Resolution loss without imaging blur

Tali Treibitz, Yoav Y. Schechner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Image recovery under noise is widely studied. However, there is little emphasis on performance as a function of object size. In this work we analyze the probability of recovery as a function of object spatial frequency. The analysis uses a physical model for the acquired signal and noise, and also accounts for potential postacquisition noise filtering. Linear-systems analysis yields an effective cutoff frequency, which is induced by noise, despite having no optical blur in the imaging model. This means that a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in images causes resolution loss, similar to image blur. We further consider the effect on SNR of pointwise image formation models, such as added specular or indirect reflections, additive scattering, radiance attenuation in haze, and flash photography. The result is a tool that assesses the ability to recover (within a desirable success rate) an object or feature having a certain size, distance from the camera, and radiance difference from its nearby background, per attenuation coefficient of the medium. The bounds rely on the camera specifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1528
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21601089), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20160941), the Six Talent Peaks Project of Jiangsu Province in China (R2016L09), and the Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of NUIST.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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