Cheap Camera, Interesting Shot

by Joey deVilla on January 13, 2009

Believe it or not, the photo below hasn’t been Photoshopped:

iphone_spinning_propeller_shot

The guy who took the photo says:

The cheap CMOS sensor of an iPhone does not expose the whole thing at once, it scans from left to right. If you take a picture of something that moves very fast (like an airplane prop) you can get some crazy pictures out of it since each column represents a slightly different time.

This oddball-but-cool effect is reminiscent of some of the distortions you see with scanner photography (for some examples, see this page).

Maybe it’s time to pull out those camera phones and start snapping pics of oscillating or rotating objects!

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

51 sign spinners September 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm

wow thats really cool! i guess i don’t need to learn photoshop now, I can just use my iphone.

52 Andrew Davidhazy December 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm

When asked about this artifact some time ago I set up a simul;ation using a flat bed scanner as the equivalent of a rolling shutter. You can read about this at: http://davidhazy.org/andpph/text-focal-plane-artifacts-in-digital-cameras.html

53 Shelley Hennig January 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Wow, who knew?! That’s really cool. I wonder how this would look on a fan.

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