Scanners are really extra-large image sensors at heart, so it stands to reason that you could make a decent camera out of one. Right? Well, Dario Morelli just proved it... and then some. His homebrew medium format camera uses parts from an Epson V30-series scanner to take enormous 143-megapixel photos whose resolution puts even the better professional cameras to shame. Morelli went so far as to repackage everything in a custom enclosure, so the device is relatively portable and will sit on a tripod.
The catch, as you might suspect, is that this camera still behaves like a document reader while you're shooting. You need to connect to a computer and a big external battery to get anything done, and there's no live viewfinder to help you frame the shot. An exposure typically takes minutes rather than seconds, and the limited light sensitivity (Morelli believes it can manage ISO 50 and eight dynamic range stops) largely rules out nighttime photography. But hey, it works -- and it's proof that do-it-yourself cameras can sometimes best their professionally-made counterparts.