A team at Columbia University is making cameras that can take billion-pixel photos, and the results look amazing.
Researchers at Columbia University are at work on a single snapshot "gigapixel" camera, which would give users 1,000 times the amount of visual information than your standard megapixel point-and-shoot. As you can see in the prototype image above, in which you can easily make out a man on a boat from almost 900 meters away, the possibilities for fine-art photography would be many. But the researchers also have military capabilities in mind.
Gigapixel technology is still too expensive, bulky, and technologically advanced to mass produce (a 10-gigapixel image would eat 30 gigabytes of a hard drive), but once it's out, expect your privacy to diminish rapidly.
Read more about gigapixels at Scientific American.