Multiscale gigapixel photography

posted by @ulaulaman #photography #computer #science #technology
Sometimes, using the Android application Wondershare Panorama, I try to shot some panoramical photos. The result is good, but it could be better, like everything: indeed the actual camera (also in our smartphones) work near the fundamental limit of 1–10 megapixels for millimetre-scale apertures(1). In theory(2) we are able to upgrade this limit. If we define $SW$ like the upper limit for the number of data channels which can be handled in parallel(2), after some calculations, Adolf W. Lohmann found that without aberration, it would increase quadratically with the scaling factor $M$(2). This result is different from the purely geometry result that states $SW$ indipendent from scaling.
That result cannot be realistic, otherwise, very long focal length lens systems would be fairly useless. In practice, the apertures of these long systems are reduced, more or less according to the empirical rule(2)
Now a team of researchers develop a new photographical device that can resolve at 50 gigapixels: AWARE-2 camera(1, *).
And below there are some examples of its capabilities(1):

Pungo Lake as captured using AWARE-2(1)

Details of the previous picture(1)

Traffic circle captured using AWARE-2(1)

Details of a star field captured using AWARE-2 with a 1.85-s exposure time(1)

(1) D. J. Brady, M. E. Gehm, R. A. Stack, D. L. Marks, D. S. Kittle, D. R. Golish, E. M. Vera, S. D. Feller (2012). Multiscale gigapixel photography Nature, 486 (7403), 386-389 DOI: 10.1038/nature11150
(2) Adolf W. Lohmann (1989). Scaling laws for lens systems Applied Optics, 28 (23), 4996-4998 DOI: 10.1364/AO.28.004996
(*) I update the post with a page dedicated to AWARE, via MacBidouille forum

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