New Google software retouches your photos before you’ve even taken them

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We all want to take better photos and it appears that Google have come up with a new feature that will make your photos look more professional – before you have even taken them.

The feature allows users to improve photos in real-time, so they appear on your device’s screen whilst you are lining up the shot.

Of course, touching up photos is not new, it is something that you can do on most camera apps, but this feature is unique as it allows you to touch up images before they have been shot.

IMAGE: MIT

The key is in improving how high-dynamic-range images are processed, meaning that they appear on screens without lagging. This is what researchers at Google and MIT have managed to achieve.

In practice, low-resolution images are used as a base and the effects are added to the image. This means that it takes one-tenth of the processing power as processing full resolution ones.

Jon Barron, a Google researcher said that the new system could be applied to mobile phones.

“This technology has the potential to be very useful for real-time image enhancement on mobile platforms,” says Barron.

“Using machine learning for computational photography is an exciting prospect but is limited by the severe computational and power constraints of mobile phones. This paper may provide us with a way to sidestep these issues and produce new, compelling, real-time photographic experiences without draining your battery or giving you a laggy viewfinder experience.”

The program used 5,000 photographs that had been touched up by five professional photographers. The program could learn different methods of improving images such as adjusting brightness and the colour saturation.

This is not the first time Google have used machine-learning as it was used on Google Street View to mimic professional photographers and apps such as Prisma interpret images in the style of famous artists.

Most of the high-end smartphone cameras use dual cameras which can add depth effect or “bokeh” effect that is then processed by a program within the smartphone.

Via: The Verge

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