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It is know that digital camera is not the best device for quantitative measurements. However, it is often used in all sorts of atmospheric physics research, maily due to:

  • Low cost and availability. This is inevitable especially in amateur research
  • Large field of view
  • Technical simplicity of analysing the output data

All the articles I know emphasise that additional care is necessary when it comes to camera settings.

I wonder if anyone knows some good resources with tips on performing quantitative measurements with camera. It doesn't need to be an article devoted to the topic - lots of useful information can be found e.g. in appendices to articles.

Examples of information I'm thinking of:

  • Relevance of image compression type
  • Tips on camera settings: ISO, white balance
  • Is the type of image sensor relevant (CCD, CMOS)
  • Dependance of RGB on the actual intensity (I experimented to find a power dependance in large intensity region correct for my camera, I wonder if there is a resource describing that for different devices)
  • Obtaining the wavelength from the RGB data
  • Correcting aberrations and the angle-dependance of lens transmittance
  • Any reason to worry about the noise?
  • Wavelength range of camera sensibility

Ideally I'd love this thread to become a useful collection of resources, so please post any links you find relevant to the topic, even if they have very narrow field of expertise.

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closed as not constructive by David Z Aug 29 '12 at 19:55

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Hi malina - these sorts of posts where you are just looking to accumulate a list are not really appropriate for this site. As the FAQ says, we prefer specific, targeted questions. That being said, this could be fine with some rewording; for example, if you were to directly ask what settings need to be used on a digital camera to perform a certain type of measurement, it might be a fine question, and in that case I would be happy to reopen this. – David Z Aug 29 '12 at 19:57
Also reasonable would be asking about the experimental procedures that might be possible to measure just one of these factors. I'm thinking of a [home-experiment] question on, say, the response curves of the camera as a function of wavelength. In a well equipped lab it would be possible to get many well defined sources. That is a bit harder in a home setting. – dmckee Aug 29 '12 at 22:35
If there are papers out there on these matters then this question could be usefully recast as a [reference-request]. If anyone knows of one, just flag and we'll figure out how to proceed. – dmckee Aug 29 '12 at 22:36
I think the general statement that digital cameras are not good measurement devices is not correct. They are very good for certain measurements and less suitable for other measurements (e.g. absolute photon count measurements). That can be somewhat fixed by using appropriate calibration procedures, which, of course, takes a lot of work like any other precision measurement. And sometimes a CCD sensor is simply not the right way to go and then you need a different (and usually much more expensive) sensor. C'est la vie. – CuriousOne Apr 26 at 20:52