It will definitely change some areas of photography (sports?).
Here is the paper:
There is also a picture of their prototype "Light Field Camera" in use. On their web site they promise "portable and stylish enough to bring along, from the beach to the bistro".
Last edited by 100LL; 23-06-2011 at 04:04 PM.
I guess at the end of the day, this device isn't going take anything away from photography. It's still going to be difficult to take a good photograph.
I see more practical applications in industrial use, i.e, surveying & mapping, police & military etc., assuming they license out the technology.
Very interesting paper. In honesty, I understood about 65% of it.
Interestingly, they do not make any claims over the size of the data, but TigerSun is correct. Its treatment of light is very sophisticated. What is particulary impressive is the claim over sharpening. A shot taken at f.22 on a conventional camera is blown out of the water by a shot taken at f.4 on the new camera. I can't get my head around *why*, but I suppose that's nothing to feel ashamed about. I am a lawyer, not a physicist.
It is also interesting that the used very fine pieces of equipment to test on - an MF photo sensor.
@Lucky and Vinyl: You do realize that setting focal spot in camera during shot, and setting focal spot in photo after shot (post processing) is basically one in the same for this tech. So you still set the focal point and depth of field "as you see it", but instead of hitting it perfectly in camera, you can make slight [or huge] adjustments post processing.
im really confused how you can think that professionals would hate this. its like when professionals claimed they would hate digital, then they flocked to it for its ease of use and reduced cost and improved efficiency as the quality improved.
this is making the post processing one step more advanced in achieving your top-quality shot "as you saw it". You may claim you are OK and satisfied with losing X amount of shots out of 12 as a natural process of photography, but I can tell you many more "professionals" and consumers hate it, especially when that shot that mis-focused was the shot of their new born first walking, or their clients first wedding kiss, or their million dollar museum shot.
this technology is in its infancy, but give it time and you will be wondering how you lived without it.
Last edited by BenderBends; 24-06-2011 at 09:13 AM.
You will have to direct me to the function in Photoshop that lets you refocus an image already taken as well. I find that very hard to believe. Are you mistaking this with the centre spot soft focus?
As I said, I doubt the pros will use it to "refocus" their shots. They are an awful lot better than me so will miss their shots less. If they miss their shots as much as I do (or more), then I doubt they are very "pro". For the P+S customer, one shot out of the million mundane shots they take will be of their child walking. I suppose it may have a function here, but given how good spot focussing is nowadays, the likelihood that you point a decent p+s at your child in the frame and the camera does not focus correctly is small.
People keep harking on about digital -v- film. This is not anything like that. The appropriate comparison would be photography pre-2011 -v- photography post 2011.
The change in technology happens in the optics - in the very fabric of how the camera functions. You could stick a film instead of a processor there are the benefits (in terms of light treatment) are still there. You stick a computer into the mix and you can do even more (like change the focus).
After having had the benefit of reading the briefing note (as suggested by Tigersun) I am not decrying this foul new technology. I did previously suggest that efficiency of sharpening is very interesting. It may be something more relevant to pros too.
Also, the other thing I want to reiterate is that I still think these files will be huge. I imagine that there will be two "quality" settings. One contenvional one which will determine the flat size of the image (e.g. 300 x 200 pixels). The other I suspect will be how many "steps" or "distances" for the depth - the highest quality having no "step" between focus points. Given that the technology relating to recording the images is not being changed, I cannot see how they will avoid enormous files. The data will be the equivalent to many tens, hundreds or even thousands of conventional photos all stuck together. Maybe someone can crack that, too, whilst they're at it!
Yeah but who wants a one dimensional 15 mb photo or a 15 mb muilti dimensional photo? Anyway I am just generalising which is taboo here but the technology is pretty amazing none the least.
Ng insists that the file size will be roughly comparable to the average size of todays digital photos. Also, if they would actually store "the equivalent to many tens, hundreds or even thousands of conventional photos", then the examples on their web sites (on which we all clicked around) would be huge, wouldn't they? (even with their lower resolution)