ScanCams are panoramic cameras made from old flatbed document scanners and photographic lenses.† They take images one vertical line at a time as the lens rotates under control of the scannerís electronics and drive motor.† An attached laptop computer, running camera-specific software, decodes the scan data and records formatted image files.
Scanning cameras can have very high resolution and can make very wide images, but they work slowly, as each scan line is effectively a separate photograph. ScanCams need daylight exposures around 1/50 second per scan line, and a typical scan takes 3 to 12 minutes.† This kind of camera demands a motionless subject and very steady lighting.
The panoramic pictures on this site were taken with ScanCam Mark 2, which resolves 48 megapixels per 35mm frame and has 16, 28 and 55mm lenses, and Mark 3, which takes 35 megapixel spherical panoramas with an 8mm fisheye lens.† These cameras deliver pictures comparable to commercial scanners like the Panoscan and Spheron that cost $15,000 and up without a lens, yet neither one cost more than $500 for parts, including the lenses.
My best images are displayed on my commercial website.
ScanCams are designed and built by Tom Sharpless, a retired software engineer, bad machinist, and low-grade wizard.