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Open Source Camera For Computational Photography 167

Posted by kdawson
from the let-i-range-from-1-to-100-while-saying-cheese dept.
David Orenstein writes "Stanford Computer Science researchers are developing Frankencamera, an open source, fully programmable and finely tunable camera that will allow computational photography researchers and enthusiasts to develop and test new ideas and applications — no longer limited by the features a camera manufacturer sees fit to supply. Disclosure: The submitter is a science writer for Stanford and wrote the linked article."
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Open Source Camera For Computational Photography

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  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:13PM (#29307141) Homepage Journal

    Please make a camera with:

    1. A built in clock that actually keeps time.
    2. Built in GPS.
    3. Some sensible connectors to upload videos in real time using appropriate external devices, or,
    4. Built in Wifi/3G.
    5. And all the good camera stuff.

    In one device. Oh, and if you can actually make a scanning range finder at a sensible price and embed that too, that'd be great.

    • by quanticle (843097) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:30PM (#29307235) Homepage

      And what exactly do you mean by *good* camera stuff? I mean, not everyone needs (or wants) 12 megapixel full-frame sensors. For the vast majority of (not-professional) shooting, the sensors in DSLRs these days are overkill.

      Personally, I'd rather have a point and shoot in my pocket (meaning I can actually use it) versus a super-expensive DSLR that always gets left at home due to bulk or concerns about damage.

      • by Entropius (188861) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:38PM (#29307277)

        Then you want something like the Panasonic LX3.

        There are also small-ish DSLR's and DSLR-likes that are a far cry from the full-frame beasties. See Olympus E-620 (a small DSLR), or any of the Micro Four-Thirds cameras.

        You can have good image quality and optics along with small these days.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          None of the cameras you suggested would fit in a sane person's pocket. Pocket sized implies something more along the lines of a Canon Powershot, complete with a tiny sensor and mediocre optics.

          Though, with CHDK [wikia.com], you can do some nifty things with them.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by RuBLed (995686)
            The size and weight difference between those mediocre Powershots and LX3 is almost negligible. LX3 is still pocketable. I could say that LX3 is a superb camera vs those mediocre Powershots. Powershot G10 would be the closest competitor during their launch last year but most agree that the G10 would be harder to pocket than an LX3.

            I own an LX3 and had seen/felt a G10. I bring my LX3 with me almost everyday. Could not say the same with the DSLR which rarely see office/street time.
        • Agreed. I've got a lx2 myself (for the 60mm tele end of the lx3 zoom is IMO too short for close-up portraits), and I'm currently drooling over the Olympus ep-1. But as soon as light dims, I get back to my dslr. The smallish sensor of the pany gets very noisy real quick.
          • by Entropius (188861)

            The EP-1 (or any of the micro 4/3 cameras) apparently do *very* well in low light, especially if you can get reasonably fast old manual focus lenses for them. (Or the new Panasonic 20/1.7.)

            The thing has the same size sensor as a DSLR, and seems to have a better-tuned JPEG noise reduction algorithm than the "full-size" Olympus bodies; apparently they have a new magic algorithm, and the E-P1 is the first camera to get it.

            • The thing has the same size sensor as a DSLR, and seems to have a better-tuned JPEG noise reduction algorithm than the "full-size" Olympus bodies; apparently they have a new magic algorithm, and the E-P1 is the first camera to get it.

              It's a micro four-thirds camera. The sensor is the same size as in a four-thirds SLR (e.g. an Olympus) but most dSLRs use a larger APS-C sized sensor. There are also a few full-frame dSLRs with full-frame (i.e. 24x36mm) sensors.

              The low-light performance of the EP-1 seems t

            • Vade retro, Satanas ! I'm currently fighting the impulse to buy it and you just ruined my efforts of the week.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And what exactly do you mean by *good* camera stuff? I mean, not everyone needs (or wants) 12 megapixel full-frame sensors. For the vast majority of (not-professional) shooting, the sensors in DSLRs these days are overkill.

        Personally, I'd rather have a point and shoot in my pocket (meaning I can actually use it) versus a super-expensive DSLR that always gets left at home due to bulk or concerns about damage.

        Its overkill until you want to take a decent picture in really bad lighting without a flash.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Cheesetrap (1597399)

          Its overkill until you want to take a decent picture in really bad lighting without a flash.

          Stop peeping in her window bro, that's not cool.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Agreed. Not everyone wants a huge camera. Not even a over-the-shoulder-sized superzoom or micro four thirds one.

        However, interestingly, the point-and-shoots waste a lot of resources and space by exceeding the diffraction limit on common apertures. Plus their "noise-reduction" algorithms is really all about selective downsampling while maintaining file size when you operate within non-limited apertures.

        You buy a 12mpx point-and-shoot, but the files themselves are closer to 6-8 mpx in terms of resolution.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Having a program to eliminate depth of feild problems by co-ordinating with a mobile light source (deep-field photomacrography on the cheap) is one use I can think of instantly for a programmable camera. Watermarks or logos are another. Being able to do things with various USB devices would also be nice (printer, disk, whatever) as would remote control.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          It seems to me like all that stuff would be better on another device, and is solved neatly by including wifi. A WiFi PDA or UMPC can coordinate with the camera. It seems to ME like what the camera therefore needs most is a good set of sensors, and an Open standard for you to pull that sensor data. The most important sensor not obviously included on the camera is a compass/accelerometer package so that detailed information on camera facing is available. GPS is better handled externally. In fact, it doesn't e

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hughk (248126)
        I like a larger sensor, but don 't need the extra pixels. It's partly down to the high pixel density why we have so many problems with low-light noise.
      • by FangVT (144970)

        For the vast majority of (not-professional) shooting, the sensors in DSLRs these days are overkill.

        Wrong. A bigger better sensor is never overkill. Every geek has lusted over the scene in Blade Runner where Deckhart sticks a photo in a scanner and "enhances" his way into revealing plot clues. Or countless movies where the orbital spy camera zooms in to read a license plate. When it comes time to crop or zoom, there is no amount of detail that is too much.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

      Most of those things aren't software-related at all.

      How would Open Source help?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by supernova_hq (1014429)
        Because an open source phone would most likely have open source, easily upgradable circuits so you could add the devices yourself and KNOW they will work. You could even make your OWN devices and hook them up to it, then write your own driver and have them configurable just like everything else built into the camera.
        • by gillbates (106458)

          Look, here's the disclaimer: I am a software engineer. No, not hardware, software.

          But I've written camera drivers from schematics and datasheets alone. It's *just not that hard*. Even for a software guy. I don't have an EE, just an interest in electronics.

          And digital electronics are, quite frankly, rather simple. If you know ohm's law, and can read a datasheet or two, you could very easily put together a digital camera module. PCB express will happily etch the board for you, and you *might* have

          • by robbak (775424)

            Great! Now, where can I download the schematics and datasheets for a Canon 50D?
            And they don't just want camera drivers (that's done, thanks gphoto!) They want to write their own firmware.

            If we could just get those, we wouldn't need FrankenCamera. But we aren't going to get them, based on past experience, so the wheel must be reinvented, again.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by appoose (714348)
            From what I gather, the emphasis for the project is not mainly on facilitating re-implementation of incorporating existing features found in modern cameras, but to enable researchers and developers to add onto to new functionality very seldom found in today's camera. Computational Photography ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_photography [wikipedia.org] ) is currently a hot research area in academia. A huge chunk of computational photographic work is purely software driven, and do not involve any hardware twea
    • by mrmojo (841397) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:45PM (#29307325)
      I hear you - we want the same thing. Our target is basically a Nokia N900 (which covers 1, 2, 3, 4 and runs linux to boot), plus a much higher quality sensor and lens.

      - Andrew (one of the grad students working on the project).
      • by richlv (778496)

        a great project - thanks.
        i've been longing for an opensource camera for a long time - i think ever since i got my hands on the first digital camera.
        while chdk really makes life more bearable, having opensource firmware on a decent hardware (open hardware schematics would be a welcome bonus as well)... i think that would pretty much settle my next purchase. i chose canon for my latest camera mostly because of chdk anyway.

        hopefully your project will bring this goal closer :)

      • Looks like that device costs 650$ USD, would you say that is the price point you are aiming for?

        Personally, my requirements for a camera would be under 150$, as cameras, especially digital ones, break _all_ _the_ _time_.

    • I'd rather have 5 different devices which worked well.

      Professionals still swap lenses because lenses are expensive and it's sometimes cheaper to replace a camera than a new lens. I've never had my camera lose more than a second over the 5-6 months that I sync it.

      I have a kick ass GPS tracker that logs every 1+ second (Q-1000x). A portable drive that dumped every CF card to mirrored drive so you could keep shooting. Toss in a wireless card and make it upload too. If I wanted video, I'd get a video camera.

      I r

      • by MrMr (219533)
        I really didn't see anything 'revolutionary' about those videos other than it did live HDR pictures. Woohoo. I have Photoshop. I'm sure GIMP can do it, etc.
        You missed the detail that those programs are running real-time inside the camera, building panorama's and correcting dynamic range and removing noise, while taking the picture?
        • You missed the detail that those programs are running real-time inside the camera, building panorama's and correcting dynamic range and removing noise, while taking the picture?

          Face it : this contraption still delivers phone grade pictures (a bit better because canon's lenses aren't bad) but is boxed like a field camera, and host a computer that has a 10th of the computing power you can put under your desk. At least, I would have expected a full frame 24x36 CCD to match the lens. Now, seeing most everybody is happy with the crapastic in-camera jpegs produced by consumer-grade cameras (and, that is, those 'everybody' are already enough interested in pictures to actually own a digit

        • If you look at the picasa album of pictures taken with the Frankencamera (linked from TFA through their homepage), you'll notice an incredible amount of chroma noise and banding. The caption ("can you PS camera do better ?") is ridiculous. I would be shamed if my PS produced that crap.
    • by icepick72 (834363)
      No, YOU make it with options 1-5 because it's open source!
    • by pclminion (145572)
      That's basically an iPhone or similar device but with a much more high-quality camera than at present. So basically, the device you're talking about already exists, or will exist as soon as there is sufficient demand.
    • Samsung ST1000: 12 Megapixels, Wifi, GPS. 3G is a difficult feature to sell since it requires a subscription to a mobile network and that's expensive if you only use it from time to time.

      This camera is a point&shoot. I guess that anyone carrying a DSLR would not mind carrying a separate GPS module.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Please do it if you need it. It is open source.
    • For the love of God, why WiFi? I've been seeing articles about WiFi-enabled memory cards for ages now, and I truly have no idea what the hell anyone would use them for... is everyone so Facebook/Flickr/Twitter addicted now that all snapped photos must automatically and immediately be uploaded so that everyone has near-real-time updates of your pictures?

      My God, I'm pretty much as geeky as they come, but why, WHY do you need WiFi on a camera?

      • My God, I'm pretty much as geeky as they come, but why, WHY do you need WiFi on a camera?

        I'm not sure why most people care, but some studio photographers rarely use memory cards -- they shoot in "tethered" mode, where each picture is downloaded directly to a computer as its shot. Being able to do that without a cord is pretty darned handy. OTOH, this only makes sense in a few, rather specific, situations.

        For most others, I guess a temporary version of the same could make some sense; instead of connecti

    • You mean make a phone with all that stuff in? It would be a waste for it to only be used as a camera with wifi and 3G. Anyway, the samsung pixon12 satisfies all those needs of yours.
    • Plus tilts and shifts.
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      It'll be a lot easier to just make the camera in an iPhone not suck since it has everything else already.

    • by rcw-home (122017)

      2. Built in GPS.

      I want this too, but most of the time I don't need it. It'd be just as good for me to carry a separate GPS unit for those occasions (or other self-locating device - some cell phones have this via cell tower triangulation for E911) which can log where I've been when, and correlate the image timestamp with the location after the fact (either on a PC or by connecting the camera and GPS via USB/Wifi/Bluetooth).

  • by v1 (525388) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:13PM (#29307143) Homepage Journal

    My PowerShot S3-IS is scriptable. (example [wikia.com]) And it's not even a cutting edge camera. Lots of cams support scripting.

    • by mako1138 (837520)

      Yeah, CHDK is awesome. I haven't tried all the features, but biggest thing for me is RAW support on a point-n-shoot (I have a Canon SD1000).

    • by mrmojo (841397) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:43PM (#29307303)
      The existence of prior art doesn't mean we shouldn't try and do it better. There's plenty of related work and similar projects.

      We're aware of chdk (and have used it for a bunch of stuff), and it's close in some respects, but it's not the same thing. Chdk doesn't turn your camera into a fully functioning linux box, which is part of what we're trying to do, though this has also been done before sans viewfinder (www.elphel.com). You can plug random stuff in over USB, you can control the sensor with extremely low latency (by hacking the kernel if all else fails), you can ssh in, you could even run a web-server off your camera if you wanted to like the elphel cameras. Last week I plugged an SSD drive in over USB (alas no sata interface yet) to save off raw data faster. It's a fairly standard linux so it just worked.

      You also have a lot more compute than you might get in something like chdk. You have access to a unified shader architecture GPU, a DSP, a CPU with an SSE-like vector coprocessor, and a fixed-function set of image processing tools (like histogram generation).

      The other half of what we're trying to do is make a really good API for a programmable camera, including stuff for synchronization of multiple external devices (eg flashes), optimized image processing routines, frame-level control of the sensor at high frame rates, and camera user interface stuff, including physical widgets like buttons and dials (we use a phidgets board for this).

      - Andrew (One of the grad students working on the frankencamera)
      • by 4D6963 (933028)

        That's pretty cool. I've always wanted to try to implement a digital deshaking algorithm by cutting a shot in lots of short exposures (i.e. the final exposure time would be the same but instead of being a long exposure it would be cut into a thousand shorter shots added together) that would work by correlating each new sub-frame with the sum of what was previously obtain, so that you can correct the shaking by adding the new sub frame at the position and with the angle it should have with respect to the ima

      • Andrew and team: just wanted to give you a huge "THANKS!" for starting this up. I realize that the current goal is a camera fit for science projects, but I hope that either it gives a kick under the bum for existing camera makers -or- that at some point (some of) you will split off with a commercial venture to make consumer / prosumer class cameras that have the same flexibility. Maybe we'll see some of the fruits of your labor come Siggraph 2010?

  • by e9th (652576) <e9th.tupodex@com> on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:30PM (#29307231)
    This looks promising. But optics being optics. a version with swings & tilts [wikipedia.org] would be really exciting for landscape/architectural/product photographers.
  • by EsJay (879629)
    My knee-jerk reaction was that the proprietary lenses (Canon) and imaging chip (Nokia) would limit customization. But they could be interchangeable, like monitors and printers on personal computers.
    • Re:Do want (Score:5, Informative)

      by Entropius (188861) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:39PM (#29307287)

      The Canon lens-to-camera communication protocol has been reverse-engineered for a while. Manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron are making (very good) lenses compatible with Canon (and everyone else's) bodies.

    • Re:Do want (Score:4, Informative)

      by mrmojo (841397) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:52PM (#29307355)
      It's not a Nokia imaging chip, it's just the one that happens to be used in Nokia N95s. Aptina makes it and sells it to anyone who wants one. They do make you sign an NDA to get the full data sheet, but that's pretty much impossible to avoid.

      As the poster above mentioned, Canon lenses have been thoroughly reverse-engineered.

      The lenses would be fairly easy to swap out for a different optical system - we communicate with the lens controller over a simple serial link. The sensor is more involved - for one you'd need a linux kernel driver for your new sensor. Also, it's a pain to properly mount a sensor and get the all support circuitry working. None of it is secret or proprietary though, beyond the NDA you usually need to sign to get the register map for the sensor you want to use.

      - Andrew (one of the grad students working on the project)
      • Is the sensor of sufficient quality that it's worth sticking a decent DSLR lens in front of it? Weakest link in a chain and all that.
    • A truly open source camera would publish its lens specifications, curvatures, focal lengths, refractive indices. This one doesn't. So it is, in fact, partially closed.

      Canon license the protocols, and some manufacturers have reverse-engineered them. But that's not my idea of a truly open-source project.

      ...laura

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by mrmojo (841397)
        You can find such lens specifications available for most lenses in patent databases. The patents list the curvatures, indices of refraction, etc, etc. That's kind of the point of patents - when used correctly they remove the need for trade secrets. I'm not sure if this holds true for Canon lenses in particular.

        I agree with you that many aspects of the hardware are not as open as they could be. However, we're trying to make a camera that actually works well as a camera without reinventing too many wheels. We
      • A truly open source camera would publish its lens specifications, curvatures, focal lengths, refractive indices. This one doesn't. So it is, in fact, partially closed.

        I don't see the relevance. It's pretty unlikely you'd have the tools & skills to manufacture a lens yourself.

        This is one of the reasons that my BS-ometer starts clicking when I see the phrase "open source" misused in reference to things that aren't software.

      • The principles of optics have been known for a long time. The theory of how to build good lenses has been around nearly forever. Most current fixed focal-length lenses can be traced back to 19th century designs like the Zeiss Protar and the Goerz DAGOR (and it's easy to find an exact formula for something like this, including curvature, index of refraction for each element, and so on). Zoom lenses are somewhat newer, but again, most can be traced back to Angenieux designs from the mid-1950's (or so).

        The
  • I haven't tried it yet, as my current camera is a Canon G5, which isn't supported, but this site really wants my next camera to be another Canon: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK [wikia.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Entropius (188861)

      Is there a way to enable block storage mode on Canon DSLR's?

      Seriously, this is a royal PITA. My father is only semi-computer-literate and has a Canon 350D. The hoops he has to jump through in order to get the pictures off of that thing are *insane* -- it literally takes an hour to copy an 8GB CF card, and if he messes up one step in the process he has to start over. (It still takes me forever, but I just let the transfer run in the background).

      You could just use a card reader, but the camera craps the pictu

      • by ljw1004 (764174)

        If he switches to Windows 7, its "Picture library" is a sort of virtual folder that encompasses multiple filesystem folders and can arrange the photos independently of those filesystem folders. It might help.

      • I have a Canon 40D, and previously had a 350D, and with either if I actually attach(ed) it with a USB cable rather than using a card reader I do not have the issues you described... I am not sure if you are doing something wrong, or what - as EvanED already said in his reply, you really should be able to access it as a normal USB mass storage device - but it doesn't matter. The real solution for your father is to change his method of downloading and sorting photos.

        There are multitudes of programs that are d

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Cheesetrap (1597399)

        You could just use a card reader, but the camera craps the pictures into 234897234 different folders -- and he's nowhere near good enough with computers to be able to deal with that.

        One would assume the camera generates unique (or at least very seldom-repeated) filenames for each photo... I don't see what is difficult about a recursive 'move' command? I'm a complete noob @ programming but it only takes a one-line batch file..

        <20 minutes later>

        Okay, damn you for making me work it out, here you go :P

        File: dumpdir.bat

        @echo off
        set listfile=c:\temp\list.txt
        if "%1"=="." (echo %cd%>%listfile%) else (echo %1>%listfile%)
        dir %1 /b/s/a:d>>%listfile%
        for /f "tokens=*" %%s in

      • by richlv (778496)

        any recent & polished linux distribution allows to "mount" almost all cameras as drives - even those not supporting mass storage mode.

  • by jamesswift (1184223) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:38PM (#29307279) Homepage

    http://sdk.nikonimaging.com/apply/ [nikonimaging.com]

    D5000, D3x, D90, D700, D40, D60, D3, D300, D200, D80
    And NEF (RAW) files

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @10:44PM (#29307311)

    I have always wanted an Open Source printer. One that can be built and whose consumables made by those with the means without worrying about patents and all the nonsense. Think about what this could do for students and government departments.

    I am personally sick and tired of shelling cash to the Lexmarks, HPs and Epsons of today. Why hasn't this taken off [yet]?

    • If you think it's such a great idea, you should seek funding for this and get to work on organising it.
    • If you mean the ink: If you still shell out big time cash for that, you must be blind, because there are more offers for cheap ink, than there are banks in Luxemburg and Switzerland combined! ^^

    • I am personally sick and tired of shelling cash to the Lexmarks, HPs and Epsons of today. Why hasn't this taken off [yet]?

      Because manufacturing stuff in the real world, especially complicated precision stuff like printers - is very expensive. It's nothing like software.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ledow (319597)

      Because a printer costs almost nothing nowadays, certainly less than its component cost to a hobbyist when you can get Lexmark's etc. for about £20 brand new. Old printers are a great source of stepper motors because of this. The major problem is the ink, which is the hard bit to make effectively and cheaply on anything other than a mass scale - so actually with a £20 Lexmark printer and some "clone" ink refill, you've basically got something orders or magnitude more efficient than you could e

    • If you could build a printer yourself, it would be more than ten times slower than a commercial printer, probably have ten times poorer resolution, and cost more than ten times as much.

      The DIY crowd has wisely skipped over 2D printers, and moved directly to 3D fabricators [fabathome.org].

    • I want one that builds itself, makes its own paper and refills itself with ink that it makes out of thin air.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It's because making printers is really hard. Even a good dot matrix is a very difficult thing to produce; I know, I've owned a few made by various companies trying pretty hard, and mostly failing. Laser printers are incredibly complicated things, and inkjet printers require incredible manufacturing control. Meanwhile, you can get them for forty bucks, so when they suck you throw them away. There's big problems with that kind of use and abuse culture but it works economically... for now.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Because something that OSS people never seem to understand is that at some point there are costs to things. Its harder to see with software, but with hardware and consumables it typically becomes pretty clear quickly.

      You can take away patents and ink and paper are still going to cost money, sorry. Unless you're buying HP ink cartridges, its not really that expensive now. And if you're buying HP ink cartridges directly from the store without refilling them you get what you deserve anyway.

  • When the best cameras in the world use the F-mount ;)
    • by lahvak (69490)

      The mount could easily be swappable, too. Old Exacta cameras had swappable mounts. Of course there was no electronics involved, but you could fit pretty much any lense designed for a 35mm camera plus some more on an Exacta.

  • What about CHDK? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rdawson (848370) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @11:33PM (#29307571)
    This kit is FREE open source for the Cannon Powershot, with many of the features mentioned in the article, including HDR. Download it onto a cf flash, and it replaces the Cannon OS. Many amazing images 1/50,000 milkdrop captures, night scenes etc can be found at http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK [wikia.com]
    • by davmoo (63521)

      Damn...the one week I don't seem to have mod points. Your post should be modded "+100 one of the most useful replies ever"!

  • nice PR stunt (Score:3, Informative)

    by speedtux (1307149) on Friday September 04, 2009 @12:13AM (#29307735)

    This sounds like an academic trying to make a name for himself again by labeling something that already exists with his own label. "Computational photography"? Well, how exactly did digital photography ever work without that?

    Open source camera OS? Nice try, but the reason manufacturers haven't standardized on anything yet is because the technology keeps changing.

    However, FWIW, Canon cameras effectively can be reprogrammed using the CHDK [wikia.com] firmware.

    • Re:nice PR stunt (Score:5, Informative)

      by mrmojo (841397) on Friday September 04, 2009 @01:01AM (#29307931)
      Computational photography is the accepted term for this subfield of computer graphics and computer vision: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=computational+photography

      Secondly, we're not making an open source camera OS for existing hardware, we're making camera hardware that runs an existing open source OS - linux - with particular drivers and APIs to help you program the camera.

      We're very well aware of CHDK and have used it for many projects. This is not like that (I have an earlier post that elaborates above).
  • When I see "Computational Photography", I think of the flatcam, a button-sized wafer with a photon-sensing surface. No lens, it instead computes the image of its surroundings. Described in fictional "Michaelmas" by Algis J. Budrys.
  • ... once they have infected the camera with their spyware, is leave the camera collecting images constantly, looking for any personal identifying, security, or financial info, and send it over to their servers in a foreign country when network access is available.

    • by silanea (1241518)
      Sure. Just after they have ported their spyware to Linux. Which will happen during the Year of the Linux Desktop, I am sure.
  • by ITMagic (683618)
    Ermm, Just where, exactly, is the source? Links to CAD designs, specs, software, etc? As far as following the Stanford links is concerned, I can't see how this project can be labeled "Open Source" without this...
  • What I would really love is a CCD or CMOS without bayer color matrix nor antialiasing filter. This camera would be limited to black and white photography (or studio pack shot with 3 exposures behind R,B,G filters), but I expect the result would be outstanding. At the moment, we're fighting with slightly fuzzy shots (thanks to the AA filter) to recreate true pixels intensity after they've been distorted by various digital process. There's been one digital b&w camera, made by kodak. It's said the producti
    • Today, bayer matrix and AA filters are glued on the chip in the manufacturing process, and it's impossible to get rid of it afterwards.

      Not that it really makes a huge difference, but while the Bayer matrix is fabricated as part of the sensor chip, the AA filter is not.

      Removing the color filters would not really affect the requirement for AA filtering either. And, just FWIW, there have been a few cameras built with Bayer filters, but not (physical) AA filters (e.g. the Kodak Pro dSLRs).

      It would appea

  • The camera does alignment and bracketing of an exposure series on-site. That would be really neat and much cheaper than current HDR sensors. At the moment I need to do this offline using Hugin [sf.net] and QtPfsGui [sf.net].
  • Free oftware is important, but o are open tandards... a Four irds mount, sD or Compact Flah torage, TIFF/EP 6 or Adobe DNG output...
  • The first time I read the title I thought it said computational pornography.

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