The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-2
30 May 2018
 | 30 May 2018


E. K. Webb, S. Robson, L. MacDonald, D. Garside, and R. Evans

Keywords: Spectral imaging, image-based 3D reconstruction, cultural heritage, camera characterisation, image quality

Abstract. Spectral and 3D imaging techniques are used for museum imaging and cultural heritage documentation providing complementary information to aid in documenting the condition, informing the care, and increasing our understanding of objects. Specialised devices for spectral and 3D imaging may not be accessible for many heritage institutions, due to cost and complexity, and the modification of a consumer digital camera presents the potential of an accessible scientific tool for 2D and 3D spectral imaging. Consumer digital cameras are optimised for visible light, colour photography, but the underlying sensor is inherently sensitive to near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared radiation. This research presents the characterisation of a modified camera to investigate the impact of the modification on the spectroradiometric and geometric image quality with the intention of the device being used as a scientific tool for cultural heritage documentation. The characterisation includes the assessment of 2D image quality looking at visual noise, sharpness, and sampling efficiency using the target and software associated with the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative. Results suggest that these modifications give rise to discrepancies in computed surface geometries of the order of ± 0.1 mm for small to medium sized objects used in the study and recorded in the round (maximum dimension 20 cm). Measuring the spectral response quantifies the modified camera as a scientific device for more accurate measurements and provides indications of wavelengths that could improve documentation based on sensitivity. The modification of a consumer digital camera provides a less expensive, high-resolution option for 2D and 3D spectral imaging.