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Proceedings Paper

Objective evaluation of slanted edge charts
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Paper Abstract

Camera objective characterization methodologies are widely used in the digital camera industry. Most objective characterization systems rely on a chart with specific patterns, a software algorithm measures a degradation or difference between the captured image and the chart itself. The Spatial Frequency Response (SFR) method, which is part of the ISO 122331 standard, is now very commonly used in the imaging industry, it is a very convenient way to measure a camera Modulation transfer function (MTF). The SFR algorithm can measure frequencies beyond the Nyquist frequency thanks to super-resolution, so it does provide useful information on aliasing and can provide modulation for frequencies between half Nyquist and Nyquist on all color channels of a color sensor with a Bayer pattern. The measurement process relies on a chart that is simple to manufacture: a straight transition from a bright reflectance to a dark one (black and white for instance), while a sine chart requires handling precisely shades of gray which can also create all sort of issues with printers that rely on half-toning. However, no technology can create a perfect edge, so it is important to assess the quality of the chart and understand how it affects the accuracy of the measurement. In this article, I describe a protocol to characterize the MTF of a slanted edge chart, using a high-resolution flatbed scanner. The main idea is to use the RAW output of the scanner as a high-resolution micro-densitometer, since the signal is linear it is suitable to measure the chart MTF using the SFR algorithm. The scanner needs to be calibrated in sharpness: the scanner MTF is measured with a calibrated sine chart and inverted to compensate for the modulation loss from the scanner. Then the true chart MTF is computed. This article compares measured MTF from commercial charts and charts printed on printers, and also compares how of the contrast of the edge (using different shades of gray) can affect the chart MTF, then concludes on what distance range and camera resolution the chart can reliably measure the camera MTF.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 February 2015
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9396, Image Quality and System Performance XII, 939611 (8 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2077769
Show Author Affiliations
Harvey (Hervé) Hornung, Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9396:
Image Quality and System Performance XII
Mohamed-Chaker Larabi; Sophie Triantaphillidou, Editor(s)

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