Open Access Research

A framework for measuring sharpness in natural images captured by digital cameras based on reference image and local areas

Mikko Nuutinen1*, Olli Orenius2, Timo Säämänen2 and Pirkko Oittinen1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Media Technology, Aalto University School of Science, P.O. Box 15500, FI00076 Aalto, Finland

2 Institute of Behavioural Science, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9, FI00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

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EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing 2012, 2012:8  doi:10.1186/1687-5281-2012-8

Published: 10 May 2012

Abstract

Image quality is a vital criterion that guides the technical development of digital cameras. Traditionally, the image quality of digital cameras has been measured using test-targets and/or subjective tests. Subjective tests should be performed using natural images. It is difficult to establish the relationship between the results of artificial test targets and subjective data, however, because of the different test image types. We propose a framework for objective image quality metrics applied to natural images captured by digital cameras. The framework uses reference images captured by a high-quality reference camera to find image areas with appropriate structural energy for the quality attribute. In this study, the framework was set to measure sharpness. Based on the results, the mean performance for predicting subjective sharpness was clearly higher than that of the state-of-the-art algorithm and test-target sharpness metrics.

Keywords:
image quality; reduced-reference metric; no-reference metric; test-target metric; camera phone; benchmarking; subjective sharpness