DSLR Turned Into Gigapixel Microscope

Jeremy S. Cook
4 months ago

If you have a good camera, you’ll likely be shooting in the 10–50 megapixel (million) pixel range, but why not a billion? If you need such an image, this camera device can create gigapixel resolution by incrementally moving the subject, then stitching the images together. You can then zoom, and zoom, and zoom, and zoom without losing clarity!

This project uses a traditional DSLR camera, though with two Nikon lenses combined to create a microscope, and moves the subject matter around via X and Y stages stacked on top of each other. The design is reminiscent of a CNC machinery, with movement driven by steppers and kept in line with linear bearings and rods. An Arduino Nano handles everything via two L9110-based driver modules, and IR sensors dictate where to start and stop everything. Two Nano outputs are used to control the camera itself, with one line for the focus, and the other for the shutter.

Overall, creator Jon Bumstead is “happy with the performance of the system,” though he notes that with better mechanical and optical components, results could have been even better. Additionally, stitching everything together is no trivial matter, and while he presents several methods for doing so, getting your procedure perfect will still require some work.

photography
Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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