Sphere Entertainment Co. revealed new details on its work with STMicroelectronics to create the world’s largest image sensor for Sphere’s Big Sky camera system. Big Sky is the ultra-high-resolution camera system being used to capture content for Sphere, the next-generation entertainment medium in Las Vegas.
Inside the venue, Sphere features the world’s largest, high-resolution LED screen which wraps up, over, and around the audience to create a fully immersive visual environment. To capture content for this 160,000 sq. ft., 16K x 16K display, the Big Sky camera system was designed by the team at Sphere Studios — the in-house content studio developing original live entertainment experiences for Sphere. Working with Sphere Studios, ST manufactured a first-of-its-kind, 18K sensor capable of capturing images at the scale and fidelity necessary for Sphere’s display. Big Sky’s sensor — now the world’s largest cinema camera sensor in commercial use — works with the world’s sharpest cinematic lenses to capture detailed, large-format images in a way never before possible.
Big Sky’s 316-megapixel sensor is almost 7x larger and 40x higher resolution than the full-frame sensors found in high-end commercial cameras. The die, which measures 9.92cm x 8.31cm (82.4 cm2), is twice as large as a wallet-sized photograph, and only four full die fit on a 300mm wafer. The system is also capable of capturing images at 120 fps and transferring data at 60 gigabytes per second.
Big Sky also allows filmmakers to capture large-format images from a single camera without having to stitch content together from multiple cameras — avoiding issues common to stitching including near distance limitations and seams between images. Sphere Studios has filed ten patents and counting in association with Big Sky’s technology.
Darren Aronofsky’s Postcard from Earth, currently showing at Sphere as part of The Sphere Experience, is the first cinematic production to utilize Big Sky. Since its debut, Postcard from Earth has transported audiences, taking them on a journey spanning all seven continents, and featuring stunning visuals captured with Big Sky that make them feel like they have traveled to new worlds without leaving their seats in Las Vegas. More information about The Sphere Experience is available at thesphere.com.