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Author Topic: New Lenses Allow Adjusting Focus During Post Processing  (Read 1050 times)

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Offline Annoyed Pedestrian

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New Lenses Allow Adjusting Focus During Post Processing
« on: September 24, 2010, 10:54:28 PM »
From http://www.petapixel.com/2010/09/23/future-photographers-may-adjust-focus-during-post-processing/

In the future, focusing on the wrong subject when taking a picture might be a thing of the past. At Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference this year Adobe gave a demonstration of how plenoptic lenses can be used to allow focus to be arbitrarily chosen after the image is captured during post-processing. These are microlens arrays containing hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands (Stanford researchers used a camera with 90,000 lenses) of tiny lenses that record much more information about a scene than traditional single lenses.

What a plenoptic lens does is allow single rays of light to be recorded from many different perspectives, resulting in captured images that are composed of many small taken from slightly different viewpoints.

These images can then be processed by software, which extracts depth information from the “bug-eye” image. It can then be processed into traditional photographs, giving photographers the freedom of selecting exactly at what depth focus should be.

tl;dr version -- these are lenses where you can choose where the focus is, and select the depth of field after taking the shot.

And if you think that cameras using this new technology are still far away in the future ... well, there's already a prototype camera out: http://www.petapixel.com/2010/09/23/the-first-plenoptic-camera-on-the-market/

We live in interesting times.

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New Lenses Allow Adjusting Focus During Post Processing
« on: September 24, 2010, 10:54:28 PM »

Offline LGO

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Re: New Lenses Allow Adjusting Focus During Post Processing
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2010, 11:10:09 PM »
A good read and an indication of what technology can do.  Thanks.

There is quite a big potential for this technology (aerial surveillance by the military is foremost in my mind).  Yet I see limited use of this initially by the professional photographers who have long been oriented to taking the photos as to require as little post-processing as possible.  Requiring post-processing for each of the hundreds if not thousands of photos taken in one event is not likely to endear this technology to these photographers. 

The technology would be welcomed to correct a few mis-focused shots but it is thus applied as an exception rather than the rule.  If the technology however can be adopted to conform to existing practice and conventional results but provide an extra leeway to correct any mistake during post-processing, then it would find a greater degree of acceptance and adoption in principle.  Convincing the camera/lens manufacturer of this however is another game altogether.

The same applies to hobbyist, perhaps even more so as a significant number of hobbyist do not bother with post-processing and/or even shoot RAW.

Offline LGO

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Re: New Lenses Allow Adjusting Focus During Post Processing
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 03:10:14 AM »
A Plenoptic camera, unlike a regular camera as we know it, does not take a specific image of a scene.  Instead, a Plenoptic camera stores information about a scene and allows the user to create an image out of the data collected of a scene. 

To create an image, the user essentially makes use of the data captured to create an image ... such as deciding the point of focus.  Because a Plenoptic camera lens has many micro-lenses and each micro-lens capture a somewhat different view of the scene, the Plenoptic camera will also provide some limited ability to move one's vantage point from the center to the left side or right side for example.  It can also be used to create 3D images.  The data can also be manipulated to create high dynamic range images, removal of blur introduced by the subject or the user (a virtual VR or IS).     

Despite the complexity of the data collected and the math required to create an image, a dedicated GPU (graphics processing unit) makes short work of the complexed data and is able to quickly produce an image.  The amount of information captured would be quite massive however unless a better way can be found to compress these though this is inevitable and perhaps the easy part.    

It is an interesting concept and the ability to selectively focus to create an image and to adjust one's vantage point to a limited extent will find good use in specialized applications for example in the military, interactive teaching aids or kiosk in class or in the museum, etc.  

But tell a wedding or events photographer that he will need to post-process each of the over a thousand photos taken by effectively constructing each image as he wants it ... and he will likely take to this technology as a pig will be able to fly.   ;D
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 03:31:15 AM by LGO »


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