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With recent versions of Windows you are able to use a single image stretched over multiple monitors as a desktop background. As I have 3 1920x1080 monitors so the minimum size of an image to look good is 5760x1080, which is a lot larger than most consumer and semi-pro cameras can take.

I have tried taking multiple images and stitching them together in Photoshop but even the slightest bit of wind or changing lighting conditions make the join noticeable and is impossible to use for anything moving.

Are there any cameras which can take good quality images at these resolutions (or higher to scale down and reduce noise) that won't break the bank? Are there any ways where multiple images can be combined to produce a higher resolution image without obvious joins. Are there any good ways to use 2 lower cost cameras which take a picture at the same time that could be stitched together better?

  • I tried spreading one image across two monitors and found that I preferred independent pictures. So before spending money try something. My situation may be a little different - I sometimes connect one monitor to a different source, and they have quite wide bezels. – Chris H Feb 19 '16 at 7:42
  • I have had 3 monitors for a number of years and until several months ago I have used the same image on each monitor. I really like the look of an image spanning all screens but after extensive searching I have only found 3 images large enough to fit. – user2248702 Feb 19 '16 at 8:03
  • Fair enough but by interpolating (resize / resample depending on your software) you can have a nice test even if it's not quite enough. I also keep the same background for a long time which makes processing less of a chore. – Chris H Feb 19 '16 at 8:24
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    How did you take the images and how did you stitch them? – null Feb 19 '16 at 10:24
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    Are there any cameras that do x and are there ways to stitch images of size y are completely different questions. As is this question is too broad. Narrow to one question please. – dpollitt Feb 21 '16 at 5:15
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Are there any cameras which can take good quality images at these resolutions (or higher to scale down and reduce noise) that won't break the bank?

That really depends on your bank. There are a lot of cameras on the market that have 20Mpx sensors, and at full resolution these give you images close to your 5760px width requirement. For example, the 24Mpx Canon T6i takes photos that are 6000px wide and is available with a lens for under $750.

Are there any ways where multiple images can be combined to produce a higher resolution image without obvious joins.

There's a huge variety of photo stitching software out there, and some products may do a better job than others, but in general I think success will depend most heavily on the images you're starting with:

  • Use a tripod with a head that can rotate about a vertical axis to make it easier to keep the shots lined up.
  • Make sure that the images overlap somewhat to give the software more options as to where to put the seam.
  • Use a lens that's as free of barrel or pincushion distortion.
  • Take the shots in quick succession to ensure that moving features like clouds stay put as much as possible. That will also minimize lighting changes from one shot to the next.
  • Shoot on a windless day to avoid unwanted motion.

Are there any good ways to use 2 lower cost cameras which take a picture at the same time that could be stitched together better?

A lot of compact cameras and even mobile phones provide panoramic shooting where an accelerometer is used to track the camera's motion. This feature lets you shoot panoramas that should be wide enough for your purpose even on a fairly inexpensive camera.

  • 3x full HD monitors have 5760 RGB pixels horizontally, Canon's 6000 horizontal pixels are LESS than 5760 because the color resolution is lower (see: Bayer mask). moreover, if you want super resolution you don't use just any lens, you need really good lens. – szulat Feb 20 '16 at 1:15
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    @szulat : I never observed color's artifact caused by the Bayer mask and the necessary color interpolation . I'm curious now, do you have example ? – Olivier Feb 20 '16 at 3:28
  • @Olivier well... i don't have any obvious artifact examples, but each time i wanted a photo to look sharp on my screen, it had to be scaled down, i assumed the reduced color resolution might be one of the causes. and they don't make foveon sensors without a reason? – szulat Feb 21 '16 at 10:27
  • @szulat, as far as I know, Bayer filters are designed to prevent color "artifact" (in combination with other camera elements, such as anti-aliasing filters/low-pass filter). Maybe using foveon sensors you could get more details (by adapting or removing the low-pass filter) but you would still need to prevent moire effect. If you "zoom" enough in your image, it will never be infinitely "sharp". – Olivier Feb 21 '16 at 13:31
  • One interesting link about moire and Bayer filter: furthereast.com/photography/… – Olivier Feb 21 '16 at 14:06
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The pixel count isn't the real problem here. Multiply width & height of the dimension you request and you would only need little over 6MP.

However image sensors are typically in a 3:2 ratio dimension. So to cover your width of 5760 pixels you'll have 3840 pixels in height (of which most aren't needed in your application). That is covered by little over 22MP so a typical 24MP sensor will do.

Once you have that 24MP sensor image you'll have to crop away most height (1/3) to get a perfect screen resolution match.

Alternatives are using smaller images and interpolate them to get more pixels. Do it evenly in height and width and crop afterwards or you'll get strange effects.

And last option is what you were trying, stitching smaller images together to get a panorama. However try a photostitching tool for that and make sure you take the images properly. From a tripod for example. Smartphones and compact camera's can often do this stitching on the device itself.

2 camera's is a waste of money. Can be done perfectly with a single camera.

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Use Photoshop's File->Automate->Photomerge function to seamlessly join multiple photos into a panorama. I'm astounded by its ability to blend images and I have several images over 32,000x18,000px that I would bet the farm you couldn't find a seam in.

To help in achieving good results it is best to take your individual images in manual mode using the same aperture and shutter speed for each image

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Taking Hi-Res images depends on the kind of camera you have. So we are talking about here of megapixels. The higher the pixel captured by your camera the higher the resolution you'll get. Though we can always employ the use of photo-editing software to stretch our images but the thing is that there is only a particular extent you'll get a quality image. Chances are you'll get a blurry to a sandy image.

So to get the kind of image result you want, I suggest that you look for the right camera (the necessary specs you need)to get a Hi-Res image. There are tons of sites that offer comparison and reviews for hi-res camera.

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