Frankencamera is open source, runs on Linux

An open-source operating system out of Stanford would let programmers create algorithms to process images differently than what brands such as Canon and Nikon are currently offering.

Frankencamera
Marc Levoy, a Stanford professor of computer science andelectrical engineering, is the son, grandson, and great-grandson of opticians. Holding the Frankencamera, which is programmable and can be connected to the Internet, is graduate student Andrew Adams. L.A. Cicero/Stanford University

Photo scientists at Stanford University's Computer Graphics Laboratory have conceived of what is probably the world's first open-source camera. Their contraption, dubbed the Frankencamera, consists of a Nokia N95 mobile phone camera module; a circuit board; a couple of lenses from Canon; and Linux for all the open-source goodness.

Frankencamera
The current prototype of the Frankencamera is constructed from off-the-shelf parts. Stanford University

The current prototype of the Frankencamera is constructed from off-the-shelf parts, in some cases borrowed from dead cameras. Its creators say it's ugly--thus the name.

Now, you may be wondering what the big deal is about having an open-source operating system on cameras. Well, it means programmers can create algorithms to process images differently or even better than what brands such as Canon and Nikon are currently offering.

An open-source platform will also give savvy users a wide range of customization options. For instance, photojournalists can program their dSLRs to activate certain settings when a particular lens or accessory is attached.

For now, the scientists have tweaked their Frankencamera to snap high dynamic range pictures, but they are trying to make their snapper churn out better-quality videos by using high-resolution pictures. In a year, they hope to distribute the platform at minimal cost to computational photography researchers and courses worldwide. Check out the video for more details.

(Source: Crave Asia)

 

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