The performance of direct and unwrapped phase retrieval, which combines digital holography with the transport of intensity, is examined in detail in this paper. In this technique, digital holography is used to numerically reconstruct the intensities at different planes around the image plane, and phase retrieval is achieved by the transport of intensity. Digital holography with transport of intensity is examined for inline and off-axis geometries. The effect of twin images in the inline case is evaluated. Phase-shifting digital holography with transport of intensity is introduced. The performance of digital holography with transport of intensity is compared with traditional off-axis single- and dual-wavelength techniques, which employ standard phase unwrapping algorithms. Simulations and experiments are performed to determine and compare the accuracy of phase retrieval through a mean-squared-error figure of merit as well as the computational speeds of the various methods.
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