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Photographer goes digital, blows half a million dollars on a 10MP sensor

Sharif Sakr

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Ever spent way too much on a luxury watch or handbag? We hear ya -- the Engadget closet is bulging with Balenciaga clutches we hardly ever take out any more. But do you know who we blame for these inexplicable lapses of consumer judgment? A professional photographer by the name of Mitchell Feinberg, who happens to own the world's largest digital sensor. He uses the $500,000 custom-built 8x10-inch camera back to help capture mouthwatering advertising stills for couture clients like Bulgari and Vogue. What's really loco, though, is that the sensor is only 10MP, which isn't remotely sufficient for printable art. Instead, Feinberg puts it to work as a replacement for Polaroid; grabbing full-size test snaps during a shoot before reverting to an old-fashioned sheet of 8x10 film for the final money-shot. Whereas he previously spent $50k per year on Polaroid stock, now he spends nothing. So, unlike those silly blue-tinted Ray-Bans we bought for our vacation, this block of light-receptive love should eventually pay for itself. (Oh, and speaking of summer breaks, Feinberg says he's currently away on his, but he promises to post some sample pics on his site when he returns.)

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