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  #1  
Old June 25th, 2011, 11:51 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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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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Old June 25th, 2011, 11:57 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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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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Old June 25th, 2011, 12:28 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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Old June 25th, 2011, 02:15 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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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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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:28 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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Old June 26th, 2011, 02:08 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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