Prof. Nayar and Cossairt Win Best Paper

A Canon EOS Rebel with an SFS lens

Oliver Cossairt, PhD ’11 CS, and Shree Nayar, T. C. Chang Professor of Computer Science and Department Chair, of the Computer Vision Laboratory were awarded the Best Paper Award at the 2010 International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP), for their paper titled "Spectral Focal Sweep: Extended Depth of Field from Chromatic Aberrations." 

The conference was held earlier this week at MIT. Their paper describes a new technique for capturing photographs with very wide depth of field using a camera with a Spectral Focal Sweep (SFS) lens (see left).
 “In many applications such as surveillance, machine vision, and even consumer photography, we want to capture images where the entire scene is in focus,” says Cossairt. “However, if the depth range of the scene is large, and a large aperture lens is used, foreground and background objects will be blurred due to defocus.”
Click to see larger image
Click photo to see larger version
In a conventional camera, decreasing the lens aperture size increases the depth of field, but at the expense of the quality of the image. Cossairt explains that using an SFS camera extends the depth of field without decreasing the aperture size (see example at right).
Oliver Cossairt
“A SFS camera can be used to effectively “sweep” the focal plane continuously through a scene without the need for either mechanical motion or custom optical elements,” he says. “We created a custom lens design and assembled a SFS camera, which we then used to create several example images that illustrate a significant increase in depth of field over conventional cameras.”


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