I am currently working to calibrate a camera and I tried using both the Caltech Camera Calibration Toolbox for Matlab and OpenCV. I used the same images for both methods. Even if the error seems to be more or less the same between the two methods, the values don't quite match, especially the distortion coefficients
Calibration results after optimization (with uncertainties): Focal Length: fc = [ 1475.06776 1474.34956 ] +/- [ 1.30130 1.28283 ] Principal point: cc = [ 967.66660 535.09387 ] +/- [ 1.44019 1.23663 ] Skew: alpha_c = [ 0.00000 ] +/- [ 0.00000 ] => angle of pixel axes = 90.00000 +/- 0.00000 degrees Distortion: kc = [ 0.06844 -0.15582 0.00049 0.00021 0.00000 ] +/- [ 0.00235 0.00641 0.00028 0.00035 0.00000 ] Pixel error: err = [ 0.64754 0.45951 ] Note: The numerical errors are approximately three times the standard deviations (for reference).
and OpenCV results
RMS: 0.40118611304523083 Camera matrix: [[1.46405121e+03 0.00000000e+00 9.64151487e+02] [0.00000000e+00 1.46362963e+03 5.35514933e+02] [0.00000000e+00 0.00000000e+00 1.00000000e+00]] Distortion coefficients: [[ 2.27565390e-01 -1.22470407e+00 3.58771830e-04 -4.77602117e-04 1.96274452e+00]]
I understand that there are differences between the two methods (e.g. corner extraction method) so I shouldn't expect exactly the same results, but the difference still looks significant to me. I tried taking more images of my chessboard tilted at different angles, but the values and the errors don't vary that much.
I am mostly surprised by the difference in the distortion coefficients, as they have orders of difference. If I undistort the chessboard images using the values from the two calibrations, they both look reasonable even if the OpenCV one shows more barrell correction.
My guess is that since the camera does not have too much distortion to start with the two methods converge to different solutions. My question is, is there a way to determine which of these two calibration gives the "best" result? Would they be both acceptable even if they are clearly different?