Nokia has announced FCam project, result of Camera 2.0 research project on programmable cameras and computational photography between Marc Levoy’s group in the Stanford Computer Graphics Laboratory and Kari Pulli’s team at Nokia Research Center Palo Alto.

FCamera is an open-source camera application for the N900. You can use it as an alternative to the built-in camera application. It provides significantly more manual control over capture parameters, and shoots raw (in the Adobe DNG format). It also includes some nifty features. It has an automatic HDR mode, which has an HDR viewfinder that lets you preview the full range to be captured. It has a "lucky imaging" mode in which it takes a burst of shots and only saves the sharpest. We’ve found that this simple trick lets you handhold exposures of up to half a second.

FCamera really has two purposes. It a useful camera application for photographers. It is also a base camera application that students and hobbyists can modify to experiment with new photographic techniques. Given the second requirement, we’ve tried to be fairly careful about balancing features versus the impact they have on ease-of-understanding of the source. In most cases we’ve favored the simpler source code, which is why you don’t see a lot of custom widgets or fancy icons. That said, it could always be simpler. We welcome any patches to streamline and clarify FCamera’s source.

FCam is an open-source C++ API for easy and precise control of digital cameras. It allows full low-level control of all camera parameters on a per-frame basis, making it easy to rewrite the camera’s autofocus routine, to capture a burst of images all with different parameters, and to synchronize the operation of the camera lens and flash with all of the above.

For examples of what FCam can do, check out FCam project pages.


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