By Evan Ackerman
As you may or may not have heard, that frankly spectacular 1,500 megapixel image of President Obama’s inauguration was taken with little more than a Canon PowerShot G10, a 15 megapixel compact digicam with a 5x zoom that costs all of $260 brand new. The little more that it was taken with was the GigaPan Epic Imager mount.
The GigaPan is a robotic hand of sorts that completely automates the creation of one gigantic panoramic image out of a bunch of smaller images, a process which requires a precise hand and a lot of patience (which the GigaPan has in spades). Just stick your compact digital camera in the mount, tell it what you want the picture of, and press go. The mount will pan up and down and back and forth, pushing the shutter button at just the right spots to cover the entire scene. When you’re done, GigaPan includes software to stitch it all together for you and upload it to the GigaPan website (which is unsurprisingly set up specifically to display bazillion megapixel images).
The GigaPan Epic Imager is designed to accommodate most compact digital cameras. You can kludge other cameras on there, but versions designed for larger cameras and DSLRs are currently in the works. It’s currently available for $379 direct from GigaPan Systems.