[Video] With Your Help We Can Make The Largest Digital Camera Ever

Last year we had a meet up in Arizona and I was lucky enough to meet Zeke, a mechanical engineer who works on some of the most impressive digital cameras on the planet (and off the planet). I was able to hold one of these cameras and learn a thing or two about what it can do. These large cameras are mainly used in space to take exposures that last literally hours but Zeke told me that he wanted to make one of these into a working camera that any photographer could use (on planet earth).

Zeke explained that these sensors are so incredibly expensive, his company will not be willing to spend the money to produce this camera unless they see a large enough response. So guys, this comes down to you. If you can comment below and on Youtube and share this video on Facebook, Twitter, and your personal blogs, we may just be able to convince Spectral Instruments that this could be a valuable marketing move. If this camera ever does get made. I will fly anywhere in the world to do a photoshoot with it and film a BSTV. Let's make this happen people!

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Lee Morris's picture

I remember Zeke telling me that the dynamic range is so high with this camera that you could photograph the sky during the day and see the sun and the stars in the same file. 

Pratik Naik's picture

My brain just exploded

Jose Anselmo's picture

PLEASE, make this test. I would like to see how far can this machine go.


That's immense, but i'm assuming it would be way more expensive than any hasselblad or phase back ? 

Lee Morris's picture

I think I remember him telling me the sensor alone costs well over 100k for them to produce. This would be a one of a kind camera. 

Ah the video just came up, that would be amazing, then to print that bad boy !!

Mike Kelley's picture

Y'know, if you re-do the iPhone photo shoot with this badboy, people are just going to say "doesn't matter, I could have shot that with my iPhone!"

I lol'd

Melissa Avey's picture

What Pratik said! 

Michael Turcotte's picture

Can I get one half the area of the one in the video, without the cooling? What format are the files? That would go great mounted on my 8x10 camera.

Jaron Schneider's picture

Zeke is such a boss. I love the way he talks about this thing (and he does it in person too) with such an air of calm and collection. Like the fact he is blowing minds is just an everyday occurrence for him.

Michael Murphy's picture

yeah but at how many fps can it fire? hahaha. seriously, pretty cool. do it up!

Patrick Hall's picture

One frame per hour is lightning fast!

RUSS's picture

:-) Does it do video? :-D

Tim Yang's picture

is it me or does the movement of this guy in the video a bit choppy....he moves as though the video was fast forward. However, the audio seem to be in sync

Jaron Schneider's picture

Naw that's just Zeke :)

Zeke Man's picture

 Tim, clearly you did not enjoy the 1960's

I would LOVE to see this camera created... and see all kinds of dynamic range torture tests, and also see low light video tests.

Doug Flint's picture

OMG! Seriously, yes. This should be done if for no other reason than it CAN be done.

Craig Pulsifer's picture

WOW!  Can we buy an 8x10, a pair of 5x7's and a set of wallets from Zeke after he's got this thing working?  Wait... sitting fees are how much?

barl0w's picture

I think that would be awesome! I couldn't afford it, but I'd love to shoot it as well!

JJ Wood's picture

kickstarter that thing!

Paul Monaghan's picture

sounds awesome.. id love to see this :D

★✰★Original★✰★'s picture


Wow! Absolutely incredible! The dynamic range is probably even more impressive and appealing to me than the resolution. But now I have lots of questions. Is the camera they are considering building for traditional photographers going to be a b&w camera, or color? It looks like the camera in the video would be mounted to a telescope, but what kind of lenses would you use with this kind of camera? Will it have a single fixed lens, or use interchangeable lenses such as wide angle, zoom, macro, etc? Would that kind of resolution be too much for even Canon's high end L-series lenses and show imperfections in the glass? I'm guessing they'd have to manufacture a lens(es) specifically for this camera as well.

How do you hold it or mount it to a tripod? It looks very heavy. And I'm guessing that it would need to be plugged into the wall to power that size of sensor and cooling system, or could it be battery powered for on-location shooting where AC power is not available? Can you use PocketWizards to sync it to strobes? Will you be able to do fast exposures like 1/160 or 1/2,000 or will you need to do longer multi-second or multi-minute exposures only?That would be amazing if a camera like this existed. It would definitely generate a ton of exposure and publicity for their company. And it would probably generate substantial income from rentals to specialized photo projects that need that kind of resolution and dynamic range. I wonder what kind of waiting list there would be to use this camera?

Zeke Man's picture

 Jacom, We would build it like a view camera


 It would have a Steam Punk motif, just because we can. And it would be in a 8" x 10" format. Then are plenty of lens available for large format film cameras.  I have not dived into the lens resolution issues yet...

 I do have a traditional  wide angle lens for it... it weighs about 35 pounds...so it is not so practical for what we (photographers) want to do with it. 

The camera will stay black and white.

Caroline Hopkins Crum's picture

this could be a really great business investment for them, too. this one of a kind camera could be rented out for special projects. so cool! I'm thinking national geographic....

Angel Oviedo's picture

I really want to see what this camera is capable of...

Eric Chan's picture

Would love to see some shots from this!  Part of the challenge is mounting this onto something, or vice versa.

Marian Badea's picture

I couldn't afford it, but I want it made. :D maybe we could rent it. :D

Marian Badea's picture

OK, after watching the video I'm pretty sure they already made up their mind to make this camera.

M K's picture

I'm all for it, but who foots the bill? lol

Seriously, make that happen! That is one chance to just set a milestone in digital photography - if it contributes anything that makes sense or not, doesn´t matter. It´s a once in lifetime chance to do something like this - and at least, Zeke will forever be the FIRST ONE who did it...

Please call this monstre as: "Click Norris"!!! :D

Brian McCarthy's picture

Lee -- can you attach that badboy to a Gigapan (
http://gigapan.com/cms/shop/store) and make the largest gigapixel image in the history of the world?  You'll need a couple or terabytes but surely there is a Guinness Book Record involved in it....

Alan Bunch's picture

Zeke, all of the great photographers you mentioned in the video would have a field day with that camera.  Just remember the Moby C, they didn't know what it would be used for when they built it and it enabled Joe McNally to produce some very powerful images of 9/11. I know it's a LOT of money for a small company but if you build great things great people will do amazing things with it.  

Someone mentioned Kickstarted, I'd kick in a few bucks and I'm sure there is a big enough crowd sourcing community to fund a lot of it.

Build it and they will come.  They'll pay at least $2000 per day and $300 per print if need be.  That has already been proven.


Do it! Make it happen!

Scott English Milam's picture

This is so exciting! I would be so happy to see these images!

Nathan Hamler's picture

haha they should have ended the video with Zeke's boss coming in and being like "ZEKE! what the hell have i told you about bringing our equipment into the break room and filming these things!!" hahahah very cool, i'd love to see the results of a shoot with something like this!

Stefan_Hellberg's picture

Sweet! Ofc it would be great promotion and worth it. Every single magazine and paper with any interest tech or photography would write about this beast. Do it!

Thomas Ingersoll's picture

that thing was so heavy

I can just imagine what a nighttime timelapse with this would look like.  Depth of field flexibility that would be unheard of and bigger than IMAX-sized imagery would make this absolutely mind-blowing.  Someday this will be done -- I just hope it happens soon and would love these folks to be the ones who get credit for a groundbreaking project like this!

Jules Vaillancourt Laporte's picture

do it and ill rent one for sure!

suzaidee's picture

I'm looking forward for this and love to see the result :)

jimgoldstein's picture

Oooh the possibilities. I have a million ideas to pursue with a camera like that. If only it could find its way to my hands....

Do it!!!

Louis van Zyl's picture

Maybe you could bring the camera to South Africa and take some mind blowing Landscapes in the Namakwa area of our land. Would go a long way to promoting the project and making it something different. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth and the desert produces flowers once a year that is mind blowing. I think black and whites would be mind blowing.

I think an art Landscape project using Yosemite would be another brilliant idea. 

Anyhow it would be a shame to not do a project like this. And I think you would be able to generate a lot of publicity.

Jason Peters's picture

I've got a large format project that this would be perfect for... just sayin'

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