Evaluation of modern camera calibration techniques for conventional diagnostic X-ray imaging settings

Radiol Phys Technol. 2017 Mar;10(1):68-81. doi: 10.1007/s12194-016-0369-y. Epub 2016 Jul 18.


We explore three different alternatives for obtaining intrinsic and extrinsic parameters in conventional diagnostic X-ray frameworks: the direct linear transform (DLT), the Zhang method, and the Tsai approach. We analyze and describe the computational, operational, and mathematical background differences for these algorithms when they are applied to ordinary radiograph acquisition. For our study, we developed an initial 3D calibration frame with tin cross-shaped fiducials at specific locations. The three studied methods enable the derivation of projection matrices from 3D to 2D point correlations. We propose a set of metrics to compare the efficiency of each technique. One of these metrics consists of the calculation of the detector pixel density, which can be also included as part of the quality control sequence in general X-ray settings. The results show a clear superiority of the DLT approach, both in accuracy and operational suitability. We paid special attention to the Zhang calibration method. Although this technique has been extensively implemented in the field of computer vision, it has rarely been tested in depth in common radiograph production scenarios. Zhang's approach can operate on much simpler and more affordable 2D calibration frames, which were also tested in our research. We experimentally confirm that even three or four plane-image correspondences achieve accurate focal lengths.

Keywords: Conventional X-ray camera calibration; Detector resolution; Direct linear transform; Intrinsic and extrinsic parameters; Tsai’s approach; Zhang’s method.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Calibration
  • Radiography / instrumentation
  • Radiography / methods*