The Ultimate Camera

A rendering of the LSST camera, whose development is being led by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

A rendering of the LSST camera, whose development is being led by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Construction has begun on the world’s largest camera, a 3200 Megapixel behemoth that will be located in Chile. The camera, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope or LSST will also function as a telescope, acquiring 30 terabytes of data per night, with a total of about 60 petabytes over ten years. This amount of data is equivalent to taking 800,000 photos every night with an eight mexapixel camera.

Building the $390 million LSST is expected to take about five years. The LSST camera will be about the size of a small car and weigh 3 tons. When complete, the LSST is expected to permanently end the megapixel wars that have plagued the digital camera industry over the last several years.

When told about the new camera, Bill Gates immediately declared, “I want one.” Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg responded shortly thereafter, “Me too,” although he was later heard to demur when told that the new camera couldn’t be used to take selfies.

For more information on the LSST see the LSST Fact Sheet and the related FAQ’s.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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