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PRESS RELEASE: DO Labs Announces the BxU™ Unit
Breakthrough Scientific Unit MeasuresPerceptual Blur and Sharpness of Digital Cameras
Las Vegas, NV (February 12, 2004) - DO Labs, a software company focused on research in image processing to enhance image quality, introduces the BxU - for Blur eXperience Unit. BxU is a new scientific measurement unit that provides a precise and numeric quantification of the perceived softness (also called perceptual blur) introduced by any digital camera.
The BxU measure highlights any lack of perceived sharpness introduced by an imaging chain - as it is really experienced by the human eye.
" The BxU unit will allow both consumers and the photo-imaging industry to objectively judge one of the most hotly discussed topics in digital imaging - the degree of softness of an image produced by a digital camera," said Jérôme Meniere, CEO of DO Labs SA.
DO Labs ambition is to promote BxU as a new standard to measure image quality. DO Labs will provide photography experts and image processing scientists with more high-level scientific - upon request at [email protected]
BxU is more appropriate than " line pairs per millimetre" …
So far, photography experts have often used the "line pairs per millimetre" measure to assess image quality. However, "line pairs per millimetre" is not a measure of blur: it provides an indication of the finest detail, i.e. the highest image frequency that can be reproduced by the camera or optics. It has therefore a strong correlation to the camera resolution.
In addition, as has been experienced by any photographer, the overall impression of sharpness or crispness is a different dimension than resolution. DO Labs scientists have discovered that perceived sharpness or blur depends on how well the overall image frequencies, and especially the low frequencies, are preserved by the camera.
"line pairs per millimetre" are often evaluated by humans - and therefore suffer a strong interpretative bias.
… or MTF / spot diagrams to grade perceived sharpness
At the highest level, optical quality is currently measured through the use of optical benches which produce either an MTF diagram (Modulation Transfer Function) or a spot diagram.
However, this technique suffers from numerous limitations:
MTF charts or spot diagrams are complex to interpret, even for experts, and are notrepresented by a single, easy to use number; therefore, it is very difficult to sort results;
Only optics can be measured using optical benches: this technique just can't be applied to an entire imaging chain - for example a body and lens combination;
An optical bench is a costly instrument, very complex to operate: it is not adequate for most photography experts.
Benefits of working with the BxU unit:
DO Lab's BxU overcomes the limitations of 'line pairs per millimetre', MTF and spot diagrams:
BxU is a precise, defined, scientific measurement unit;
BxU is the only measurement unit for perceived 'softness' of 'blur' introduced by digital cameras - or any other imaging chain;
BxU is objective and reproducible: it does not suffer from human interpretative bias;
BxU can also measure sharpening/softening effects of any software algorithms. As a point of reference a BxU variation of +1 is the equivalent of applying the "Blur More…" command in Adobe Photoshop CS;
BxU is an additive unit: it is possible to add/subtract the BxU values of various components of an imaging chain to obtain the perceptual blur of the resulting imaging chain;
BxU is covariant to rescaling, changes of resolution, etc… This means that it is possible to compare BxUs from digital cameras having different numbers of pixels, different sensor-pixel sizes, different sensor sizes, …
Finally, DO Labs's research team has proven mathematically that BxU is the only measure satisfying the above properties.
How to obtain BxU measurements
BxU measurements can be obtained using DxO Analyzer™, DO Lab's recently announced tool for measuring the optical quality of digital cameras. Perceptual sharpness is one of the five aspects of optical quality that are measured with DxO Analyzer. DxO Analyzer measures perceptual blur for 17 distinct areas in the image for the red, green, blue and Y (luminance) channels.
For more information - see specific PMA press release 'DO Labs Introduces DxO Analyzer'
About DO Labs and its DxO Technology
DO Labs SA is a software company focused on research in applied mathematics for digital image enhancement. The roots of the company come out of the most advanced academic mathematical research with strong ties to leading universities and research labs and a prestigious Scientific Committee.
The company's patented DxO technology produces genuine, perceptible improvements in the quality of any digital image. DxO is a set of software components that measures and corrects major faults found in imaging devices: Blur, Local Contrast, Distortion, Vignetting, Chromatic aberration, Jpeg artifacts, etc. Furthermore, DxO Correction offers key benefits that make it an industrial-grade solution:
DxO produces optimum image correction compared to any technology on the market;
DxO is robust: DxO will never damage image quality;
DxO is automatic: No human intervention is required at any stage;
DxO is real time : it can be easily embedded in any real-time workflow(ARM, DSP, Asic) inside imaging devices such as digital still cameras or camera phones; in a PC at driver level, a server; or in a digital photofinishing minilab equipment.
For more information, visit DO Labs online at www.dolabs.com.