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A good camera for those who lack focus
Posted: 23 October 2011 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15383516

Camera can snap now, focus later

A digital camera that allows photographers to focus their pictures after taking them has gone on sale.

Rather than recording a single version of an image, the Lytro captures data about the intensity and direction of all the light entering its lenses.

That information can be reorganised later with the option to change which parts are blurred and which are sharp.

The “light field” technology was developed by company founder Ren Ng while he was at Stanford University.

It is, in some ways, analogous to the practice of shooting RAW images with a current generation digital camera.

In that example, the device records all of the light falling on its sensor without running it through processes such as colour balancing or sharpening. These can be applied later on a computer.

Similarly, by recording the light field passing through many tiny micro-lenses in the Lytro, the action of merging these to create a single flat image can be applied as a post-production effect.

The phrase light field was coined by Russian scientist Alexander Gershun in 1936. Work on developing capture mechanisms began to gain momentum during the 1980s and 1990s.

On its website, Lytro has published Mr Ng’s 2006 university PhD thesis outlining his approach, which ultimately led to the commercial product.

In a press statement, Mr Ng said: “Light field photography was once only possible with 100 cameras tethered to a supercomputer in a lab.

The Lytro’s image sensor is capable of capturing, according to the company, 11 megarays of data.

However, it is understood that megarays do not translate to megapixels, and final image quality may be considerably less than that of conventional digital cameras.

The camera is also capable of producing 3D images, a feature which will be added at a later date.

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Posted: 24 October 2011 06:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Erik and I were talking about this one yesterday and to be honest I’d love to have one.  When you’re taking macro shots with a typical ‘good’ camera, the closest thing to the lens is the one the camera recognizes even if the human eye can barely, if at all, even discern that it’s there.  With this camera you can refocus, after the fact, on what your actual intended target was when you clicked the shutter.

But this also reminds me of all the CSI and other detective shows where a blurred person is off in the background and special software has to begin ‘resolutioning’ it line by line because you just know that’s the perpetrator, but hours go by as the resolving imaging software works and the image clarifies itself in just little slices!

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Posted: 24 October 2011 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Accipiter - 23 October 2011 10:37 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15383516

Camera can snap now, focus later

The Lytro’s image sensor is capable of capturing, according to the company, 11 megarays of data.

However, it is understood that megarays do not translate to megapixels, and final image quality may be considerably less than that of conventional digital cameras.

Sounds like interesting technology.  I can think of a few applications for something like this.  However I’m not sure how much is “considerably less” but I suspect most professional photographers will want to be waiting until they can improve the resolution to something approximating a good digital camera today.

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