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Fake background blur on camera-phones

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ps: this is partly in respond to magic's confusion on current vs previous HW vs SW tech in photography... and also partly related to the OP's topic... recently Topaz AI (SWs from Topaz Labs) got into my radar, its quite amazing SW at image recovery in general, and to my current definition, its a magic bunch of softwares, implementing AI model/database into otherwise classical method of image enhancement/enlargement/noise reduction... (the most surprising to me is Topaz Gigapixel AI at recovering blurry face into sharper and enlarged size... but thats off topic) the sample picture below was taken using Canon EOS 7D Mk2 @ ISO 6400 @ lens 17mm f/2.8... before.jpg is cropped portion of image, unscaled after what i guess as the best camera's built-in algorithm at reducing image's noise out of the 20Mpx APS-C sensor.. after.jpg is further enhancement using Topaz Denoise AI... the improvement imho is significant, although there are still imperfection to the AI algortihm, we still can see sort of aliasing somewhere... if you think noise problem is only for astronomers? try shooting an event in large ballroom with dark paint on every walls without your own artificial lighting and without full frame sensor at hand, high iso and less noisy pictures can really usefull!... my point is if such AI algorithm can be implemented real time in small sensor camera such as smartphones and even smaller sensor dedicated camera such as APS-C format, better (perceived) image quality or larger Mpx size can be achieved further... but this magic AI software has GBytes of installation and model files, so i believe currently its only for powerful PC and not real time. what i would like to see is Topaz "Fake Blur Backround" AI algorithm to get better fake-blur background :P but then currently there is no yet can beat real optic blur, hence i'm getting a used Canon 85mm f/1.2 because of that, after many years playing with less fast f/2.8 zoom lenses...

Didn't know that there are stars inside oscilloscopes :P

That's actually quite a good job of denoising.


--- Quote from: steve30 on March 09, 2023, 08:30:02 am ---That's actually quite a good job of denoising.

--- End quote ---
there is no free lunch, every denoise algorithms will kill away some details as magic described last year about the "flatten" sky, older point and shoot (no-denoiser, ie alot of random color noises, but no flattened sky) vs modern smartphone/camera (with denoiser built-in, less apparent noise, esp color noise, but with flattened sky), similar to when trying to recover original data from lossy compression, its impossible. modern AI algorithm seems capable of doing it, but imho its just an illusion, a try and guess and assume method of what it was. Topaz can produce some funny faces (not me and not who the people i know) when original file is excessively noisy or blurry than what the algorithm "expects"... normal users usually wouldnt notice until they compare the picture with more expensive larger sensor dedicated camera (dslr), no noise and sharper optics. ymmv.

It's doing good job on large flat areas, but that's an easy job. And I guess it's also doing a good job of detecting such areas.

On areas with more busy detail it seems to switch to sharpening and only makes noise worse. The grilles of the equipment look ugly.

There is some sort of paper or cloth on the lower piece and it got some texture on it which is probably just noise amplified by the processing.

The text "keyboard" changed to "kθyboard", which would be a meaningful error in "serious" applications like text recognition or machine vision.
There is a blurry and noisy red text on a book or box in the bottom right corner, turned into meaningless curved lines. "Fake it and maybe you'll make it".

Overall contrast of the image was increased too. The white metal construction is brighter, I think parts of it are blown out, even.

Next time you could also produce a longer exposure shot at lower ISO for reference, to compare the "enhanced" image against reality.


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