James Cameron Captured His Marianas Dive With Custom-Built HD Mini-Cameras

Deepsea Challenger wasn't the only piece of custom hardware he took to the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Those stunning images he took were captured with dual HD cameras, no bigger than your thumb, in their own titanium Mini-Me sphere.

"We created a tiny camera that fits in a very small housing to sit out at the end of a camera boom on a one person sub that was going down to 36,000 feet," Cameron told The Hollywood Reporter. "We developed a 1080p camera that was about the size of your thumb that sat inside a little titanium housing, and we generated 3D from it by essentially putting two housings side by side, because the interocular was small enough."

The development team then mounted the sphere at the end of a six foot carbon fiber board where it could pan and tilt freely. Another set was rigged inside the passenger compartment and filmed Cameron as he piloted the vessel.

Cameron hinted that, in addition to scientific research applications, the devices could eventually reach retail as well in the form of helmet or motorcycle cameras. "That kind of miniaturization of cameras is in demand," Cameron said. He might even find use for them in the upcoming Avatar films, "Possibly. For a gun and run action camera, I could see that." [The Hollywood Reporter via Ars Technica Image: Mark Thiessen / AP]