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本文摘要:Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina have built an experimental camera with more than 30 times the data-collecting capacity of todays best consumer digital devices, a development that could fundamentally alter the way images are captured and viewed. 美国北卡罗来纳州杜克大学(Duke University)的科学家生产出有了一台数据采集容量为当今最先进设备的消费型数码相机30多倍的实验性照相机,这一成果可能会彻底改变人们摄制和观赏图片的方式。


Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina have built an experimental camera with more than 30 times the data-collecting capacity of todays best consumer digital devices, a development that could fundamentally alter the way images are captured and viewed. 美国北卡罗来纳州杜克大学(Duke University)的科学家生产出有了一台数据采集容量为当今最先进设备的消费型数码相机30多倍的实验性照相机,这一成果可能会彻底改变人们摄制和观赏图片的方式。While todays best digital cameras take images having pixel counts in the tens of millions, the latest device produces a still or video image with a billion pixels, which is five times more detail than can be seen by a person with 20/20 vision. A pixel is one of the many tiny areas of illumination on a display screen from which an image is composed. The greater the number of pixels, the more detailed the image. 现今最差的数码相机可摄制分辨率约数千万像素的图片,这款近期的照相机需要摄制10亿级像素的静态图片或视频图像,而且清晰度比极致视力的人眼所能看见的图像要明晰五倍。像素是显示屏上所表明的一个个小方点,它们排序在一起就包含了影像。其他条件完全相同的情况下,像素数越高拍出来的图片就就越明晰。

The experimental Duke device, known as AWARE-2, is a long way from being a commercial product. The current version needs lots of space to house and cool its electronic control boards; it weighs 100 pounds and is about the size of two microwave ovens stacked together. It also takes about 18 seconds to shoot a frame and record the data on a disk. 杜克大学研发的这款实验性照相机取名为“AWARE-2”,其要构建商业化生产还须要很长一段时间。当前这个机型必须相当大空间来存放在和加热其电子控制面板。它的重量约100磅(大约45公斤),体积大约相等于两台微波炉砌在一起。

用它来摄制图片并把数据不存在磁盘上必须18数秒。The availability of a hand-held gigapixel camera could spark an alternative approach to photography. Instead of deciding where to focus a camera, a user would simply shoot a scene, then later zoom into any part of the picture and view it in extraordinary detail. Desirable or useful portions could thus be identified or mined after the images are captured. 手持式10亿像素级照相机的问世可能会引起另一种摄影方式的产生。


摄影者不用要求把焦点对准何处,只需把画面拍下来,将图片的任一部分缩放才可极为精细地观赏它们。在拍完图片之后,摄影者可把失望的或是简单的部分确认下来或者是“提取”出来。Taking a picture with a traditional digital camera is like looking through a soda straw since you can only see a narrow part of the scene, said David Brady, optical engineer at Duke University, who led the team that designed the one-gigapixel camera. Ours is more like a fire hose-the world comes at you full [blast]. 杜克大学光学工程师戴维布拉迪(David Brady)说道,用传统数码相机照片就像通过一根苏打水瓶口看东西,因为你不能看见一小块画面,而他们的新型照相机则更加像从消防软管看东西,整个世界几乎展现出在你的眼前。Dr. Brady said that when his team used the device to take a photograph of the Seattle skyline, they were able to zoom in and read the In and Out signs written on a parking garage located half a mile away. Similarly, if the camera were used to take video images of a tennis match, the viewer could zoom in on a player, or on someone at the far end of the stadium, and see both images in equal detail. 布拉迪是这台10亿像素照相机研发团队的领头人,他说道其团队在用它来摄制西雅图天际线的图片时,需要把图片缩放看见半英里之外一个停车库上写出着的“入口”和“出口”标识。

某种程度地,如果观众用这台照相机来摄制网球比赛的视频,也可以把运动员或躺在球场远处另一端的观众的图像缩放,看见的图像都某种程度明晰。Details of the Duke camera were published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The $25 million project is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Defense. The military is interested in high-resolution cameras as tools for aerial or land-based surveillance. 有关这台照相机的详细信息最近公开发表在了《大自然》(Nature)杂志上。

这个2500万美元的研究项目由美国国防部尖端研究项目局(Defense Advanced Research Project Agency)资助。美国军方无意将高分辨率照相机用作航空及地面监控用途。Many scientists believe the age of gigapixel photography isnt too far away. 许多科学家都指出,10亿像素级摄影时代距离我们会过于很远。

The Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii uses several gigapixel cameras, though it is designed for astronomical use. Some drones carry megapixel cameras, but they tend to have a relatively narrow field of view. The Gigapixl Project is using large-format film cameras to create a highly detailed coast-to-coast portrait of North America, focusing on cities, parks and monuments. 夏威夷“全景巡天望远镜与快速反应系统”(Pan-STARRS)的望远镜也用于了数个10亿像素级的照相机,但它是用作天文用途的。一些无人机覆有百万像素级的摄像头,但它们的视场角往往较为狭小。10亿像素计划(The Gigapixl Project)于是以用于大画幅胶片照相机摄制高清晰度的北美全景照片,并把焦点放到城市、公园和纪念碑上。By comparison, the Duke device the first cut at making gigapixel cameras for general use, said Shree Nayar, a computer-vision researcher at Columbia University in New York, who has seen the camera work but wasnt involved in the project. The challenge, he added, is to shrink the electronics and reduce the amount of power the system required. 纽约哥伦比亚大学(Columbia University)计算机视觉技术研究者希瑞纳亚尔(Shree Nayar)称之为,相比之下,杜克大学研发的照相机是增进10亿像素级照相机用作普通用途的首台设备。



The secret of the Duke device is a spherical lens, a design first proposed in the late 19th century. Although very effective spherical lenses exist naturally lenses-the human eye, for example-researchers have long found it tricky to accurately focus images using lab-made versions. 杜克大学所研发的10亿像素照相机的秘诀是一个球形镜头,该设计创新最初于19世纪晚期明确提出。尽管效果十分不俗的球形镜头天然就不存在(比如人眼),但是长期以来研究人员找到要想要实验性的机型精准对焦还是甚有可玩性。The Duke group overcame the challenge by installing nearly 100 micro-cameras, each with a 14-megapixel sensor, on the outside of a small sphere about the size of a football. The set-up yields nearly 100 separate-but accurately focused-images. A computer connected to the sphere then stitches them together to create a composite whole. 杜克大学的研究团队解决了这一艰难,他们在一个足球大小的球形小镜头的外部加装了近100台微型照相机,每台照相机都备有一个1400万像素的传感器。这种配备可摄制近100张独立国家而且对焦精准的图片,与球形镜头相连的计算机随后不会把它们重新组合在一起自成一张原始的图片。

The camera described in the Nature paper only takes black-and-white pictures. Dr. Brady said his team will finish building a 10-gigapixel color version by year-end and will then construct a 50-gigapixel device. 公开发表于《大自然》杂志的论文所叙述的照相机不能摄制黑白照片。布拉迪博士称之为其团队将于今年年底做成一台100亿像素的彩色照相机,并计划在未来生产一台500亿像素的照相机。The team hopes to begin manufacturing industrial-type gigapixel cameras on a limited basis in 2013. But scientists estimate it will take at least several years before a hand-held consumer version of the technology becomes available.该团队期望在2013年开始对10亿像素照相机展开小规模的量产,但是科学家们估算手持式消费型10亿像素级照相机最少还必须数年时间才能面市。



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