Seitz 6×17 Scanning Camera Shoots at 160 Megapixels

Peter Seitz Holding the Seitz 6x17 Scanning Camera

The Seitz 6×17 is one huge digital camera: in size, price and resolution it surpasses everything the world of photography has ever known. Maybe Hasselblad comes close (in price, that is), but this is a different camera – it exists alone in its class.

The Seitz 6×17 is a scanning camera; its method is closer to that of a flatbed scanner than a digital SLR. And although it’s got huge handles at both ends of its 18-inch span, the massive 10-pound heft could weigh you down; better to mount it on a good solid tripod. (That’s Peter Seitz there, above photo, holding the Seitz 6×17; but he’s just showing off.)

The 6×17 designation is the size in centimeters of what could be the equivalent of an image sensor. That’s 60x170mm compared to a high-end full-frame DSLR with a 24x36mm sensor.

But the Seitz camera does not use a sensor; it uses a digital scanning back. The scanning camera’s linear light sensor moves across the field of view to take the high-res photo and store it in – not a CF card – but a Mac Mini, because each 160-megapixel shot could go as high as 900MB. Huge as it is, the Seitz camera is also billed as mobile, meaning you can take it anywhere with you, as long as you carry it in its own trailer vehicle.

Your mother will be very impressed if you whip this out to take the family photo, all the more impressed if you tell her that the mobile “magnum” model you’re using cost you $45,000.

Seriously now, the Seitz 6×17 scanning camera is for special applications such as high-resolution panoramic photographs of landscapes and architectural vistas.

Family photos too.

[Site: Seitz Phototechnik AG]

Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.