An algorithm is proposed for the spectral and colorimetric characterization of digital still cameras (DSC) which allows them to be used as tele-colorimeters with CIE–XYZ color output, in cd/m2. The spectral characterization consists in the calculation of the color-matching functions from the previously measured spectral sensitivities. The colorimetric characterization consists in transforming the raw RGB digital data into absolute tristimulus values CIE–XYZ (in cd/m2) under variable and unknown spectroradiometric conditions. Thus, in the first stage, a gray balance was applied over the raw RGB digital data to convert them into RGB relative colorimetric values. In the second stage, an algorithm of luminance adaptation versus lens aperture was inserted in the basic colorimetric profile. Capturing the ColorChecker chart under different light sources, and comparing the estimated XYZ data according to the developed color model in relation to the measured XYZ data (in cd/m2) using a telespectroradiometer, we verified that the proposed characterization model may be broken down into two portions. Firstly, there is the basic colorimetric profile in combination with the new luminance adaptation algorithm. Secondly, there is the linear correction term due only to the mismatch of the color matching functions of the camera. Although the linear color correction term works relatively well, despite the imposed initial conditions (unknown spectral content of the scene), the separation of the proposed characterization model into two portions (raw and corrected performance) would allow the future comparison of various commercial cameras.This research was supported by the Comisión Interministerial de Ciencia y Tecnología (CICYT) (Spain) under grant TAP99-0856 and by the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (Spain) under grant DPI2002-00118
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