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Want to see what 53-billion pixels looks like? Bentley constructs image as big as a football field

gently creates 53 billion pixel car photo bentley mulsanne gigapixel
Image used with permission by copyright holder
See the above photo of a Bentley Mulsanne? It’s nice, if ordinary, right? But if we didn’t tell you, you probably didn’t realize this sharp photograph is actually cropped in from a panoramic photo of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. While megapixels in the double digits may be standard for everyday cameras, tech developed by NASA was used to created this image that’s made up of billions of pixels – typically used to capture the unseen details on Mars, or, in this case, to photograph $330,000 cars.

Earlier this week, Bentley shared a 53,000-megapixel image (that’s 53 billion pixels) of the Golden Gate Bridge (below). The photograph captures a wide perspective from almost half a mile (700 meters) from the car, but has enough resolution to not only zoom into the rose gold Mulsanne driving across the iconic landmark, but to see the individual stitching on the winged “B” logo on the passenger seat headrest. If you’ve ever tried to crop into an image taken with a consumer camera, you know you cannot get this level of detail. What’s amazing is that the cropped image is still high resolution,

The panorama image of the Golden Gate Bridge, before it was cropped to reveal the Bentley Mulsanne.
The panorama image of the Golden Gate Bridge, before it was cropped to reveal the Bentley Mulsanne. Bentley

If the image was printed out at full resolution, it would be as big as a football field. That’s about 4,425-times larger than a typical smartphone photo.

So how do you take a 53-billion-pixel image? The photo was created by stitching together 700 single images, similar to the way photographers would stitch three or four images together to create a large panorama.

Bentley didn’t say just what equipment was used, but from the photo, it looks like the photographer used a Nikon DSLR with a robotic camera mount to help determine where to shoot each individual photo for the 700 image merge – technology developed by NASA, according to Bentley.

From Epic Panorama to intricate detail_ Bentley's extraordinary 'Gigapixel' image-2

Why such a big photo? Kevin Rose, a Bentley board member for sales and marketing, says the idea for the image came in an effort to showcase the Mulsanne’s attention to detail. “We wanted to commission this shot to capture both the exquisite detailing of the Mulsanne and the epic scale of our brand’s ambitions. We believe the result is truly extraordinary,” he said in a release.

Bentley's gigapixel photo is so high-res, you can crop down to the logo on the seat.
Bentley’s gigapixel photo is so high-res, you can crop down to the logo on the seat headrest. Image used with permission by copyright holder
Hillary K. Grigonis
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