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10.1 Display in the Imaging Chain

So far, this book has focused on the part of the imaging chain that forms the image created by the digital camera as well as the processing to enhance that information. The next step of the imaging chain is the display of the image in a manner that allows the users to visualize and interpret the information (Fig. 10.1). In this chapter, we will focus on the image quality aspects of displaying the image. The display media will alter the quality of the image displayed, although it does not alter the original data captured by the camera. The user generally has control over the image quality associated with viewing the images on a display and can optimize the quality with proper lighting and calibration.

If the display media, e.g., film or computer monitor, is well characterized, the image-enhancement processing can be applied before the image is displayed to remove this task from the user. However, most current digital images are viewed on computer monitors that have dramatically different image quality effects on the images being viewed; thus, the image-enhancement processing is usually performed while the image is being displayed, in order to properly account for the display quality.

Modeling the display element of the imaging chain requires knowledge of the display system that will be used,1 i.e., the processing, video card, and monitor specifications, in order to properly model the blurring, contrast, and brightness effects that will be imposed on the image. Unfortunately, such a wide variety of display systems is available that we will limit our discussion here to the general display properties that impact image quality. Although color display quality is very important for viewing color images, we will also limit our discussion here to the display attributes that affect both black-and-white and color images.

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