Seitz launches 160MP camera

January 21, 2008 | 12:10

Tags: #camera #digital #high-def #photography

In the market for a new digital camera, but want something with a decently high resolution? Well, Seitz Phototechnik has exactly what you're looking for in its new 6x17 camera: 160 megapixels of glorious colour.

I'll say that again: one hundred and sixty megapixels. Yes, that's insane. You'll need a fairly hefty PC, too though: each image in 48-bit uncompressed TIFF format comes out at a rather hefty 900MB. The resolution of each photo is 7,500x21,250: that's almost 77 times the resolution of a 1080p high-definition video.

Looking like some kind of steampunk prop, the camera has a pair of chromed hand grips at either side of the body. I'm not entirely certain why, if I'm honest: at a whopping 45cm width and weighing 4.5 kilogrammes you're unlikely to be taking snapshots with it when you're out-and-about.

It's not much cop for taking action shots of fast-moving subjects either; the camera manages to capture such a prodigious resolution through 'scanning back', which works in much the same way as a flatbed scanner, moving the sensor along a predetermined route to capture a series of smaller images which are automatically pieced together into a larger whole. Although the new camera has one of the fastest scanning backs around, capable of capturing a full-resolution 6x17 image in a single second, it's still too long to capture fast motion.

There's no compatibility with memory cards, either: instead, the camera comes equipped with a gigabit Ethernet port for zipping the photos off to a host PC. If you really need to be out and about – and you've been building your muscles – the company offers a tablet PC which can strap to the back to make it 'portable'. Hmm.

If you're needing the ultimate in high-res photography you probably won't let the drawbacks put you off. The cost of joining the ultra-high-def set? £21,817, lens extra - and that's just the base model. Better start saving up now, then.

Ever had the chance to play with really high-tech kit, or are you stuck with a QVGA cameraphone? Give us a shout over in the forums.
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