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Generalized Camera Calibration Including Fish-Eye Lenses

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A method is described for accurately calibrating cameras including radial lens distortion, by using known points such as those measured from a calibration fixture. Both the intrinsic and extrinsic parameters are calibrated in a single least-squares adjustment, but provision is made for including old values of the intrinsic parameters in the adjustment. The distortion terms are relative to the optical axis, which is included in the model so that it does not have to be orthogonal to the image sensor plane. These distortion terms represent corrections to the basic lens model, which is a generalization that includes the perspective projection and the ideal fish-eye lens as special cases. The position of the entrance pupil point as a function of off-axis angle also is included in the model. (The complete camera model including all of these effects often is called CAHVORE.) A way of adding decentering distortion also is described. A priori standard deviations can be used to apply weight to given initial approximations (which can be zero) for the distortion terms, for the difference between the optical axis and the perpendicular to the sensor plane, and for the terms representing movement of the entrance pupil, so that the solution for these is well determined when there is insufficient information in the calibration data. For the other parameters, initial approximations needed for the nonlinear least-squares adjustment are obtained in a simple manner from the calibration data and other known information. (Weight can be given to these also, if desired.) Outliers among the calibration points that disagree excessively with the other data are removed by means of automatic editing based on analysis of the residuals. The use of the camera model also is described, including partial derivatives for propagating both from object space to image space and vice versa. These methods were used to calibrate the cameras on the Mars Exploration Rovers.

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Correspondence to Donald B. Gennery.

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Gennery, D.B. Generalized Camera Calibration Including Fish-Eye Lenses. Int J Comput Vision 68, 239–266 (2006).

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