A group of young Hungarians, sponsored by industry big-shots Epson, Microsoft and Sony, have created the world’s highest-resolution 360° panoramic photograph to date.
Shot from a 100-year-old observation tower built on the highest point of Budapest, the stitched panorama is over 590,000 pixels wide by nearly 121,000 pixels tall. In order to take the necessary number of photos in the least amount of time, the creators of the record-breaking image mounted a pair of Sony A900 bodies - each outfitted with a Minolta AF 400mm f/4.5 APO G lens and 1.4x teleconverter - on a sturdy stand complete with a custom-designed robotic head.
Even with this setup, the image capturing stage of the project took over three hours to complete. The source images were then stitched with Autopano Giga software on a Dell Precision T7500 Workstation with 2 quad-core Intel Xeon processors, 24 gigabytes of RAM and 6 terabytes of storage capacity. The stitching process took two full days and resulted in a 200GB KRO file, which had to be converted into PPM format and split into three parts for retouching in Photoshop..
A 300ppi print of the entire photo would be 156 metres wide by 31 metres high, i.e. a lot wider than a football field is long.