New York is one of the most filmed cities on Earth, but rarely has it been captured in such detail. This staggering footage from cinematographer Phil Holland shows the Big Apple from above in ridiculously sharp 12K image capture. That means every frame is a 100-megapixel photo.

Filming the footage was no small endeavor. Holland used three RED Weapon 8K VV Monstro cameras with Tokina 35mm T1.5 prime lenses. The cameras were mounted in a Shotover K1 Hammerhead gyro-stabilized gimbal, each on its side to capture a slice of the action in portrait orientation. The cameras were painstakingly aligned and synchronized to operate off a single control unit, and the whole thing was rigged up onto a helicopter.

After footage from the three cameras was shot over the city, the challenge was then to combine the three images for each frame into a single panoramic image. The first step was to align, warp, stitch and blend the images. The resulting frame was then put into a rectilinear projection to remove a bulging fisheye effect, then that projection was cut down into a 12K rectangle and hit with some mild perspective correction.

The results? Mind blowing. Full-screen the video below on the biggest display you've got access to. It's been downsampled to a mere 8K for display on YouTube, but we feel like you can make do, given that even the largest seven-story-high IMAX theater screens still only project digital video in stereo 4K.

You can see people buzzing about in the windows of skyscrapers. You can read the billboards and count the cars on Seventh Avenue. It's absolutely magnificent, provided you don't struggle with vertigo. Enjoy.

Source: PHFX Phil Holland

View gallery - 5 images