By Evan Ackerman
This monster of a camera, brought to you by Seitz Phototechnik, has a you’ve got to be kidding me resolution of 160 megapixels in a 60mm x 170mm frame. That works out to 7,500 pixels vertically and 21,250 pixels horizontally. The image (each one is 900 megs at full res) is recorded directly onto a tablet PC (sold separately) in 48 bit color depth. Thankfully, the camera takes standardized large format lenses, since spending nearly $45,000 on one of these things doesn’t leave me much extra money for glass. The downside of this camera (besides the 10lb weight, the 18in width, the price, and the fact that it requires a PC to work) is that it works like a scanner, which is why it’s so, um, cheap. Rather than using a 160 megapixel sensor of some kind, the camera back uses a linear sensor that scans across the field of view when the shutter is open. The camera can still somehow achieve a shutter speed of 1/2000 at low resolution, but for a true 160 megapixel image, the minimum shutter speed is a whopping 1 second.
Now, why the heck am I complaining about 160 megapixels not being enough? Just for the sake of having something to complain about, for one, but what I’m referring to is digital vs. photographic film. Medium format photographic film is the equivalent of about 100 megapixels, but for high quality large format images, you’re looking at about 500 (!) megapixels. We’re getting closer, but we’re not quite there yet, especially at a shutter speed of 1 second. Still, I have to say, the 10 megapixel images that come out of my Nikon D40x, while 16 times smaller, are still plenty satisfying for a casual shutterbug like myself. 160 megapixels? Bah, humbug.