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05-26-2019, 04:18 AM   #1
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Google's super-resolution for phones. Computational photography is getting really goo

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PROJECT WEBSITE: Handheld Multi-Frame Super-Resolution

ABSTRACT: Compared to DSLR cameras, smartphone cameras have smaller sensors, which limits their spatial resolution; smaller apertures, which limits their light gathering ability; and smaller pixels, which reduces their signal-to noise ratio. The use of color filter arrays (CFAs) requires demosaicing, which further degrades resolution. In this paper, we supplant the use of traditional demosaicing in single-frame and burst photography pipelines with a multiframe super-resolution algorithm that creates a complete RGB image directly from a burst of CFA raw images. We harness natural hand tremor, typical in handheld photography, to acquire a burst of raw frames with small offsets.

These frames are then aligned and merged to form a single image with red, green, and blue values at every pixel site. This approach, which includes no explicit demosaicing step, serves to both increase image resolution and boost signal to noise ratio. Our algorithm is robust to challenging scene conditions: local motion, occlusion or scene changes. It runs at 100 milliseconds per 12-megapixel RAW input burst frame on mass-produced mobile phones. Specifically, the algorithm is the basis of the Super-Res Zoom feature, as well as the default merge method in Night Sight mode (whether zooming or not) on Google’s flagship phone.



05-26-2019, 04:39 AM   #2
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Then try doing that with a 36 megapixel full frame sensor.
Oh. Hang on. We already can with the K-1 Mark II.
05-26-2019, 06:04 AM - 1 Like   #3
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It's cool it's coming to phones.
June 1, 2016 dpreview said it was stupid when Pentax did it (from tripod) but by November 12, 2017 when the Sony a7riii did it...

"Are we impressed?
How could we not be? Landscape, cityscape and architecture photographers will absolutely love this new feature"

Yes I will beat that dead horse because they recently killed a new horse. 50mm 1.4 AW
05-26-2019, 06:07 AM   #4
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Can they go any lower?

05-26-2019, 12:28 PM   #5
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The resolution of those kind of small sensors used in phones is quickly limited by diffraction and lens imperfections, no matter how many super-resolution frame at capture, there is a point where image quality doesn't increase by capturing more frames. P30 images look great as long as you see them on the phone display, but not so good on larger displays, no matter what. It's all about marketing, some people get lured into getting new phone models based one supposedly better images which happen to be far from being as good as photos taken with our DsLRs.
05-26-2019, 03:11 PM   #6
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The funny thing is what has been mentioned, that this exists on larger sensor cameras, although I think only Pentax offers the handheld pixel shift, at this point. Probably the biggest thing it does is helps decrease noise in high iso situations. Maybe a bit of resolution boost too.
05-27-2019, 09:13 AM   #7
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A good big one will always beat a good little one. Whatever can be done with software on a phone can be done on an ILC as well.
05-28-2019, 02:59 AM   #8
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I think they are trying to sell a couple of things here. One is that their camera is better than that in other smartphones because of the tech they put into it. The second it is that with features like this, it can match the cameras that have larger sensors. The first maybe is true, the second definitely isn't.

The tacit admission here is that without improvements in "computational photography" they are reaching the limits of what can be done to improve the images from such tiny sensors. This despite the fact that we hear frequently that someday phone cameras will replace nearly all free standing cameras and have as good image quality as them.

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