Are changes to 15fps color behavior expected after August SDK pre-release? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • The pre-release SDKs so far automatically drop the color frame rate from the nominal 30fps to 15fps in lower lighting conditions. This uncontrollable behavior often leads to complications or problems for my applications and I gather I'm not alone in finding this a nuisance. I suspect for whatever reason 15fps was introduced (and it would be great to hear about the rationale and see an example that showcases benefits in the sdk), the majority of applications would far rather deal with color frames with a lower exposure than the automatic frame rate variation not found (as far as I know) on any other camera.

    I've experimented with varying lighting level and noticed the switch to 15fps happens when apparently the 30fps image looks fine to the eye just before I drop the light level a touch. The 15fps image then often looks over exposed. The fact that the crossover occurs at what would normally be quite acceptable room lighting makes this behavior doubly perplexing to the developer and likely even more so to end users.

    The simplest solution would be to make 15fps switching on or off an end user option. At least that way we can recommend whether our apps work better when the feature is enabled or disabled. A better solution might be to allow applications to negotiate the frame rate.

    Which leads to my question: are changes planned for the first release of the SDK and runtime?

    Friday, August 29, 2014 12:28 PM

All replies

  • The reason for the 15fps of color is to provide the best fidelity color image possible in low light conditions. This has been a common request to change, but is not something that is planned. Currently there are no user control panel option for Kinect or an exclusive mode options.

    Please provide a detailed summary of your scenario as we can provide that back to the team.

    Carmine Sirignano - MSFT

    Friday, August 29, 2014 5:05 PM
  • My 'scenario' is being able to use the color frame at all when there is movement in front of the Kinect 2. The 15fps mode works fine in static parts of a view but simply yields blurred images of players, faces, hands etc. as soon as there is much in the way of movement.

    In simple example. If I sit a Kinect 1 on top of a Kinect 2 pointing at a scene without enough bright objects to switch the Kinect 2 into 30fps, the noisy 30fps color signal from the Kinect 1 is far more useful for image processing. I can apply various algorithms on noisy data to extract features, process color etc. but with Kinect 2 all I get is blurred moving images with nothing I can do to recover much of value. Incidentally apart from blurring, the 15fps images are often over saturated. 

    The 'team' must be fully aware of the magnitude of the problem its so obvious and was discussed a long time ago. But if you need more detailed information, let me know.

    As far as I can see, we'd all be better off if the automatic uncontrollable 15fps mode was dropped completely if its impossible to give users or developers any control over this and color camera parameters. Have you or the team any example of when the 15fps feature is actually any use?

    Since my original post I've experimented with various lighting levels and scenes and it seems to me that even if there is a use for 15fps in reduced lighting for some applications, at present it kicks in far to early and inappropriately. To the extent I'd call it a BUG. 

    In a corporate office type setting its not too bad. In real world settings furniture or decoration often features darker colors, lighting levels are usually lower than typical office and there may be dark corners to throw an average measurement. Upshot being the Kinect 2 currently drops to 15fps in situations where 30fps would work fine. It seems that applications of Kinect in locations such as home lounge, home office, shops, museums etc. are being hampered by some abstract notion of 'best fidelity color image' that yields few practical benefits while costing a lot of grief.

    In short if its too late to provide control over the color stream and for some reason unsatisfactory to disable the feature entirely I urge the team to reduce sensitivity to allow 30fps in a range of real world locations.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014 12:15 PM
  • Was there any movement on this?

    15fps mode is crap :(

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015 11:10 AM
  • Nope, no changes so far unfortunately.


    Wednesday, July 1, 2015 11:38 AM