Imaging in low light is challenging due to low photon count and low SNR. Short-exposure images suffer from noise, while long exposure can lead to blurry images and is often impractical. A variety of denoising, deblurring, and enhancement techniques have been proposed, but their effectiveness is limited in extreme conditions, such as video-rate imaging at night. To support the development of learning-based pipelines for low-light image processing, we introduce a dataset of raw short-exposure nighttime images, with corresponding long-exposure reference images.
Using the presented dataset, we develop a pipeline for processing low-light images, based on end-to-end training of a fully convolutional network. The network operates directly on raw sensor data and replaces much of the traditional image-processing pipeline, which tends to perform poorly on such data. We report promising results on the new dataset, analyze factors that affect performance, and highlight opportunities for future work.
University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign Intel Labs