Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HDR Thermal Imaging

High Dynamic Range photography is now increasingly popular, thanks to smartphones and compact cameras. This is a technique that captures several shots with different exposures, and then combines a final image where over/under-exposed areas can be still have all the detail, as they're stitched together from the most appropriate frame.

This happens because image sensor aren't capable of capturing nearly as high a dynamic range (extremely dim/bright areas in a single shot) as our eyes can. And the same thing happens even when you're dealing with non-visible spectrum, like thermal cameras.

When you use thermal cameras you have to select wich target temperarure range you want to capture, meaning anything below or above it will not be distinguishable. Unless...

If you apply the same multiple-exposure HDR concept  to thermal cameras - or, as they call it "super-framing" - you can extend the thermal sensor temperature range considerably and ensure you have a high-resolution image with a wider thermal range.

You can think of it as quickly capturing a frame of 0-50Cº and another from 50-100Cº (and so on) in quick succession, and then assembling a final image where you can see all the fine thermal details.

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