Gigapixel images let you zoom in to all parts of the photo to view it in astonishing detail, and this latest one from Chinese firm BigPixel is certainly no exception.
Showing the Chinese city of Shanghai and shot from atop the 230-meter-tall Oriental Pearl Tower, the picture comprises a whopping 195 gigapixels. For comparison, many of today’s top-end smartphones take photos of around 12 megapixels. This image has 195,000 megapixels.
But take note. The enormous panorama has been created by stitching together thousands of separate images taken with professional cameras and high-quality lenses. And it took two months to complete.
Hosted on BigPixel’s website, the impressive image includes navigation controls that let you explore the sprawling city — population 24 million — in amazing detail. Just when you think you won’t be able to zoom in any more, you find the picture on your screen increasing in size as a small area miles away from the Oriental Pearl Tower fills the display. And the quality will blow your mind.
On its website, BigPixel doesn’t specify the camera equipment it used to capture the images. We’ve reached out for more information and we’ll add the details if we hear back.
Despite its massive size, BigPixel’s panorama isn’t the biggest gigapixel image out there. According to Guinness World Records, the largest photo comprises an incredible 846 gigapixels. It was created by a Malaysian university team in 2015 and shows the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The final image, which can still be viewed online, combines around 31,000 different photos.
If you’d prefer a nature shot to a city one, then how about this 365-gigapixel panorama showing France’s Mont Blanc. To capture the images, a five-person team used a Canon 70D DSLR, a Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS II lens, and a Canon Extender 2X III on a robotic mount.
The pictures were shot over a total of 35 hours across 15 days and used up 46 terabytes of space on numerous memory cards. Post-production, which mostly consisted of image processing and stitching to create the huge panorama, took two months in all.
Challenges included operating the equipment in bitterly cold temperatures that dropped to as low as 14 Fahrenheit (minus 10 Celsius), but we’re sure you’ll agree, the final result was well worth the effort.