This 489 Megapixel DIY Camera Is Cheap and Neat

A $150 DIY camera that is capable of capturing 489-megapixel images sounds too good to be true, right? Let's take a look at how this thing is built and the pictures you can expect to get from it.

The megapixel arms race is still alive and well for many camera manufacturers. Every year, we hear about the newest releases, and many of us salivate at the thought of a new camera with even higher megapixel counts. Enter stage left, Yunus Zenichowski, the photographer and inventor, who in his latest video, has built a DIY scanner camera that is capable of capturing an eye watering 489-megapixels in his images.

The first thing to note about Zenichowski's camera is that it is made using an Epson v37 flatbed document scanner, first released back in 2012. Scanners like this are not traditionally meant to be used inside a camera but can be made to work with some modification. The one drawback of using a scanner like this is that the capture times are much longer than a traditional camera. The video shows a byproduct of this limitation, as we see some distortion and ghosting if any movement is present while the "shutter" is open.

An example of the scanner camera in action

This DIY camera is not going to replace your existing setup, but it could become an interesting and unique addition to your camera bag. To me, the images produced have a slightly low-tech film look to them, which may be desirable to you if you don't mind the quirks and limitations that come with such a camera. I could see an artist-photographer loving the rawness such a DIY device could bring, especially when paired with super large file sizes that would allow incredibly detailed prints to be produced. Zenichowski says he was able to make the camera for about $150, which by today's standards, isn't that much money. You may be able to bring that figure down if you already have a suitable lens to use in such a project. This camera is very much a work in progress, with the potential to become even more usable with a few improvements. Expect to see even more of these DIY cameras popping up as the likes of 3D printing and electronics become more accessible to the masses.

If you'd like to build this camera, Zenichowski has kindly provided a link to the 3D files you would need to print out the body.

What do you make of this crazy DIY camera? Would you use such a thing? Do you fancy making your own version? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Paul Parker's picture

Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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Alexander Petrenko's picture

489 megapixel photos which look like they were taken by $15 camera.

PS: great fun project, no doubt.

Richard Tack's picture

You want bokeh? This bokehs the entire image. Vaseline any camera lens and get the same or better result.