Patent-pending DeltaVu is a revolutionary sub-pixel shifting technology that increases image resolution and precise color. Theoretically, the resolving power of digital cameras employing DeltaVu technology is limited by the optics being used. Lumenera’s INFINITYX high resolution USB microscope camera (Figure 1) is the first product equipped with this pioneering technology.
Figure 1. Lumenera’s INFINITYX high resolution USB microscope camera.
The INFINITYX delivers 32MP resolution by shifting the 1616 x 1216 pixel array of a 1/1.8" color sensor. With the flexibility of selecting between 2, 8, 16, and 32-million pixel resolution, users are able to leverage their research microscope optics to record the finest details. This innovative technology also ensures representing all three primary colors (RGB) in each pixel for perfect color reproduction.
Conventional Pixel Shifting Technology
Conventional pixel shifting technology improves resolution by shifting the image sensor typically half of a pixel between each image acquisition, sampling the object at more positions, and directly utilizing these additionally captured pixels as image data. The increase in resolution of this methodology is limited to the position where the active area of a specific pixel begins overlapping with the pixel in the earlier position.
When there is an increase in the active area, the object begins to become over-sampled and the moving sensor acquires no new spatial information. Developments in sensor technology increase the active area of a pixel to the point where it covers virtually the entire pixel. This higher ‘fill factor’ limits the net gain in resolution data of conventional pixel shifting technology results.
The DeltaVu Difference
When compared to the older pixel shifting technology, the INFINITYX camera technology leverages the higher fill factor in advanced image sensors, yielding exact color representation in every pixel. This achievement is the result of the INFINITYX’s ability to acquire and decipher details that are much smaller than a single pixel size, thereby drastically improving both color quality and spatial resolution.
The INFINITYX moves the sensor a fraction of a pixel between each image acquisition. Knowing the accurate position of each sub-pixel shift and employing patent-pending software algorithms, the INFINITYX produces images containing the finest details with improved color clarity. This technique enables resolving objects that are much smaller than a single pixel size without interpolation artifacts. Theoretically, adjusting the degree of pixel overlap can increase the resolving power without limit. However, the resolving power of the optical system limits the resolution in practice.
INFINITYX Technique of Combining Multiple Images
The INFINITYX leverages DeltaVu technology to decipher and merge the data from multiple images as illustrated in Figure 2. The image taken in position 2 is placed above the image acquired in position 1, followed by shifting to the left by half a pixel. Then, assuming that the pixels have some transparency, the outcome is a darker area (pixel), where the gray pixels overlap with each other. The images acquired in positions 3 and 4 are processed in the same manner. This will result in a combined image containing one darker pixel, where the two gray pixels overlap each other.
Figure 2. INFINITYX Technique of Combining Multiple Images.
Now, the two combined images are placed over each other and shifted half a pixel. The combination of all four images will now have one black pixel with overlapping of four gray pixels from the four original images acquired; four dark gray pixels with overlapping of only two gray pixels from the original images; and four light gray pixels with no overlapping of pixels from the original images.
Here, with four movements, the final INFINITYX image results in a single black pixel are separated with a resolution four folds greater when compared to the number of active pixels in the sensor. In addition, the digital camera is able to acquire details down to 25% of the pixel size. It is also possible to drastically increase the resolution by additional sub-pixel shifting of the sensor until reaching the limitation of the resolving power of the optics.
DeltaVu uses a newly developed electromechanical solution for quick and reliable sensor shift. Unlike the piezo-technology commonly used for shifting the sensor, the new electromechanical solution is immune to aging, humidity, or temperature, with no internal friction. This results in a compact digital camera with unprecedented reliability and calibration free operation.
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This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Lumenera Corporation.
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