Kirk L. Kroeker "Technology, too, obeys the law of responding, of answering a call at whose origin we are encountering so much static." -- Avital Ronell

 
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Photography's Bright Future

By Kirk L. Kroeker

Researchers working in computational photography are using computer vision, computer graphics, and applied optics to bring a vast array of new capabilities to digital cameras.

While the first digital cameras were bulky, possessed few features, and captured images that were of dubious quality, digital cameras today pack an enormous array of features and technologies into small designs. And the quality of pictures captured on these cameras has improved dramatically, even to the point where most professional photographers have abandoned film and shoot exclusively with digital equipment. Given that digital photography has established itself as superior to analog film in many aspects, it might seem safe to assume that the next breakthroughs in this area will be along the lines of more megapixels or smaller handheld designs. However, researchers working in the emerging area of computational photography—a movement that draws on computer vision, computer graphics, and applied optics—say the next major breakthroughs in digital photography will be in how images are captured and processed.

(This article appeared in CACM, vol. 52, no. 2, Feb. 2009, pp. 11-13.)

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