This 53 Gigapixel Bentley photograph lets you read the seat’s embroidered logo from over 2,000 feet away

Jun 23, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This 53 Gigapixel Bentley photograph lets you read the seat’s embroidered logo from over 2,000 feet away

Jun 23, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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bentley_53_gigapixel

Gigapixel images have taken off like crazy over the last couple of years.  With devices like the Gigapan and similar products becoming so readily available and the massive increase in sensor resolution lately, they’re becoming easier and easier to create.

While typically used to document sporting or political events, or to show off an entire city, this is the first time I’ve seen the technique used in advertising.  Here it’s being used to promote the Bentley Mulsanne EWB.

You can view the whole and play with it over on the Bentley Motors website, but here’s a handy animated gif to save you some time.

bentley_gigapixel_zoom

Motor1 reports that the image was created using a “special camera”, which looks suspiciously like a Nikon D7200, attached to what appears to be the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens.

With the whole rig mounted on a Gigapan Systems Epic Pro and placed approximately 2300 feet away from the vehicle.  According to Bentley’s press release, the final image was built using 700 individual images, which were then stitched together in post.

bentley_nikon

Unless this was some super secret Nikon prototype (even if not the D7200, it’s obviously a Nikon) The numbers just don’t add up for me, though.

53 Gigapixels is 53,000 Megapixels.  If you were to make a 53,000MP image from D7200 files, and assuming about a 33% overlap between shots (pretty standard for pano stitching), you’d need close to 5,000 of those 24MP shots to produce the final image.

Even without any overlap between images at all (which would make lining up the shots near impossible) you’d need 2,200 photographs to make a 53GP image.

If it were created from a mere 700 images, that means the sensor in that camera must be at least 75MP, and that’s before you take the overlap into account to make sure the images all line up properly.

It suggests to me that either somebody miscalculated, or it isn’t really quite what they claim, and that they switched focal lengths as they went tighter and tighter on the shot, knowing that the outside edges would never see a closer inspection as the viewer can’t pan around the image.

But, it’s still impressive, and it’s interesting to see the technique being applied to marketing, although I wish it wasn’t a straight zoom into a single point.  I understand that the whole point is to promote the car, but I want to look around.

Have you played around with stitching big Gigapixel images together?  What equipment and setup do you use?  Show off your work and let us know what you think in the comments.

[via Retouchist]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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8 responses to “This 53 Gigapixel Bentley photograph lets you read the seat’s embroidered logo from over 2,000 feet away”

  1. HyperJ Avatar
    HyperJ

    Fake, fake, fake. And note the motion blur on everything but the car… And the only car anywhere. And you can’t even pan around to see other details. Besides, the idea that a camera miles away could get a sharp enough image on a embroidered logo of a moving car is just ridiculous.

    No, this is just a much simpler construction, and not a true gigapixel image.

    1. David Woods Avatar
      David Woods

      Not to mention that there’s no way you’d be able to see that much detail at that distance. Turbulence in the atmosphere alone would render this impossible. My guess is they made a fairly high resolution of the bridge using the giga pan then composited a photo of the car on top.

  2. Rick Avatar
    Rick

    Motion blur on a Gigapan?? Yeah, whatever….

    While I accept that it is technically possible to achieve by simply not stopping the sweep for each shot, if it is moving at the same rate as the car so the car is not blurred, the car would be at the center of every picture taken as the camera panned across the bridge. The car would show up 30-some times, not just once.

  3. Nurkules Avatar
    Nurkules

    Because no one has ever manipulated a digital image for effect, right?

  4. PaciB Avatar
    PaciB

    When you zoom a little bit, at the time the motion blur effect starts to be perceptive on the bridge you can see a sail boat on the left with no motion blur on it… I’m really surprised to find such an article on DIY about this obviously totally fake image.
    The good thing in this affair is that I can also pretend to do gigapixel pictures of that kind, and no need of a gigapan stuff. This article is just ridiculous ! Better have not written it

  5. Sean Avatar
    Sean

    I’m finding a lot fo Aldred’s posts to be ridiculous and not showing much knowledge, or worse, lack of respect for our knowledge.

  6. Joe Varghese Avatar
    Joe Varghese

    Fake or not, it is an advertisement and the image had is technical challenges.
    May be it is not stitched together the conventional way as the panning is disabled you need high resolution only at the subject area.
    May be the car is taken as a standalone image and inserted later

  7. fla playa Avatar
    fla playa

    I at first was blown away but then I wondered why all the blurry. I own two cameras of similar stature.. The wide pan of the bridge requires no telephoto lens. Total fake. That car was sitting still as they panned in then adding blurs to surroundings.. Good post John ;)