If you were camped out on the Mall with your multi-megapixel digital camera last Friday, you probably grabbed a few acceptable snaps of the royal wedding procession as it made its way back to Buckingham Palace.
The BBC wasn’t content with a mere digital compact camera to record this particular public event, however, so it deployed something a little more heavyweight — a camera capable of taking 1.15-gigipixel images.
Actually, the BBC’s ultra-high resolution photo of the crowds on the Mall is actually a composite of some 189 separate images, to give a final resolution of 81,471 pixels by 14,154 pixels and a field of view that covers 200 degrees.
Even so, it’s an extremely impressive digital image and you can pan and zoom around it on the BBC site to see an incredible amount of detail — if you were somewhere in the foreground, you should be able to zoom in close enough to see your face. That said, we’ll probably all be packing cameras of this quality in our mobile phones within a few years…
Incidentally, this isn’t quite the largest, most detailed digital photo ever taken. That accolade goes to a photo of Shanghai taken in 2010, which weighed in at a whopping 112-gigapixels and was a composite of 12,000 individual images. That image was 1.24 terabytes in size, or 1,269 gigabytes, which means you could fit a couple of them on the largest PC hard disk currently available.