Posted Sep 8, 2009 20:21 UTC (Tue) by man_ls
Parent article: The Grumpy Editor's hugin experience
Distortion correction is a very interesting area, and it is growing more interesting each day. Consider new cameras like the interesting Olympus E-P1: it has pretty sucky optics, but performs distortion correction in software. Other makers are integrating correction of aberrations in the software. This has a few interesting consequences:
- Makers can spend less in lenses and do difficult things, like ultra-flat optics.
- A firmware update can include better compensations, therefore improving your image quality -- like if you bought a better lens.
- OTOH bugs in firmware can mean bad image quality in certain lenses (see the 17mm f2.8 fiasco).
- If you export images in RAW format (i.e. without transforming into JPEG), you get the original with all the distortions.
- Since only the Olympus software has the parameters to do the corrections, third-party image editors (i.e. those available for Linux) will leave ugly distortions.
This last point is where software like hugin can find another niche: photographers wanting to do their own corrections to pictures. Of course it is much easier to do them in-camera, since you have access to raw pixels, and they are not trivial transformations -- distortions can be compensated with just the kind of thing our editor has tried here, but chromatic aberration correction requires separating components, correcting for different distortions for each color, then mixing it all again. But it is a start.
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