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  #1  
Old June 25th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Default Exciting new mode of photography

The New York Times reports that Lytro, Inc. has announced the imminent emergence of a revolutionary new type of camera, the "light field camera".

In our familiar cameras, the suite of rays from the points on the scene that enter via the lens' entrance pupil are manipulated by the lens, based on the focus setting, to produce an in-focus image of the objects at a certain distance, and a "misfocused" image of all the objects at other distances.

Clearly, the information to produce an in-focus image of any object resides in that suite of rays, else we could not focus the camera at different distances while the entrance pupil took in the same suite of rays.

In the light field camera, the suite of rays is (purportedly) captured verbatim in digital form. Then, in postprocessing, we can manipulate that data as the lens would have, at our choice of focus settings, producing an in-focus image for objects at any distance we choose. In fact, it seems almost certain that we could choose to have different portions of the field of view treated as if focused at different distances, producing a composite delivered image with main subject, background objects, and foreground objects all in perfect focus. And we could rework this source data at a later time with different aspirations.

Here is a link to an online piece on the announcement:

http://allthingsd.com/20110621/meet-...mera-industry/

Here is a link to the doctoral dissertation (Stanford) of Ren Ng, inventor of the scheme and CEO of Lytro, which I expect will give considerable insight into the scheme.

http://www.lytro.com/renng-thesis.pdf

I plan to examine it at length as soon as pressure of other business allows.

It is an exciting prospect.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #2  
Old June 25th, 2011, 12:57 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Doug,

This is not at all new. It's been around for some time. Adobe has a lens like that. Essentially one is wasting the real estate for a lens with a collection of lesser lenses to rebuild the entire image.

Asher
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  #3  
Old June 25th, 2011, 01:28 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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This type of cameras is already available here. The price tag is a bit high for enthusiasts.

Michael
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  #4  
Old June 25th, 2011, 03:15 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Hi, Michael,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nagel View Post
This type of cameras is already available here. The price tag is a bit high for enthusiasts.
Very interesting. Thanks for the link.

Looks like the basic work was done in 1908!

Ng's work is also cited in their "presentation".

What goes around comes around!

Best regards,

Doug
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  #5  
Old June 26th, 2011, 02:28 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Hi Doug,

you are welcome.

Let's see when the camera from Lytro will become available.
I see the main merit of their approach in aiming for a compact camera design which could be in a price range putting it in reach for more people.

Raytrix could modify e.g. a 5D MKII for you now, but the price tag will be high...

The idea of a Light field dates back to 1846 (Michael Faraday) and looking at the different steps shown in the presentation of Raytrix (why the quotes?) and the list of references at the end of NG's article points to an evolutionary character of the plenoptic camera development over the last century. There are a few things which became easier with the availability of decent computing power recently.

The buzz created should also be seen under the point of view, that Lytro will need some venture capital to get the job done...

Best regards,
Michael
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  #6  
Old June 26th, 2011, 03:08 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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I don't get it. Compact camera users want to shoot and upload, preferably within the minute. They're not going to sit around fixing the focus point on each image when the race is on to upload to facebook and tag before your friends. Don't believe me? Ask your teenage daughters... :-)
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  #7  
Old June 26th, 2011, 03:25 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Ben, this would be the plenoptic camera for smartphones. We are not there yet...
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  #8  
Old June 27th, 2011, 04:03 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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I am wondering about the resolution of modern sensors and how this would compete for a similar setup.

Interesting to see how this develops. Lot of hype in the NYT for this technology. I want to see
what I get and for how much and when. I want to travel to the stars too! I have read about various doable propulsion systems.

Hurry up boys/gals, let me play amonst the stars;and micro lenses too.
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  #9  
Old June 28th, 2011, 07:11 AM
jake klein jake klein is offline
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It would take all the fun away......
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  #10  
Old June 28th, 2011, 07:36 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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I beg to differ - plenoptic cameras can be very useful for macro.
One shot and you can use the information for focus stacking.
This is very interesting for moving insects and why not using this for video (apart from the time needed to calculate each stacked frame afterwards)?

The resolution is lower compared to the native resolution of the sensor. Using a higher native resolution helps to mitigate this (at a higher price though...).

Best regards,
Michael
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  #11  
Old June 28th, 2011, 10:58 AM
David Bostedo David Bostedo is offline
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"They're not going to sit around fixing the focus point on each image when the race is on to upload to facebook and tag before your friends."

True, but I'm certain you could easily have the camera give the user and interface to pick which face to focus on. Or let it choose. (I'm certain cameras will combine face recognition with this.) That way you eliminate losing any pictures to missed focus.

I could also envision a real time touch screen interface on the camera (or a smartphone) where you just touch on the screen what you want to focus on and it does it essentially instantly. It doesn't require "sitting around fixing the focus" in any kind of computer or labor intensive way, a la raw development.

Now can the camera do this now? Unlikely, but I could see it in the future.
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  #12  
Old June 28th, 2011, 11:23 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Hi, Ben,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
I don't get it. Compact camera users want to shoot and upload, preferably within the minute. They're not going to sit around fixing the focus point on each image when the race is on to upload to facebook and tag before your friends. Don't believe me? Ask your teenage daughters... :-)
Fortunately this has not yet (I hope) become the "universal" paradigm of photography, even with "compact" cameras (and there is nothing about the plenoptic camera concept that seems to confine it to "compact" cameras).
(I put "compact" in quotes partly to remind us that when full-frame 35-mm cameras first came into general use, and for quite a while after, they were described as "miniature" cameras!)
I was quite startled the other day when the news editor and general events reporter/photographer for our local daily paper showed up (by appointment) at the house to do a photo story on me (precipitated by my wearing my formal kilt outfit to a recent civic event). She brandished a bubble-gum colored compact camera, and, seeing my startled look, said, "Yeah, the battery door is broken on the camera the paper has for me" (tuned out to be an EOS 10D).

The shot ran very large (almost full page, in color), and looked lovely.

The next week I doubled her at the reception to honor the paper's new publisher. She had the 10D in hand. I told her, "I am so gratified that we don't see the battery door held shut on your 10D with duct tape. Scotch tape, yes."

Best regards,

Doug
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  #13  
Old June 28th, 2011, 01:41 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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I did not mention the smartphone just like this. Pelican Imaging is actually working on a plenoptic camera module for smartphones.

I am curious when the first samples will be ready. Certainly not tomorrow (they are still hiring), but this could be the real game changer for this technology.

Best regards,
Michael
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  #14  
Old June 28th, 2011, 04:25 PM
jake klein jake klein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nagel View Post
I beg to differ - plenoptic cameras can be very useful for macro.
One shot and you can use the information for focus stacking.
This is very interesting for moving insects and why not using this for video (apart from the time needed to calculate each stacked frame afterwards)?

The resolution is lower compared to the native resolution of the sensor. Using a higher native resolution helps to mitigate this (at a higher price though...).

Best regards,
Michael
Was this for me?

Again, it would still take the fun away....

I feel the work some, and I would put into focus stacking, manual focusing at wide open apertures, and fast moving objects is why photography intrigues me.
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