Computational Photography

Combining smart optics, sensors and processing to enable novel imaging applications.

With advances in sensors and computational power, cameras coupled with computation offer us new possibilities which were not possible with traditional film based cameras. Computational photography is emerging as a new field combining computer vision, graphics, optics and imaging to overcome the limitations of current cameras.

A key aspect is to design novel sensors for specific applications that go beyond the traditional capturing of the scene as a regular grid of pixel intensities. Such sensors, for example, include coding and modulation strategies along dimensions of space, time, angle and/or wavelength. The imaging group at MERL has been at the forefront of developing fundamental technologies for computational photography. The flutter shutter (coded exposure) camera and mask-based heterodyne light field camera are few of the key inventions of our group.