Ultra high-res time lapse video of Los Angeles

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@doctorow has lived in L.A. for more than a year now. I’d love to get an update from him with thoughts on living in Los Angeles.


I liked the whole thing, but as an avid winter hiker I really liked the snowshoe hanging off of the beach house at 2:28. How long since that thing’s seen the crunchy white stuff I wonder!

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12K resolution … That is three times the resolution of existing 4K Ultra HD content

But doesn’t the _X_K nomenclature refer to a single dimension of the sensor? Like 4K is (in the neighborhood of) 4000 horizontal pixels?

So moving from 4K to 12K (assuming aspect ratios remain intact), wouldn’t we be talking about nine times the resolution?

So, I gots me a 4K monitor. I gots me a super-fast video card. I gots me 185MB internet download speed. I watch 4K live-streaming stuff, and 4K vids, all the time. They always look fabulous.

So, is all the herky-jerky, weird panel displacement stuff I’m seeing in this video part of how it’s SUPPOSED to look? Or is this a limitation of Vimeo’s broadcast?

Awesome footage, but I’d really prefer to see it without all of the panning and zooming.


As an illustration of the equipment’s ability to enable pan-n-zoom in post, it’s pretty impressive.

As a time-lapse portrayal of LA, it’s pretty meh.

(For really magnificent time-lapse video of LA , I highly recommend Colin Rich’s time-lapse work at http://www.deer-dog.com/, particularly “Nightfall” and “LA Light”)


Not to be persnickety here, but actually that’s a lifeguard “torp” (aka, torpedo, a flotation device with handles) hanging off a lifeguard building. [Source: 6 years of beach lifeguarding… which I dearly miss at this moment, in the New Orleans heat]

Yeah, they’re thinking it’s three times as wide (or three times as tall), when it’s actually both. It’s nine times the resolution at 1.9:1. If it’s actually 12K, that’s what it would imply, since 8K is twice the width (and four times the area) of 4K.


Okay, that makes more sense. I remember seeing those things now at Boy Scout camp. Of course if it were a snowshoe, it would have a hole in the middle where one’s toes go through. In silhouette it looks like a Tubbs though.

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Yeah, this. It is, unfortunately, a good illustration of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.

thanks for sharing that info glenblank

Seems like something on your end. I use a cheap 40" 4K TV as a monitor but I see neither herk nor jerk in this video. Plays back smoothly via a GTX 1080, and just tested with a 3 year old laptop with integrated Intel graphics and it worked fine, too.

fwiw, the video in question isn’t even available in 4K (the max res offered is 1080p). Other Vimeo-hosted fare is available in 4K, e.g. this collection of shots of New Zealand (also runs fine even from the laptop).

In my experience, some people don’t know what makes these videos special; they think they’re seeing a super-high resolution video, but they often aren’t, as is the case here. It’s plain old 1080p (1920 horizontal pixels by 1080 vertical) which has been around for well over a decade now. The specialness on offer here is the zooming that’s annoying some commenters: the camera has high-enough resolution that it can capture the wide initial shots with lots of detail and still present crisp video when sections of those wide shots are zoomed in on in post.

What we see in the wides is the IQ3 100MP’s raw resolution of 11608x8708 (which is a 4:3 ratio) cropped and scaled to 1920x1080, and the zoom shots just zoom in on the footage in the same way one might zoom into a still image (except the initial shot had such high resolution that the image doesn’t become pixelated).

(that might’ve come off as patronizing but I was just being as clear as possible because it’s actually pretty cool, I think)

/editing and tech nerdery


The camera in question has a resolution of 11608x8708 which is actually 12x the pixels of 4K.

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Seems like going by the actual pixel dimensions as you did is more useful (and accurate) than just calling it 12K.

And thanks also for explaining the difference between the resolution of the raw source media, and that of the video we see played back. Without having played it myself, I got the impression some people were trying to play back the full-res media via Vimeo, and I had to wonder, “who has the bandwidth for that?”

You’re welcome. I don’t actually know that the output resolution of the camera is the same as the pixel count, but it’s a working assumption, anyway.

If you wanted to see the full resolution video at native resolution (assuming it’s the same as the sensor’s pixel count) you’d need eighteen 4K screens arranged together in a 3x6 configuration (UHD or DCI, doesn’t matter). I don’t know if any common commercial graphics adapters output 12960x11520. There are a few 8K screens in existence (~100" class) but I don’t think they’re common, and you’d still need six of them, heh.

Helluva sensor on that thing…

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Is it useful for anything but timelapse? Hard to imagine the storage/processing/throughput needs it would require for it to record at 23.976, let alone 29.97 or 60fps.

That’s quite a camera.

The folks in my building are busy working on the LSST telescope. It will have a camera that’s a bit bigger - 3.2 Gigapixels. It’s as big as a Volkswagen Beetle. https://www.lsst.org/about/camera

A camera that big would let you read the date on a newspaper in somebody’s hand in a street scene, as some Hollywood movies such as Blade Runner and Blow-Up like to pretend is possible.


75 cm diameter curved surface filters, 1 micron flatness / <.7 arcsec resolution at the ginormous sensor, 15 TBytes/night! That’s awesome.

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Those making extremely large-format reproductions will find it useful, and filmmakers who want to overshoot for the editing benefits already use e.g. 8K cameras to shoot 4K films (digital effects look better applied in a higher res and shrunk down a bit to final screen resolution, for example, and you also get a bit of extra leeway for the same reason the above video worked, i.e. you can digitally crop & pan a shot a bit to correct small errors in it or to introduce apparent camera/lens action you didn’t realize you wanted prior to the shot).

There are undoubtedly many more specialized uses for the tech, too, see e.g. what nixiebunny mentioned below me. I’m pretty sure they don’t care about pixel density as much for astronomy though; I think they actually want the individual pixels to be bigger as well as to have more of them because that increases not merely the resolution but also the sensitivity of the camera, but even still, I’d wager denser terrestrial cameras will end up making amateur and probably even professional astronomy cheaper and better as time goes by just by dint of process refinement.