The world’s largest photo – an amazing 320-gigapixel picture of London taken from the top of the BT Tower – has been produced using just four Canon EOS 7D cameras.
The stunning 360-degree view of London was taken by photographic firm 360Cities and comprises 48,640 individual frames shot on the four Canon 7D cameras, mounted with EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses and Extender EF 2x III teleconverters, provided by Canon.
The cameras were driven by high end Rodeon VR Head ST robotic panorama heads, from the Clauss company in Germany.
The 48,640 individual images were shot after the conclusion of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and were then stitched together into a single, giant panorama over a period of weeks. In total, the project took a period of several months.
According to organisers, if the image was printed at normal photographic resolution, the panorama would be 98 meters across and 24 meters tall – nearly as big as Buckingham Palace!
Rainer Fuehres, Head of Consumer Imaging Group, Canon Europe, said: “The goal of empowering people to take the next step on their personal photographic journeys drives every product we create, and this breath-taking image truly takes this philosophy to the extreme.
“Since its launch, the EOS 7D has caught the imagination of enthusiasts around the world so we were pleased to support such an exciting and challenging project with a camera that so many people are using to capture their own moments of inspiration.”
The project in numbers
Project by numbers:
• 320 – the number of gigapixels in the photo
• 48,640 – the number of individual images shot
• 3 – the number of days it took to shoot all the individual photos
• 3 – the number of months over which the computer processed the final result
• 60,000 – times bigger than an iPhone 4 photo
• 98 – the number of meters long if printed in normal photographic resolution
• 24 – the number of meters high if printed in normal photographic resolution
• 29th – The floor at the BT Tower where the photos were taken
• 20 – number of miles distant to the viewable horizon
Technical photographic information, and how the photo was taken:
• Working over a period of three chilly days in 2012, the 360Cities team spent hours on the 29th floor outdoor platform of the BT Tower working with four cameras to record the 48,640 images comprising the panorama.
• Four Canon EOS 7D cameras with EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses and Extender EF 2x III teleconverters were mounted on Clauss company Rodeon VR Head ST robotic panorama heads and positioned in four secure locations around the 29th floor platform.
• The Clauss company robotic panorama heads are capable of 72,000 steps in a single 360 degree arc, and in this case were set to fire four frames a second.
• Laptops monitored a live preview of the progress of the shoot, which was accomplished in the teeth of sub-freezing temperatures and occasional 50 mph winds high above London.
• The 360Cities photography team of Jeffrey Martin, Tom Mills and Holger Schulze ensured that not a single individual frame from the more than 48,000 planned was missed.
• The raw images were then processed over a multi-week period using Fujitsu Technology Solutions’ Celsius R920 workstationwith 256GB of RAM and 16 cores at 3.1GHz, and Autopano Giga panorama stitching software from Kolor.
• The resulting online interactive version of the photo is presented in multi-layered, tiled resolution that permits zooming in to view extreme details, and is composed of millions of individual image tiles.