Computational Camera and Photography

Collage of three photos showing digital refocusing, plus a photo showing a grid-shaped light pattern through a grating.

Digital refocusing is a computational photography technique that allows one to change the focus point in an image after capture, using additional data collected through camera enhancements such as a coded aperture mask. (Image by Prof. Ramesh Raskar.)


MIT Course Number

MAS.531 / MAS.131

As Taught In

Fall 2009


Undergraduate / Graduate

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Course Description

Course Features

Course Highlights

This course features Audio lectures, Lecture notes, Assignments, and Student Projects with examples.

Course Description

A computational camera attempts to digitally capture the essence of visual information by exploiting the synergistic combination of task-specific optics, illumination, sensors and processing. In this course we will study this emerging multi-disciplinary field at the intersection of signal processing, applied optics, computer graphics and vision, electronics, art, and online sharing through social networks. If novel cameras can be designed to sample light in radically new ways, then rich and useful forms of visual information may be recorded — beyond those present in traditional photographs. Furthermore, if computational process can be made aware of these novel imaging models, them the scene can be analyzed in higher dimensions and novel aesthetic renderings of the visual information can be synthesized.

We will discuss and play with thermal cameras, multi-spectral cameras, high-speed, and 3D range-sensing cameras and camera arrays. We will learn about opportunities in scientific and medical imaging, mobile-phone based photography, camera for HCI and sensors mimicking animal eyes. We will learn about the complete camera pipeline. In several hands-on projects we will build physical imaging prototypes and understand how each stage of the imaging process can be manipulated.

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Related Content

Ramesh Raskar. MAS.531 Computational Camera and Photography. Fall 2009. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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