multi gigapixel image

Discussion in 'Picture Gallery' started by aplasticspork, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. aplasticspork macrumors regular

    May 27, 2004
    Seattle Wa.
    now, i realize that there have been multiple threads here at macrumors about gigapixel images that have been taken and all that, but i have yet to see one about someone who is planning on taking one. so here is the first such thread.

    i'm sure that everyone knows that there are two ways to take a gigapixel image, either spend thousands of dollars on equipment, or stitch together a lot of smaller pictures. unfortunately i don't have thousands of dollars to spare, so we will be using the second method.

    first let my point out that i have never done anything of this magnitude before, and have no idea if it is feasible with the current camera we have. if we can't get it to work this time around then we will no doubt try again later as we are planning on getting a digital SLR camera. the camera we are planning on using if just a normal camera (well, low end prosumer non SLR camera with fully manual or fully automatic controls). the main problem is that i don't know if the field of vision is narrow enough for this sort of project, if the field of vision is narrow enough then we will make the attempt. the camera is a 7 megapixel pentax optio 750z, it has a 5x optical zoom, 40x optical+digital, obviously we will be using a tripod. so the first question is, if the field of vision isn't narrow enough with just the optical zoom (which i am afraid it won't be) should we use the digital zoom, i realize that this will reduce the quality of the individual images, but they will then be pictures of a smaller area so when stitched together the quality loss won't be too bad.

    next question, what image format would the good people of macrumors recommend we use, i was planning on using the highest quality jpeg which weighs in at about 3.5 MB per image. the other option is to use tiff format which weighs in at about 20 MB per image.

    third question, i know that (should we get this far this go-around) we could use photoshop to stitch the images together, but not having photoshop, i was wondering if there were any other alternatives that we could use.

    now, i'm sure that (if you've gotten this far) you're wondering what is so special that we would want an image like this of it. obviously we are just doing this for fun. in august i am going to zimbabwe, and part of the trip we will be going to hwange national park (located in north western zimbabwe), one of the areas in the park is called sinamatella, and at sinamatella there is a spectacular view off of a cliff, that is what we were going to take the picture of.

    also, just so everyone knows, if it doesn't work this time around we will probably try again after getting a digital SLR camera, and if we don't manage it i will post a regular digital photo of the view just so everyone can see it.

    so, questions, comments, suggestions, etc. as you can probably tell i don't really have any idea of how to go about this, it was just an something that we came up with a while ago that would be nice to do.

    also, i just thought i would throw in the fact (to make it partially apple related ;) ) that we will be putting the images on my ipod for storage during the project as we will probably fill up my 1 GB SD card quite quickly. (we will have a backup on a computer in case the hard drive in the ipod fails)

    thanks in advance for your help everyone, and sorry for such a long post :)
  2. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2004
    St. Louis
    You can get a 30 day trial of Photoshop CS 2 or Photoshop Elements free from I think Elements has a way to automatically stitch photos together to create a panorama but I don't know how it would work on a gigapixel image.

    I look forward to seeing the result.
  3. aplasticspork thread starter macrumors regular

    May 27, 2004
    Seattle Wa.
    that's actually a really good idea, hadn't thought of it before. that's probably what we'll do since we were thinking about getting photoshop anyway. thanks :) . also, just for my personal amusement, what kind of hardware would people recommend using for a project like this. in reality we'll probably be using an 800 Mhz imac G4 with 512 MB of RAM, unless i can commandeer the powerbook, in that case it'll be 1 Ghz with 1 GB of RAM.

  4. barneygumble macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2005
    What are you taking a picture of and why? If you dont't mind me asking that is
  5. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000


    May 30, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Get as much RAM as you can possibly muster. You'll need it.
  6. aplasticspork thread starter macrumors regular

    May 27, 2004
    Seattle Wa.
    i don't mind you asking, in fact i answered that in the first post, but it was rather long :p

    i was thinking of that, unfortunately the upper limit for my imac would be 1.5 GB (i think, it has a 512 MB stick in the non accessible slot), and the powerbook already has two 512 MB sticks in it, so upgrading that isn't an option because we would have to throw one away.

    *sigh* what does everyone think about the digital zoom question i asked? (and the camera we're using for that matter) the problem is, without it i'm afraid the camera will be able to get the picture in too few shots, we have to break 142 pictures to get over a gigapixel.

    if we have a lot of patience later on after we get a digital SLR then we'll probably be able to break the record because we have a spotting scope that connects to SLR cameras and is essentially a 300x telephoto. :p

  7. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    My concern would be that the digital zoom may not give you the greatest of results with regards to colour/sharpness (less of an issue with the tripod I guess). Wouldn't it be better to concentrate of getting a stunning shot for that image rather than waste your time there trying to get a gigapixel image that you're not sure will come out?

    You might have more luck doing a panoramic and fitting all those images in if you do something in 360 degrees. Check your camera, some have a photostitch setting that will tell Photoshop/Elements how you want to merge them and which images come next.

    In terms of how your hardware will handle it, I did a large panoramic of San Francisco from the top of Coit's Tower where the final image was 15561x1716 which the PB managed admirably. Elements wasn't able to merge them all though withough much beachballing and it couldn't cope with the colour differentials well. I ended up restitching them all by hand - Exposé made that much easier.
  8. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    I would shy away from using the digital zoom if you want a quality/sharp image for the final product. Although, depending on the actual printsize of the final image (not for print I realize, but based on the image as a whole) the zoomed sharpness might not matter because the image would be soooooo large that it just won't be noticed.

    I think you would have a much easier time getting there if you purchased a high MP DSLR camera, and a 300mm or 600mm :rolleyes: lens and started snapping away. In this latter method you won't be sacrificing quality to get as close as you want, and since it is a DSLR you are getting even more zoom because of the crop factor....1.5 or 1.6 Nikon/Canon respectively (assuming you don't go all-pro on your equipment).

    Either way it sounds like a neat idea. Perhaps start smaller with this setup and go for a 100Mb image or something like that, might be more easily accomplished given your equipment setup. Keep us posted.
  9. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    All the digital zoom is doing is cropping the image and resizing it larger by extrapolating the pixels. You could get the same effect by taking the the picture at your highest optical zoom, cutting it into pieces, resizing them in Photoshop, then stitching them back together. In short, you're only creating more work for yourself.
  10. Mac_Freak macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2005
    You can test grive your computer by stiching random pictures as well blowing them up, to se if it is going to handle gigapixel image. Which i have to say will be really slow onyour set uo since it will use sctacj disk a lot.

    One more thing, you will prabobly have to adjust perspective on those images.

    Good luck with this task.
    (Powodzenia, fajny pomysl)

    -Lukasz :D
  11. aplasticspork thread starter macrumors regular

    May 27, 2004
    Seattle Wa.
    arg!!! perfect time for the internet to stop working, it just ate my post, now i have to start over...

    ok, so no digital zoom, that's what i figured people would say, but i just wanted to make sure. :p

    Applespider, each of the pictures my camera takes are 3056x2296 pixels, so it would only take 4 shots from my camera to exceed the number of pixels in your picture :p , which is why i'm worried that it might explode or something(you should see how long it takes my computer to open them in preview). perhaps its time to get a G5.

    anyway, i'll probably do some experimenting before we leave in a month, and if it doesn't work i'll take a normal picture and post it here. :)

    thanks for your replies everyone, keep them coming. :)


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