International Journal of Computer Vision

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 141–162

Depth from Defocus vs. Stereo: How Different Really Are They?

  • Yoav Y. Schechner
  • Nahum Kiryati

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008175127327

Cite this article as:
Schechner, Y.Y. & Kiryati, N. International Journal of Computer Vision (2000) 39: 141. doi:10.1023/A:1008175127327


Depth from Focus (DFF) and Depth from Defocus (DFD) methods are theoretically unified with the geometric triangulation principle. Fundamentally, the depth sensitivities of DFF and DFD are not different than those of stereo (or motion) based systems having the same physical dimensions. Contrary to common belief, DFD does not inherently avoid the matching (correspondence) problem. Basically, DFD and DFF do not avoid the occlusion problem any more than triangulation techniques, but they are more stable in the presence of such disruptions. The fundamental advantage of DFF and DFD methods is the two-dimensionality of the aperture, allowing more robust estimation. We analyze the effect of noise in different spatial frequencies, and derive the optimal changes of the focus settings in DFD. These results elucidate the limitations of methods based on depth of field and provide a foundation for fair performance comparison between DFF/DFD and shape from stereo (or motion) algorithms.

Defocus depth from focus depth of field depth sensing range imaging shape from X stereo triangulation 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoav Y. Schechner
    • 1
  • Nahum Kiryati
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringTechnion—Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Electrical Engineering-Systems, Faculty of EngineeringTel-Aviv UniversityRamat AvivIsrael

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