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Optical performance analysis of plenoptic camera systems

: Langguth, C.; Oberdörster, A.; Brückner, A.; Wippermann, F.; Bräuer, A.


Johnson, R.B. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering XV : 18–20 August 2014, San Diego, California, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2014 (Proceedings of SPIE 9192)
ISBN: 978-1-6284-1219-2
Art. 91920F
Conference "Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering" <15, 2014, San Diego/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IOF ()

Adding an array of microlenses in front of the sensor transforms the capabilities of a conventional camera to capture both spatial and angular information within a single shot. This plenoptic camera is capable of obtaining depth information and providing it for a multitude of applications, e.g. artificial re-focusing of photographs. Without the need of active illumination it represents a compact and fast optical 3D acquisition technique with reduced effort in system alignment. Since the extent of the aperture limits the range of detected angles, the observed parallax is reduced compared to common stereo imaging systems, which results in a decreased depth resolution. Besides, the gain of angular information implies a degraded spatial resolution. This trade-off requires a careful choice of the optical system parameters. We present a comprehensive assessment of possible degrees of freedom in the design of plenoptic systems. Utilizing a custom-built simulation tool, the optical performance is quantified with respect to particular starting conditions. Furthermore, a plenoptic camera prototype is demonstrated in order to verify the predicted optical characteristics.