See this 10 billion pixel panorama of 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'

Girl with pearl earring panorama image
(Image credit: Hirox Europe)

Ever wanted to study classic paintings in extreme detail? Well, thanks to a new high resolution 3D scan of the infamous 'Girl with a Pearl Earring', you can do. Hirox Europe is a company that specializes in produce extremely detailed, high resolution 3D scans. With its 3D digital microscope, Hiros Europe has produced an incredible 10 billion pixel panorama image of 'Girl with the Pearl Earring' painting. 

This panorama consists of 9,000 images that were stitched together to produce the final image. Hirox also took each images at various points of focus, which were stacked together to also produce a 3D render of the painting. 

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Hirox Europe produced this highly detailed image of the painting so that better analysis could be performed on the technique and methods used to produce the painting. With the ability to digitally zoom right into the minute details of the painting, art historians can now achieve a fresh perspective on this classic painting.

The 3D renders of the painting can also help with analysis too. The texture of painting can be viewed at various depths and angles, which provides a never seen before view of this famous painting. 

Hirox Europe used its 3D digital microscope to produce this panorama. The microscope consists of a digital CMOS sensor accompanied with Hirox manufactured lenses. With the use of its software, the microscope spent more than 15 hours taking images of the painting at various focus depths to produce the final image. The resulting file is 93,205 x 108,565 pixels or 10 Gigapixels in size. 

To put this into context, the highest resolution files that the most expensive medium format cameras can produce is 150MP (this is with the Phase One 1Q4 with its XF 150MP digital back). However, pixel shift technology means that cameras such as the Fujifilm GFX 100 and the Hasselblad H6D 400c can produce files up to 400MP. 

While these are obviously huge files, they're still relatively tiny when compared to what Hirox is producing with its 3D microscope. You can check out the full scan of 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' here.

Read more: 

Fujifilm GFX 100 review
Best medium format cameras
12 highest resolution cameras
best medium format cameras 

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Usman Dawood

Usman is a commercial and architectural photographer based in West Yorkshire, who has been working professionally for over seven years. He has also spent over four years as a writer for the biggest photography sites in the world, including Staff Writer for Digital Camera World, senior staff writer for FStoppers, and tech writer for Petapixel. 

With a particular interest in technology developments, high-resolution imaging and the high-end cameras, Usman has been on the cutting edge of camera news as well as writing features about medium format systems and global shutters, and has reviewed some of the latest Leica cameras as well as a tripod that’s even taller than Andre the Giant!