So… can we expect cheaper and better lenses?
Better? Yes. Truly sharper from corner to corner.
Under the gun, Smith and Boyle went into an office and, in one hour, emerged with the basic plans for the CCD, the sensor still used in digital photography today. A CCD works like this: Light hits a tiny grid of photosensitive silicon cells, each which build a charge proportional to the intensity of the light hitting it. This charge can be measured precisely and we can know exactly how bright that portion should be. Add filters, and color can be discerned too.
The lens is quite unlike the curved disks of glass familiar from cameras and binoculars. Instead, it is made of a thin layer of transparent quartz coated in millions of tiny pillars, each just tens of nanometres across and hundreds high.
Singly, each pillar interacts strongly with light. Their combined effect is to slice up a light beam and remould it as the rays pass through the array
“The quality of our images is actually better than with a state-of-the-art objective lens. I think it is no exaggeration to say that this is potentially revolutionary.”
ExifTool is a platform-independent Perl library plus a command-line application for reading, writing and editing meta information in a wide variety of files. ExifTool supports many different metadata formats including EXIF, GPS, IPTC, XMP, JFIF, GeoTIFF, ICC Profile, Photoshop IRB, FlashPix, AFCP and ID3, as well as the maker notes of many digital cameras by Canon, Casio, FLIR, FujiFilm, GE, HP, JVC/Victor, Kodak, Leaf, Minolta/Konica-Minolta, Nikon, Nintendo, Olympus/Epson, Panasonic/Leica, Pentax/Asahi, Phase One, Reconyx, Ricoh, Samsung, Sanyo, Sigma/Foveon and Sony.
Source: ExifTool by Phil Harvey
This article shows how to perform image manipulation using command-line tools. I do this job quite often, since I’ve picked up a some digital cameras and now manage a library of several thousand happy snaps. For Web developers and administrators who frequently have to batch-process large numbers of images, command line tools are an especially attractive option, because the developer can incorporate them into scripts. But even if you only want to perform a manipulation once or twice, a command-line alternative can save time.
The command line tools discussed in this article are part of the excellent ImageMagick suite, which ships with Red Hat Linux and is freely available online (see Resources). ImageMagick can also be accessed via C, C++, Perl, Python, Java, and several other languages, which Linux programmers will appreciate.
Chris Walker made the image above with a DSLR camera, using a GigaPan device to record a series of individual images over the course of 15 minutes. In the panoramas you see here, nearly 100 frames were stitched together to create the resulting single photographs. Chris used PTGui Pro software to minimize visual imperfections, such as people appearing twice because they moved during the course of the 15-minute session.
You can navigate and see almost every person at Soldier Field for last Sunday’s Bears game against the Buffalo Bills. Quite fascinating!
The images are available to the public through The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, the most complete online collection of images of Earth taken by astronauts. This database contains photographs beginning with those taken during Mercury missions in the early 1960s up to recent images from the station, with more added daily. As of August 2014, the collection included a total of nearly 1.8 million images, more than 1.3 million of them from the space station. Approximately 30 percent of those were taken at night.
Lost at Night requires the most skill, seeking to identify cities in images encompassing a circle 310 miles around. “We don’t know which direction the astronaut pointed the camera, only where the station was at the time the image was taken,” explains Sanchez. “Some images are bright cities but others are small towns. It is like a puzzle with 300,000 pieces.”