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Camera 2.0:Open Source Camera at Stanford

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Camera 2.0:Open Source Camera at Stanford
« on: 03 / September / 2009, 19:23:59 »

From the article:
Stanford photo scientists are out to reinvent digital photography with the introduction of an "open-source" digital camera, which will give programmers around the world the chance to create software that will teach cameras new tricks.

Levoy's plan is to develop and manufacture the "Frankencamera" as a platform that will first be available at minimal cost to fellow computational photography researchers. In the young field of computational photography, which Levoy helped establish, researchers use optics benches, imaging chips, computers and software to develop techniques and algorithms to enhance and extend photography. This work, however, is bound to the lab. Frankencamera would give researchers the means to take their experiments into the studios, the landscapes, and the stadiums.

For example, among the most mature ideas in the field of computational photography is the idea of extending a camera's "dynamic range," or its ability to handle a wide range of lighting in a single frame. The process of high-dynamic-range imaging is to capture pictures of the same scene with different exposures and then to combine them into a composite image in which every pixel is optimally lit. Until now, this trick could be done only with images in computers. Levoy wants cameras to do this right at the scene, on demand. Although the algorithms are very well understood, no commercial cameras do this today. But Frankencamera does.

There are images of the camera on their site.  Huge and clunky.
Someone should tell these guys about CHDK.


Re: Camera 2.0:Open Source Camera at Stanford
« Reply #1 on: 04 / September / 2009, 07:29:47 »
Very interesting.

Before they do anything fancy, if they can get accurate-colour correctly-exposed JPG's as well as the Canon's do they will have made an excellent start.

I suspect that is not a trivial task.


Re: Camera 2.0:Open Source Camera at Stanford
« Reply #2 on: 05 / September / 2009, 21:54:56 »
"minimal cost" = $1000.00 :lol




Offline fbonomi

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Re: Camera 2.0:Open Source Camera at Stanford
« Reply #3 on: 06 / September / 2009, 04:29:24 »
Someone should tell these guys about CHDK.

Tha'ts exctly what I thought :-)

On the other hand, they probably know about that, but the fact is that CHDK is an open-source software running on a VERY closed source platform.

Speaking in computer terms, CHDK is NOT the Linux of photography, it's like if in the '60s someone wrote some software for huge IBMs and then gave it around. That's far from FREE software, as you can't do anything with it that the hardware maker does not want you to.

That's even worst... we aren't even allowed to run our software :-)

So, that project may seem very far away from us, unpractical, too expensive etc. But if there's a future to open source photography it's that, not CHDK.

Unless a hardware maker (just like IBM did with the first PCs) decides to make and open hardware platform that anybody can clone and write software for... but that seems unlikely...

Re: Camera 2.0:Open Source Camera at Stanford
« Reply #4 on: 13 / September / 2009, 09:03:06 »
But the very fact that they have to choose some hardware platform to begin with means that they have already substantially limited the project. I have a TX-1 and an EOS 5D Mark II, you have an A570 and SD1100. Those are four different hardware platforms with different firmware. No matter which one is chosen, the programming is still very hardware dependent.

We have seen multiple iterations of CHDK development as each new camera has appeared over the past few years moving from 3MP to over 21MP. I don't see how they plan to parallel that unless they start with hardware that is decades beyond today's.




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