PhotoAcute (found on Engadget) is software that improves the resolution of Symbian cameraphones, specifically the Nokia 3650, 3660 and 6600. What it does is takes 4 640×480 pictures in rapid succession, then creates a 1280×960 picture by averaging out the CCD noise. The idea isn’t new – MIT has a Super-resolution project that cleans up video – but this is an innovative use of it.
I downloaded the trial and here are the results:
A normal photo (640×480)
A PhotoAcute processed photo (1280×960)
Processed photo resized (640×480)
I think that the software does what it says it does, and the processed image does look better than the original, especially if you were to zoom the original.
There are problems, however. For one, the user interface looks like it was created in MS Paint. Also you have to hold the camera steady for a few seconds while it takes pictures; to its credit it appears to compensate for shake (the above picture was taken without anything steadying the phone). Once your picture is taken, you have to process the image, which takes several minutes. To their credit, they let you choose when you want to process the image so that you can continue taking pictures.
If you have one of the supported phones, you should at least download the trial and try it for yourself. I will probably be buying this software in the near future, especially if they announce that they’re making the UI less confusing.
I added a third picture, the processed photo resized to the size of the original so you can compare the detail of both.

One response to “PhotoAcute”

  1. davidissimo says:

    I took the images you took of Lil ‘Stevie and tried to clean them up a bit, and while I agreed there is an improvement, bottom line is that the resolution/clarity still stinks. So I think $25 is a lot for slight improvement. Camera phones are surely getting better, but they are still about gist, don’t you think?

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