The Invisible Camera: Your Mind Will Be Blown

pin hole camera pinhole invisible Chris Marquardt has developed a really mind blowing new camera called The Invisible Camera. Using ground breaking technology developed by the Max-Planck Institute in Germany, Chris has designed a camera that can properly expose an image even when the film is exposed to ambient light. The special film uses a technique called "directional desensitization" which prevents the emulsion from capturing light; the only light registered is from the very small projection created by the tiny pin hole. What's even more mind blowing is this technique might allow for images to be captured at ISO 1/500th or 15 stops lower than ISO 100! Chris estimates that this increase in resolution would be equivalent to about 3,000 5D Mark II cameras which I can't even imagine. Hopefully some of our more technical readers can explain this to me since I have a feeling it's going on sale a week from this Friday and The Invisible Camera has offered a demo model to Fstoppers.

Update: Chris has uploaded a podcast about his invisible camera. Unfortunately I still don't think he addresses the questions needed to debunk this as a hoax. Listen to his interview HERE and decide for yourself.

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Patrick Hall is a founder of and a photographer based out of Charleston, South Carolina.

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Like I said, apparently we are getting a copy to test in about 11 days....the images must take days to expose; at least I think that is how it works.

@Patrick Hall Admin,

This is an April Fool joke.

I'm half way through the video, and I'm saying it's fake.

Yeah, I would say that this video has been released about 11 days early... :)

Maybe it'll make more sense after I watch it again?!

The film would still develop if you had it in broad day light, light comes from all directions, it doesn't make sense. The whole feild testers thing is just a way to spread their viral video.

"A special polarized glass" I hope he's talking about the lens because that box looks awfully like plexi to me, especially at the corners and joints.

@Grant Lankford, Yeah, defiantly looks like plexi to me.

Is this a hoax? some things just don't add up to me in the video. for starters, if the plexiglass was polarized, why is it perfectly clear? I have enough experience with optics as a microscopist and photographer and i've never seen a polarized material that clear.

@Tim Kang, And you'll never see a polarized material that doesn't cut out at least HALF the light -- for random polarization, half the energy is in each orthogonal polarization... Your instincts are spot-on...

Patrick, I think y'all have been duped!

I actually saw something about this the other day in Popular Science. It has actually come out of some research done in conjunction with CERN at the LHC. Really superelite technical stuff. Most people here probably won't understand it, and will say it's fake and whatnot. They just don't know.

@Beach, can you link the article?

@Beach, Ah Beach I should have sent this to you earlier. I forgot you went to MIT for Aerospace. Yeah you need to explain this to me over a beer

@Beach, heh heh, the video said one of the Max Planck Institutes... another name waved around like a magic wand... like you wave CERN and the LHC oooh superelite!... but not much connected...

This HAS to be a hoax. The whole light amplification bit from Max Planck doesn't make any physical sense - light doesn't resonate due to perpendicular polarized rays hitting its path. It also bears no clear relation to the design of the pinhole camera and the "directional light" film. if that were true, they would have to precisely lay out the silver particles in the film to point all towards the center of the pinhole - otherwise, the only picture you'd get would be a bullseye diffraction pattern in the center.

Tim you may not have heard it correctly.. it AMPLIFIES the light. And there's resonating involved.

yes, the only way i can see amplification is resonance. but that just sounds like a bunch of hogwash/faux science to me.

the amplitude of a sine wave amplified by perpendicular sine waves? that's what i'm talking about here. doesn't make any sense at all.

@Tim Kang, Yes, and amplified in air... the perpendicular part, actually that's possible (tech note: nonlinear susceptibility as a tensor with off-diagonal elements). But in air, no...

@Roubin, (and the k-vectors are a problem too...)

I'll believe it when I see it...
If they are so sure about this stuff, why don't we see any image in this video ?
Polarised plexiglass ? That would boost the light from the pinhole to the film ?
Yeah... It's a bit early for an April Fool !
And last but not least, since when do we record "terapixels" on a 4x5" film sheet ?
So this guy and his furry friends just revolutionized photography in one little transparent box, with no lens and no shutter... ????
Yeah, I really need to get some sleep...
Funny !

@Bernard Lachaud, Not to early for april fools, Patrick said they get theres in 11 days. Guess what day that is ;)

It has to do with quantum foam. It technically takes the images BEFORE they are exposed. That's why the shutter speeds can be so quick. Heady stuff.

@Beach, you're a plant...

yes 11 days to early, well put together though :-)

low ISO = Higher Resolution..


Well, if this is real, my cameras just got a lot older. A>LOT>OLDER..

11 days?? That's 4/1 nice joke you guys going on!! Hahah

what a load of crap. if this is true, he just created energy from nothing and bent light 90 degrees using the air in that box. that film is a load of crap too. yeah its resolution will really be at least 1 terapixel. and even if each molecule on that film only reacts with light from one direction (oh each molecule has to be programmed differently since light from pinhole will be hitting film at different angles) somehow no light will be hitting it at that direction in ambient light

April Fools - 11 days....!

If this is legit.. I'm sending Lee and Patrick as case of their favorite beer!

@DPC, Stella and maybe Dos Equis Lager

next time make up something thats somewhat realistic for april fools

That camera looks a lot like Chris Marquardt's International Pinhole camera ( except with plexiglass. I have to say its a hoax, otherwise he would have shown us the 1/500 ISO photos.

Pics or didn't happen! ;)

Chris is a legit photographer. I dont know why he would make such an elaborate hoax. But the flip side of that is that this thing is making no sense to me. I look forward to more news about this.

a week this friday... so that would be April Fool's Day?

wow well i will be waiting 4 days to sign up for this and have my mind blown lol

A week from this friday, that means it is released on April 1st. Humm....

Indeed April fools is coming up but i thought id research a bit and a found a few things:

From Site 1:
"A new photographic phenomenon, a low intensity desensitization effect (“L.I.D. effect”) is described. With certain solarizable emulsions, it was found that the latent image formed by a short, high intensity exposure was destroyed by a subsequent long, low intensity exposure. If the low intensity exposure was given first, it desensitized the emulsion. Thus, in both cases the density resulting from the two exposures was lower than the density obtained by the short exposure alone. Sensitometric data on this desensitization effect are presented. Previous work relating to it is briefly reviewed, and its relation to other double-exposure effects is outlined. Substitution of x-ray exposures for the high intensity exposures show that both act in the same manner under the experimental conditions used. Practical applications of the new effect as a reversal process and for color correction in reproducing colored originals are suggested."

From Site 2:
"Photographic negative material which has at least one layer which contains a desensitized silver halide emulsion, the desensitizer used being a trinuclear heptamethinecyanine or a halogenated trinuclear tetramethinecyanine which has three identical heterocyclic ring systems, which can have different substituents and are linked to one another by three identical methine systems, which can be mesomeric, is suitable for processing in subdued daylight but nevertheless has an adequate sensitivity on exposure to intense light."

If this is at all true then the Clear Box is just a Hoax/Marketing, kinda like the Worm in a Tequila bottle.
Either way it was research that challenged my mind :)

You can see his photos here:

Note he doesn't, in any way suggest these photos were from the "Invisible Camera"

So it comes out April 1st? I'll cue up the Rick Astley.

6.15 on the video gives it away. April fools! He keeps his cool well but on that moment he looses it :-)

that's the worst invisible camera I've ever seen... ;)

Happy April Fools Guys!

LOL. Either Patrick is in on this, or he is incredibly gullible.

lol, a week from friday is april 1st, cmon now dont fall for it....

whats the bet the deadline to applications is april first.

Good hoax though guys, I'm guessing the guys at this site will have made it and be in on it.

i liked the way the film expert had load of lomo products on his shelfs

for such an scientific breakthrough and innovation in tech why they using such a naff tripod?! :D yep early april fool

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