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Barrel distortion

By Jakob Jelling
Snapjunky.com

The digital camera is a technologically advanced and ever proceeding device. And with such intricate designed technology comes in some unwanted problems too. A lot of problem is however eliminated my careful scrutiny but in order to do so the users of the digital camera must be well aware of the problems themselves. In this discussion an effort is made enquire and find one such problem and at the same time seek suitable methods of dealing with them. The problem is of barrel distortion in the digital camera, a problem that just cannot be overlooked. Basically the barrel distortion is where horizontal and vertical lines bend outwards toward the edge. And here comes in this discussion!

There are various methods in which an image distortion caused, like for example by projecting onto a convex surface. Consequently the single-axis barrel distortion occurs when projecting on the outside of a cylinder. The distortion can be assuaged with the intelligent use of optical elements, electronic devices or software to counter-distort the picture in the image. It must be noted here that the opposite of barrel distortion is called pin cushioning. By definition barrel distortion is allied with wide angle or minimal zoom lenses and as a result it causes the images to appear spherical or somewhat curved outward. Most digital cameras suffer from this type of distortions especially if it contains a zoom lens. Many professionals mostly because of their unacceptable lens distortions have criticized the consumer digital cameras for this effect.

Next it is time to enquire into the various ways of correcting the problem of barrel distortion in digital cameras. The software named "PhotoBrush" can correct these distortions. It is said that this software has high quality bi-cubic interpolation and as a result the images become both clean and sharp and even get free from any traces that the image was maneuvered. This professional quality function is something that very petite software packages can produce. Further looking into the matter it can be stated that, as per reliable sources, for barrel distortion most digital cameras need be in the range of 10 to 20 promille. A very important note is that barrel distortion correction must be done before any crop or size changes. The reality must be that the barrel correction process should be the very first step on the full image. If the images are cropped and then use barrel correction is done then the effect would be obviously wrong. And the barrel distortion would not get efficiently removed.

Again, a very impressing and good news for the users of digital cameras is that upon most images or photographs of the digital camera the use of the barrel correction is enough, however in some shots it might be necessary to use a method called "perspective correction" to make all the angles 90 degrees. But this is not required in majority of the cases, and may be required for very very specialized and professional photographs.

With the above lines disclosing most of the unknown fact regarding the digital camera barrel distortion in front of the users and novices as well as the new purchasers of the digital camera, it can be expected that the problem would get removed very soon with more and more people becoming aware of it and thereby all its vulnerabilities being exposed. Thus the digital camera would get it true honor.

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