Print 27 comment(s) - last by Oregonian2.. on Feb 26 at 1:22 PM

Image Shows Difference in Standard Camera Chips and MA-imager  (Source: Stanford University)
New camera chip could eliminate grain at high ISO settings

Think about a picture and what comes to mind is a flat image of something with very little depth. The technology to make actual 3D images has been around a while, but it’s not mainstream and isn’t seen often.

Researchers at Stanford have created a new camera chip that can see in 3D that could lead to better images, especially at higher ISO settings where grain is a big issue. Anyone who shoots with a digital camera that offers adjustable ISO settings has seen the noticeable grain that shows up in images. The quality of the camera will affect how high the ISO setting can go before grainy images are a significant issue.

The new Stanford chip has a three megapixels rating and rather than using one single large sensor, the prototype chip breaks the image up into many small and overlapping 16 x 16 pixel patches known as subarrays. reports that after the photo is taken using the prototype chip processing software in the camera is able to analyze the slight difference in location of common elements in each of the small arrays. The differences in the position of common elements in each array are used to estimate the distance of an object from another object in the frame, like a wall.

Keith Fife, a researcher on the project, is quoted by CNET as saying, “In addition to the two-dimensional image, we can simultaneously capture depth info from the scene.”

There are currently still several caveats with the sensor technology. The first is that because of the same subject being captured on many pixels, the overall sensor resolution is lower that the raw number on the sensor. The intense processing in the camera required to render the image will shorten battery life and reduce  camera performance. The sensor is also only able to record depth information on subjects that have texture and detail.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Heh 1st thing that came to mind
By BruceLeet on 2/21/2008 3:41:07 PM , Rating: 3
The porn industry is going to get alot more interesting, Playboy might even get more bustier.

RE: Heh 1st thing that came to mind
By Oregonian2 on 2/21/2008 3:50:13 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, the centerfold of the very first issue of Playboy was originally supposed to have been a 3D image. It went flattie to save money.

RE: Heh 1st thing that came to mind
By Souka on 2/21/2008 6:24:37 PM , Rating: 3
hmmm... interesting... most playboy pics aren't flat at all....

he he

By Adonlude on 2/25/2008 7:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
My mind instantly jumped to the braille Playboy featured in Robin Hood Men In Tights.

By Oregonian2 on 2/26/2008 1:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they are very flat and you'd think so too if you saw similar sorts of photos in a quality stereoscopic viewer. Or even in a cheapie viewer.

An example realist format 3D slide from that era (50's) is this one that's on ebay just now:

Actual slide should have (I'm not the seller...) two slightly different images and will look a lot less flat than Marilyn does in the initial Playboy issue (I don't have one of those copies to check personally, but I do have the issue with Bettie Page :-).

RE: Heh 1st thing that came to mind
By hadifa on 2/21/2008 5:02:34 PM , Rating: 3
The sensor is also only able to record depth information on subjects that have texture and detail.


RE: Heh 1st thing that came to mind
By MrBungle on 2/21/2008 7:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, at least freckled boobs could work!

By Darkefire on 2/22/2008 4:06:07 AM , Rating: 4
Lindsey Lohan will be thrilled.

mildly interesting
By Oregonian2 on 2/21/2008 3:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
The technology to make actual 3D images has been around a while

This is a bit of an understatement. 3D photography has been around for about a century and a half. The U.S. Civil War was extensively covered with 3D stereoscopic photography. Even 3D movies have been around for about a century. Although back then, indeed they weren't using digital technologies.

This implementation is mildly interesting if it gets anywhere. It's only real trick is that each cell has it's own lens (and is crucial to how it works). In other words, no zoom lens out front -- it has to use the micro-lens in each group. It is using stereoscopy (which is good) but that requires seeing the very same image from two different locations -- which is why the small lenses need to be used with the single chip. However the interocular distance is pretty small so the results may be not too useful for producing 3D images as in people photography other than for subjects that are right up near the chip/lenses. But it may be good for producing a database on estimated distances that in turn can be used for something.

As to digital 3D photography generally speaking, my 24-Megapixel 3D digital camera is supposed to arrive in a couple weeks or so, or at least I've been promised.

RE: mildly interesting
By mrpenguin on 2/22/2008 6:23:31 PM , Rating: 3
This is a bit of an understatement. 3D photography has been around for about a century and a half. The U.S. Civil War was extensively covered with 3D stereoscopic photography.

not meaning to be a photogeek, but I am one....
the invention of the Stereoscope occurred well before the US Civil war-- it was for all intent and purpose parallel to the invention of photography. The concept is simple enough: two lenses creating two images eye-length apart on a single negative/direct positive (e.g. stereo daguerreotype). the resulting single image is viewed with a viewer, and poof it all looks 3D.
I can't believe i just signed up to make such an asinine comment...

RE: mildly interesting
By Fritzr on 2/23/2008 4:02:37 AM , Rating: 2
The existing tech is stereoscope which requires 2 or more lenses each taking an independent picture. To view the pic you print the pictures, mount them in the correct form for the viewer used and look through the viewer's lenses. The Viewmaster uses slides to provide a stereo image and has been available at toy stores for many years now.

link to a short article on stereoscope

This new device is NOT a stereoscope image. This allows single lens stereoscopy. The stored image has the depth information encoded directly in the picture and this information is available to computer programs.

The stereoscope relies on the viewer to extract the depth information by using their own eyes to process 2 slightly different images. This can be done by computer, but is a completely different image processing problem.

RE: mildly interesting
By Oregonian2 on 2/25/2008 4:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
This new device is NOT a stereoscope image. This allows single lens stereoscopy.

I don't think this device allows single lens stereoscopy at all. As I read it, each group of light sensors has its own lens. It's the opposite of single lens stereoscopy -- it's zillion lens stereoscopy. It's only stereoscopic in the classic sense when choosing two lens elements in the array as one's subject (or for software analysis). And each "side" has its own lens.

RE: mildly interesting
By Oregonian2 on 2/25/2008 3:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yes you are agreeing with what I said. Stereoscopic photography was started by Wheatstone I think in about 1833, which was about a century and a half ago (I round things off).

I only mentioned the Civil War because it was a little bigger event that Mr. Wheatstone's activities, particularly to most American folk here. A lot of the photos one sees in books of the U.S. Civil war (which from today's perspective wasn't that long after Mr. Wheatstone) are one half of a stereo pair. Actually a lot of books are that way, even century old pron stuff. :-(

I am a 3D photo geek.

For those who'd do it for the porn...
By dflynchimp on 2/21/2008 8:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
If you go to all those lengths to have your pr0n in 3D you might as well pucker up your courage, haul your geeky ass out from in front of the computer and drive down to the strip club.

Then again...if you're a geek like me you wouldn've have any spare change to spend at a strip club after the latest hardware shopping splurge...

RE: For those who'd do it for the porn...
By ninjit on 2/22/2008 3:53:14 AM , Rating: 3
It's pretty sad when your suggested alternative to 3D porn is going to the strip club...

Here's a better idea:

Keep that change and save it up, next time your outside of your little hole, strike up a conversation with that cute lady in front of you ordering a latte, and use that money you saved to take her out dinner and spend a couple of hours of (hopefully) quality time getting to know someone interesting.

The amount you spend on dinner would have gotten you at most 30 mins (?) worth of lap dances from a fugly stripper. So even if you don't get lucky at the end of the evening, I'd say you'd still come out on top (no pun intended)

By goku on 2/22/2008 7:01:21 AM , Rating: 1
but that "cute little lady" doesn't get freaky like the women in the porn industry despite what hollywood may make you think.

RE: For those who'd do it for the porn...
By jajig on 2/22/2008 9:57:30 AM , Rating: 2
You comments remind me of this old post

Lets say a "friend" of mine was "pleasuring himself" in the middle of working on upgrading his PC

By onwisconsin on 2/22/2008 9:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's priceless...

Quite nice,
By Clauzii on 2/21/2008 5:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
Is the main conclusion that one can (soon?) use a normal printer to output that 3D picture?

RE: Quite nice,
By Oregonian2 on 2/21/2008 6:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
No. Doesn't really have anything to do with that. Closest technology to this that has to do with printing would probably be lenticulars where instead of dots you have stripes and where your printer prints the stripes over which you align a plastic (usually) lenticular lens overlay. Essentially the same idea (kinda roughly) in reverse but only in the left-right direction rather than in both axis's (our eyes looking at it only needs to be handled horizontally in the same way our eyes align).

RE: Quite nice,
By Clauzii on 2/22/2008 12:25:39 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, mate. Would have been nice, though. I didn't get that impression from the article either, but if printers had a WAY higher dot-pitch it would?? (I'm thinking holograms here...).

RE: Quite nice,
By Oregonian2 on 2/26/2008 1:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
No, it has nothing to do with printing. Has only to do with data capture and even then there's probably a good bit of reduncancy in the mechanism as well as it probably lacking accuracy for anything that isn't right up against the sensor (stereobase with this thing is tiny). I wonder where the lenses are focused at, btw. Now, the image data might be software mangled into something that could be presented in some 3d print form, but it'd be in a current technology form (lenticular, pairs, anaglyph, phantogram, etc).

Free tuition
By AlphaVirus on 2/22/2008 10:56:01 AM , Rating: 2
This morning I heard my local radio station stating that starting next year Stanford will be giving free tuition and free room&board.

If you parents make less than $100,000 you get free tuition.
If you parents make less than $60,000 you get both free tuition and free room&board.

Of course you have to meet the minimum requirements of at least 4.0GPA and 2300 on SAT. And last year only 7% of all applications were accepted. The average tuition was $34,000 per semester.

Not a bad deal if you are smart.

RE: Free tuition
By Lord Evermore on 2/22/2008 4:26:35 PM , Rating: 2

Old News
By horatio777 on 2/21/2008 4:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
It's weird that there so much news about this now. I remember reading about this three years ago.

Just a Thought
By Wightout on 2/21/2008 4:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
That image looks like a fly's eye. kinda cool

By Lord Evermore on 2/22/2008 10:10:33 AM , Rating: 2
They've re-invented the eyes of animals...

It's doing the same thing our own eyes do, but with a lot more eyes. They just manage to do it with a tiny "eye" made up of multiple "retinas", and the resolution is good enough for the software to detect the differences from parallax, same as our brain does.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki