jamesh
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:31 am

May be interested in this new release from Nokia…

http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-euro....._news_blog

http://www.slashgear.com/nokia.....-27215577/

Just launched at MWC.

Edit : Sorry, title should read Interested, not interesting..!
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:11 am

So…I guess you have a bag full of those sensors ready for us don"t you!

And perhaps a BCM28155 based Pi...

Ok, dreaming again.  Makes you wonder though:


The phone uses a technique that Nokia calls over-sampling, to produce crystal clear, noiseless images with an effective resolution of 5 megapixels. The camera uses a dedicated graphics processing unit to combine algorithmically groups of up to seven pixels to produce one “super” pixel.


IF they have to do that…I"m guessing that single pixel, 41Mpixel mode, must be rubbish…otherwise why throw away 7/8 of the detail to get just 5Mp.

lol…Nokia calls over-sampling…odd I thought that was what everyone would call it.
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:20 am

Nope, single pixel 41MP (actually 38 or 34 depending on the aspect ratio you want) mode isn't rubbish at all!  It's all pretty impressive actually.

Ignore the Nokia marketing speak, its a 41MP sensor running at full res, which is then downsampled as required to get to a final resolution image.  So you get the equivalent of a 4x zoom at about 5MP.

In other news....

http://www.engadget.com/2012/0.....psets-mwc/
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:35 am

Fair enough, otherwise 41MP is a huge waste just to achieve a standard 5MP output.

Now, we just want it to take it at 60fps at 41MP and a screen to watch it back on please.

Yes, the "other news" chips look very nice too, obviously we can simply pop-off the RPi processor and plug in one of those.

Is the GPU "videocore" integrated or separate, are you able to give ball-park comparisons to the RPi processor (not fussed either way, just general interest)?
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:44 am

that is awesome - can we get one for the RPi?
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:45 am

Can you give me a use case where you need to take 41MP images at 60fps. No you can't.

Way to miss the point on the other part of the post. The GPU on that new chip is a Videocore4. Now look up the spec of the SoC on the Raspi. Now think a bit.
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:48 am

FYI, 42MP at 60fps is approx 2.5 billion pixels per second. That's a lot of data to be throwing about! Not sure there is a chip in existence that can do that (apart from custom chips for astronomy and the like)
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:03 pm

I was being a bit trollish

but seriously this is an awesome bit of kit ... and for getting excellent quality stills [rather than video] it would be very nice;-p
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:03 pm

JamesH said:


Nope, single pixel 41MP (actually 38 or 34 depending on the aspect ratio you want) mode isn't rubbish at all!  It's all pretty impressive actually.


It all depends on the size of the chip those 41/38/34 MPs are being crammed on to.  Looking at the size of the camera, the lens to sensor distance is going to be fairly small which implies that the sensor chip is going to be small too.  A huge quantity of photodetectors crammed into a small sensor just means lots of visual noise, so I can see why they're actually sampling blocks of pixels to average out the noise. and produce a useful 5MP equivalent image. The lens is going to be tiny too, little more than a fragment of glass.  I don't know if it has more than one or two elements but even if its been produced by Zeiss, a very short focal lengh lens isn't going to be that good.

Even on an APS-C or DX sized sensor (the sort found in a conventional DSLR) 41MP would be considered bonkers and overdoing things a bit, normally 41MP is found in medium format camera sensors that come close to the 60x45mm film size.  Now they DO produce stunning images, but they have the benefit pf decent multi-element lenses and a stiff camera body to provide a pin sharp picture.
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:14 pm

I wasn't trying to annoy so don't worry.

41MP at 60fps will probably seem like nothing in 10 years (perhaps even 5)...just the way it goes, always room for more.  Was just imagining how amazing that would look...and yes totally insane to do, just dreaming.  As it stands it is remarkable that it is at the level where it can be put in phones etc, that would have been unthinkable even a few years back.

I guessed the videocore was integrated, but the engadget suggested a separate "third chip", which didn't sound right.

http://www.broadcom.com/products/BCM2835

Ok point taken...goes to show how nice that will be when it can be used to it's full potential.  I realised the RPi GPU had some grunt...didn't realise it is the current batch new generation of grunt.  Makes you wonder, if done right, what kind of wonders the RPi can generate.
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:15 pm

Using 5M individual pixels out of 41M to implement a digital zoom will give a much noisier telephoto image than putting a decent zoom lens in front of a 5Mpixel sensor of the same physical size as the 41M one.

"Nothing for nothing" is usually true. 

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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:32 pm

For those doubters, I actually have kit like this on my desk right now, and have seen the results, it really is very good. Noise is higher with small pixel sites, but because you have a lot of pixels to play with, the post processing you can do does mean you get a very very good image at the end of the pipeline. What's good is that even in the highest mode (34MP) the image quality and noise level is still very good, even in low light.

With regard to zooming - it's not a digital, upscaling zoom, it's a crop/downscaling zoom, so no interpolation. Yes, pushing an actual zoom lens on the sensor would give a better result, but not really feasible on something that is to fit inside a mobile phone!

I've seen images taken with this camera scaled down to 5MP, vs a 5MP image from a 5MP sensor and the scaled down version is noticeably better.
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:59 pm

Now just need to work out where to store all those 34MP pictures...what size files do you end up with?

Ah you get all the nice stuff!

As mentioned you don't get the luxury of lots of optics in such a small form factor, so it solves that problem by providing more pixels to play with, neat.  That is of course until optics are improved such that space is no longer an issue (using adaptive materials), then it'll be win-win-win.
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:59 pm

JamesH said:


For those doubters, I actually have kit like this on my desk right now, and have seen the results, it really is very good. Noise is higher with small pixel sites, but because you have a lot of pixels to play with, the post processing you can do does mean you get a very very good image at the end of the pipeline. What's good is that even in the highest mode (34MP) the image quality and noise level is still very good, even in low light.

With regard to zooming - it's not a digital, upscaling zoom, it's a crop/downscaling zoom, so no interpolation. Yes, pushing an actual zoom lens on the sensor would give a better result, but not really feasible on something that is to fit inside a mobile phone!

I've seen images taken with this camera scaled down to 5MP, vs a 5MP image from a 5MP sensor and the scaled down version is noticeably better.


I don't doubt.  Engineering is all about trading advantages and disadvantages to get an optimum solution to the given problem.  I'm sure that for most users of this phone, any higher noise would be a price worth paying compared to the size and weight of a zoom lens.

JamesH's final point is paralleled with SD and HDTV.  SD material originally captured with an HD camera and expertly down-converted to SD often looks better than the same scene shot with an SD camera.

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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:52 pm

Some examples of the quality available...

http://yfrog.com/odz76tgj

http://yfrog.com/es530nsnj
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:13 pm

JamesH said:


Some examples of the quality available...

http://yfrog.com/odz76tgj

http://yfrog.com/es530nsnj


I want! :D
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:35 pm

if these can operate in low light conditions then one of those plugged into a RPi whould make an excellent security device
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:46 pm

RaTTuS said:


if these can operate in low light conditions then one of those plugged into a RPi whould make an excellent security device



"Low light" is  not quantified.  I expect that a professional photographer and a CCTV security consultant would have very different interpretations!

And I don't think anyone has said it can be plugged into a RP.

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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:59 pm

Although 41 Mpixels may appear fantastically high it is less than twice linear of the 10 or 12 Mpixel sensors that are now common even in budget compact cameras.  So in terms of "blowing up" detail, the gain over those is less than two.

Not saying it isn't impressive or useful.  Just don't get carried away in the same way that some people think (or thought) that a $25 RP would completely replace their $300 (or whatever) PC.

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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:14 pm

Are the photographs taken with a 41MP camera or the specific mobile phone? The quality does seem suspiciously high. The quality of the lens used will be very important and I just have visions of a professional photographer using several hundred pounds worth of kit rather than someone just hanging there clicking away with their mobile phone. I have a small Fuji compact which has a much higher MP rating than my Pentax SLR but the Pentax wins every time because of the overall quality of the camera and the zoom lens.

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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:31 pm

The pictures were taken with a Nokia 808 with the 41MP sensor, and I beleive are unretouched.
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:29 pm

I'd like to add that unless you're printing on A0, it's not the megapixels that matter but the quality of the lens and the contrast/low-light sensitivity. I love how modern DSLRs shoot images in 10, 12, or even 14 bit per colour channel (whereas JPG can only store 8bits per colour channel, hence why DSLRs always have a "raw" image format, though that's also for speed)! This seems really pointless at first, because our displays are only 8 bit per colour channel.. Though think about it: afterwards, it's amazing how white and black can move closer to each other to create images that actually look like what we saw with our eyes. Especially older and cheaper digital cameras quickly show something bright as pure white and something dark as pure black; whereas our eyes have an amazing contrast ratio

Now I realize Nokia doesn't care about any of this and just want to be in front of the "megapixel race" again. Though I fear the size of the jpeg files it shoots lol. 0.5~1mb per megapixel is a totally acceptable size when it's 10 megapixel or below, though shooting 25mb jpeg images is silly.

Last thing I'd like to add is that many photo services (you know you upload your photos to a kiosk and they print it for you on nice kodak paper) actually resize your images or even automatically enhance them (those are the WORST; it ruins ALL your hours of hard work in Digital Photo Professional). I had one photo service once that actually printed at just 300dpi, so the images were automatically resized to 1800×1200 (2 megapixel). If you really wish to have your images at 600 or even 1200 dpi, you'd either have to invest in a semi-professional photo printer (which can turn stupidly expensive, multiple euros per photo), or visit a professional photography shop that'll likely also charge 25~75 cent per 15×10cm photo.

Anyway, Nokia still have some great technology there. I hope the raspi will also get a good camera unit at some point!

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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:44 pm

Nokia do have some great technology there. I wonder where they got it from?
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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:48 am

Hi All,

Bit of blue sky thinking, I am sure there are things that need to be thought out.

I have a cooled sensor/camera that is designed to slotted into the eye piece tube of a telescope.

I wonder how much effort it would take to apply a peltier pump to the back of this sensor and then use the sensor and device to use for astronomy.

As I say lots of blue sky thinking there and very very much a gut response.

Best Regards

Andre'

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Re: Those interested in mobile phone camera tech

Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:13 am

Andre - indeed I'l like that also ..

jamesH - I can guess that it is from the same office as your in .... ;-p??

and a good demo of the power of the GPU in the RPi

but it's cool..
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