Discussion forum - Post and discuss topics here.

Great name for it: Megapixel Microscopy by Steve Litchfield

Picture of Tomi Ahonen
Great name for it: Megapixel Microscopy by Steve Litchfield
by Tomi Ahonen - Wednesday, 4 February 2009, 12:22 AM

To all interested in cameraphones..

Many of us who have high-end cameraphones of 5 megapixels or more have been doing it, but now there is a name for it. Steve Litchfield of All About Symbian has coined the term Megapixel Microscopy, which is the process of using a high resulution cameraphone, in its native photography mode, to take pictures of tiny items, then to use the normal 100% size display on the cameraphone, as effectively a strong magnifying glass (or conversely a low-power microscope) to magnify the item. Steve wrote about it at this link


He has great images there, worth looking at to see how much this is reality, not just a silly idea.

I did a quick test and found that using my N82 this way, I get nearly 4x magnification, a very useful increase in size of small print or other tiny items. Nice..

And clearly we have not yet reached the limits of what all is possible with our wonder-gadget. So I have to update my slide again, and add the microscope to what all we are starting to have in our pocket every day. Should I soon add the binoculars and telescope too?

..but on the other hand, I do wish we'd get the optical zooms (back) ie I miss my N93 so much..

Tomi Ahonen / HatRat    :-)

Picture of Vladimir Dimitroff
by Vladimir Dimitroff - Friday, 6 February 2009, 2:06 AM

Just tried it - it's a darn microscope! With my 8Mp Cybershot C905 in 'Macro' mode and the digital zoom to the max I was seeing much more (more magnified, smaller detail) than with any big magnifying glass I've had around the house.

I had done this once, but then I just took a photo and zoomed into it afterwards. Now your post prompted me to try in 'real time' - and it works a miracle! The only (slight) inconvenience is that you need to keep the shutter half-pressed to stay in focus (but it won't be long before some hacker or the vendors' firmware update solves and automates that, too).

Having a 'proper' xenon flash I thought I need to switch to Video mode for permanent lighting (video has lower resolution on most phones) - but no need, the focussing LED light is enough from a close distance - it's just the perfect magnifying glass with zoomable magnification. Brilliant!

As you wrote: what next?  :)



P.S. And, yes - I miss an optical zoom badly, too! Do you hear me, Sony?

Picture of Tomi Ahonen
And its very addictive too - Great name for it: Megapixel Microscopy by Steve Litchfield
by Tomi Ahonen - Friday, 20 March 2009, 2:13 AM
Hi Vladimir

Yeah, and I'm noticing that now I'm doing it all the time. I think I use the magnifying aspect almost once every day. You kind of notice it as a possibility and play with it a bit, and then suddenly you find a lot of uses for it, almost daily. Something written in REALLY small print or a tiny marking on some piece of metal, etc. "what is that?" and then out comes the cameraphone and macro setting and ha-ha, megapixel microscopy in use again. I do love it...

Tomi Ahonen / HatRat   :-)
Walter Adamson @adamson
Re: Great name for it: Megapixel Microscopy by Steve Litchfield
by Walter Adamson - Friday, 20 March 2009, 5:25 AM
related: Google ZOOM on Chrome beta digitally zooms images on the page as well as enlarge text.