create a video that will go viral and promote the hobby and his blog. Here is the link to his November blog posting: http://www.chrismarquardt.com/blog.php?id=3577088667094111250

  7. There are two “hacks” here, neither of which is the camera.

    One is the perpetrator of this hoax.

    The other is the HAD editor who posted it here.

    Like many others, I find it saddening to know that there are stupid people in the world, and those that prey on their stupidity for any purpose.

    If I wanted my day darkened by being reminded of that, I’d go to websites on homeopathy, free energy, conspiracy theories, or other such nonsense. There are plenty to choose from.

    Real, intelligent hacks on the other hand, cheer me up. There are very few websites for those. So please, keep this kind of nonsense off HAD.

  8. Totally fake. Aside from the absurd claims about the film and clear camera, there is NO lens that size which could possibly resolve that much information. Its not physically possible, it would become diffraction limited. Even increasing film format to absurd sizes (think warehouse camera) and making a million dollar lens for it (which would be hundreds of lbs) you’d end up with DOF so shallow it was no more than a science project to try. An 8×10 (inch film size) is often considered to resolve up to a gigapixel in ideal situations.

  9. This is obviously fake but I still have to laugh at some of the comments like “why did he measure the picture quality in megapixels” and seemingly dismissing it on that but really it’s a good way to compare quality for normal people who don’t know much of that.

  10. I wonder what they’re doing with all that email data they’re collecting… “field testers wanted” heh, right

    …well it would be a good patient-identification technique for a eugenics program targeted at removing thickos from the gene pool

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