Face-Imaging Software

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ChrisGreaves
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Face-Imaging Software

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I think that’s what it is called. My camera is a cheap Nikon Coolpix S3600 and I carry it with me to take photographs of stuff around town; most of those photos end up in these web pages and web pages of mine.
It works for me.

This week I was taking photos of two friends; the usual stuff – tell them where to stand, press the shutter half-way down and wait for the camera to signal that it is focused with that little green-lined square, then press all the way to take the shot.

I noticed that no matter the background of the shot, the order of the ladies (left-right or right-left) that the little green square always focused on one specific lady.

Presumably her face best satisfies the face-recognition software inside the camera.
Presumably the face-recognition software inside the camera is programmed in such a way that ratios of eye-to-nose or hairline-to-jam and so on are fed into an algorithm and of all the objects within view THIS one best satisfies the algorithm, so the little green-lined square outlines THAT shape.

And of course THAT shape satisfies the algorithm no matter the background or the order of the subjects.

So what do I have here? Can I use this camera to choose the prettiest lady in the crowd? Can women use this camera to select the best hunk?

I wish I had taken a shot with the ladies against a background that included a poster of Marilyn Monroe (or <your favorite star here>).

I have noticed too that when I take a photo of an article in the newspaper, the camera often green-line-squares the columnist’s head-and-shoulders shot that is at the top of the column.

Perhaps I should assemble a montage of all the columnists in today’s Toronto Star and run myself a beauty competition.
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Rudi
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by Rudi »

ChrisGreaves wrote:Perhaps I should assemble a montage of all the columnists in today’s Toronto Star and run myself a beauty competition.
:laugh:

Here is two fairly useful pages that explain how a camera picks up on faces (not just pretty ones)...

- How face detection works
- How Facial Recognition Systems Work
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Rudi wrote:Here are two fairly useful pages that explain how a camera picks up on faces (not just pretty ones)...
Thanks Rudi.

I'm still pondering the political correctness of owning a camera that selects an appropriate mate for me ...
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by Rudi »

I just happened to read this article an hour or so before your post...
(Just banter, nothing that explains how this tech works!)
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Argus
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by Argus »

Ehm, I do not use that feature, but just tried; one simple HTC phone here can keep track of several faces, at least 6. Not much help to find there ... if I wanted. :smile: And it doesn't tell us anything about your camera; perhaps it has some nifty algorithm to find, eh, what you are looking for. But if it works as most algorithms, say a search engine, I guess the result depends quite a bit on the context, the keywords, or the input. :grin: (You are pretty much asking the same question several times, just doing some rearranging in between. :grin:)
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by John Gray »

Possibly the non-favoured lady had a face worse than death?!
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by Rudi »

Like this....
Like this....jpg
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by stuck »

I index all my digital pics with Google's Picasa. The face recognition feature in there is pretty good and automatically tags names to the faces it finds but not so automatically that it picks the wrong name. If it can't decide it leaves you to chose. Also, out of the thousands of pictures it holds it has only ever picked out two or three patterns/shadows/shapes that are not actually faces.

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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by BobH »

We recently upgraded to iPhone 6 and an iPad Air. I was amazed at the improvement in quality of photos taken with them over iPhone 5. The smartphone takes pictures at least as good as the point and shoot digicams I've used and better than most.

Chris, it might be time for a technology upgrade so that you can leave your CoolPix at home. :flee:
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by stuck »

BobH wrote:...time for a technology upgrade so that you can leave your CoolPix at home.
:hmmn: Sorry but I just can't see how a smartphone camera can ever compete with the quality of a dedicated camera unless said camera is a really poor model. As far as I can see, although it is a cheap camera, the Coolpix S3600 is not a poor camera. The lens on the Nikon would have to be pretty dire not to form a better image than the tiny bit of glass that is the lens in a smartphone.

Mind you I've never used a smartphone and the point & shoot Nikon my wife uses is several models up on the S3600 so my theory could be way off.

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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by HansV »

Since taking photos and videos is very important to many smartphone users, a lot of research goes into making the most of the limited resources of a smartphone camera. I have seen some amazing pictures taken with a smartphone, so Bob's claim doesn't seem so outrageous to me. An SLR, on the other hand, is in a different league...
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by stuck »

HansV wrote:An SLR, on the other hand, is in a different league...
Ah but even one of those doesn't help with 'operator error' - I've got hundreds of junk pictures to prove it :laugh:

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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by HansV »

That's another story - a good photographer will be able to take good pictures with a mediocre camera, and anyone can make horrible photos with the most expensive camera...
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Argus
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by Argus »

I agree that a lot of research and development has been done on the camera tech we see in phones; the downside, still, I think is being less versatile and not as good in dark or poorly lit environments. That said, I think it's easy to be impressed with what phones can do nowadays.

But then there is not only compact vs SLR (or DSLR) there can be quite some difference among the compact cameras (and compact mirror-less with interchangeable lens). If you compare, for example, some common and capable compact cameras in the midrange Sony RX100 (I, II or III); Panasonic LX7; Fujifilm X10, X20, X30; Olympus XZ-10 (and some of these are a bit "old") with Nikon's S3600 I think you'll find that the latter is more of a typical "point and shooter" with CCD sensor, and, for example, JPEG only; on the other hand they cost, maybe, 3-5 times more (and then there are even better compacts that may cost twice that amount).

(As most know nowadays pixels isn't everything, for example 20 vs 12 MP, the size of sensor is of course important, but also what type, CMOS/BSI-CMOS in more recent, or CCD; I guess they have different advantages. Take a look at for example this video with a Pansonic Lumix LX100; "only" 13 MP, but with a 4/3 CMOS sensor; true it's a big compact, and heavy, compared, but with a very fast lens.)

BTW, on topic, when reading some review of S3600 I noticed that it has a couple of different modes that may have a connection to what Chris mentioned in the OP:
The COOLPIX S3600 has no fewer than five AF area modes, more than is usual for a camera in this class and enough to cope with nearly any situation, though, as you'd expect, there's no manual focus option. Face priority works well when people are within a few metres of the camera in good light. If there are no faces in the frame it defaults to the nine-area AF system which it uses to focus on the subject closest to the camera. Alternatively you can manually select the focus area from one of 99 positions using the multi-selector to move the frame around a 9x11 grid, or set a central focus point.

The COOLPIX S3600 includes the target finding AF feature introduced on the COOLPIX S8200 back in 2011. This identifies both human and non-human subjects in the frame when the camera is pointed at a scene. Potential subjects are identified and tracked with green rectangles. If you're shooting people, face recognition is probably a better choice of AF modes, but target finding does seem to have an uncanny knack for picking the main subject in a scene which for some situations is a real improvement on the nine-area AF mode.
If I understand this correctly, it could be that you are using "target finding AF" instead of "face detection"; on page 58 in the manual, about face detection, it says:
When the camera detects more than one face, the double border (focus area) is displayed around the face that is focused on and single borders around the others.
On page 60, about target finding AF, it says:
The camera detects the main subject and focuses on it. When the subject is in focus, the focus area glows green. If a human face is detected, the camera automatically sets focus priority on it.
Just a thought.
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by stuck »

HansV wrote:...anyone can make horrible photos with the most expensive camera...
:grin: One of the photos I took during the eclipse is a seriously underexposed shot of the grass I was stood on. On the plus side though it is in focus :laugh:

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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by StuartR »

I want one of these cameras

Maybe I shouldn't have posted that link because now you'll all take part in the competition, reducing my chances of winning.
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by HansV »

Don't worry - you have to be registered and logged in to read that article...
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by Rudi »

StuartR wrote:I want one of these cameras
Amazing camera!!!

- Lytro Home Page
- Lytro Review (The Verge)
- Youtube Video Demo
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by Argus »

Thanks for doing the OT search for us ...
(I did notice after my first post that we are not in Scuttle (though we tend to end up there), that's why I tried to add a possible explanation to what was mentioned in the OP in my second post.)
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Re: Face-Imaging Software

Post by ChrisGreaves »

ChrisGreaves wrote:I think that’s what it is called...
... and then from NYCity Today today:-
"An innovative 'smart' facial recognition cane for the visually impaired will probably be available on the market in the near future. The cane gives visually-impaired people the ability to identify their family and friends instantly."
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