A 489 Megapixel Camera For Not A Lot

The megapixel wars of a decade ago saw cameras aggressively marketed on the resolution of their sensors, but as we progressed into the tens of megapixels it became obvious even to consumers that perhaps there might be a little more to the quality of a digital camera than just its resolution. Still, it’s a frontier that still has a way to go, even if [Yunus Zenichowski]’s 489 megapixel prototype is a bit of an outlier. As some of you may have guessed it’s a scanner camera, in which the sensor is a linear CCD that is mechanically traversed over the focal plane to capture the image line by line.

In the 3D printed shell are the guts of a cheap second-hand Canon scanner, and the lens comes from a projector. Both these components make it not only one of the highest resolution cameras we’ve ever brought you, but also by no means the most expensive. It’s definitely a work in progress and the results of a sensor designed for the controlled environment of a document scanner being used with real-world light leave something to be desired, but even with the slight imperfections of the projector lens it’s still a camera capable of some fascinating high-resolution photography. The files are all available, should you be interested, and you can see it in action in the video below the break.

It’s by no means the first scanner camera we’ve brought you, though some of the earlier projects now have dead links. It is however easily the one with the highest resolution.

Continue reading “A 489 Megapixel Camera For Not A Lot”

A Medium Format Camera From Scratch

Film photography may now be something so outdated as to be unknown to our younger readers, but as an analogue medium it has enjoyed a steady enthusiast revival. There is still a bonanza of second-hand cameras from the days when it was king to be found, but for some photographers it’s preferable to experiment with their own designs. Among them is Reddit user [elelcoolbeenz], who has produced their own medium format camera for 120 roll film.

The camera has a plastic 3D printed body and a single meniscus lens, and perhaps most interestingly, a 3D printed shutter too. It’s heavily reminiscent of the Holga and Lomo plastic cameras that have carved a niche for themselves, and it gives the same photographic effects from its dubious quality optics.

There’s a snag of course, that the STLs are not yet available We say not yet, because this comes with a detailed explanation in that further work is required on the shutter and a more commonly available lens is found rather than a one-off. We still think it’s worthy of featuring at this stage though, because it serves to illustrate that building a camera is not impossible. We’d love to see more of them, though we expect few of them to go to the lengths this aluminium one did.

Scanning Medium Format Film On A 35mm Scanner

Scanning film is great for archival purposes as well as sharing said photos digitally. However, if you’re scanning 120 film, aka medium format, it can be expensive to get the requisite hardware. 35mm scanners are comparatively more common, so [Christian Chapman] decided to modify one to suit medium film instead.

The hack is for the Plustek 8100, and requires modifying the scanner in two ways. Firstly, the driver has to be scanned to sweep a longer range to take into account the bigger film. Secondly, a part of the film carriage has to be replaced so it doesn’t show up in the scanners field of view.

The former is achieved by using the sane-genesys scanner software backend, which can be easily modified to adjust the scan length values appropriately. The latter is achieved via 3D printing replacement components that fit without blocking the requisite area.

It’s a tidy hack and one that allows [Christian] to both scan medium format film as well as overscan 35mm film to capture details from the sprocket hole area. We’ve seen fully custom film scanner builds before, too. If you’ve built your own scanner, be sure to drop us a line!