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Old 30-06-11, 06:43 PM   #1
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There aren't often big leaps in photographic technology, not really since the digital camera even? I guess you could argue cramming decent cameras into a mobile phone was pretty big a step, but this could be the biggest in a very long time -

The light field is a core concept in imaging science, representing fundamentally more powerful data than in regular photographs. The light field fully defines how a scene appears. It is the amount of light traveling in every direction through every point in space – it’s all the light rays in a scene. Conventional cameras cannot record the light field.

Recording light fields requires an innovative, entirely new kind of sensor called a light field sensor. The light field sensor captures the color, intensity and vector direction of the rays of light. This directional information is completely lost with traditional camera sensors, which simply add up all the light rays and record them as a single amount of light.
So basically, you snap a shot (instantly as it doesn't need to focus) and can then move the focus in and out in your browser!

You lose your megapixels by around a factor of 4, but then who needs more than 2 or 3 megapixels really? A 12MP sensor would give you a 3MP re-focusable shot.

Pretty impressive stuff, take a look at the sample shots -

I've heard they think they've have a camera out by the end of the year. Price will be interesting...
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Old 30-06-11, 07:19 PM   #2
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That does look useful, and I guess could be a step to 3d photos, I doubt the camera will be cheap though - 'miniaturizing a roomful of cameras tethered to a supercomputer and making it fit in your pocket' won't be free.

I also wonder if you can use a zoom lens (I'm thinking of the gigaspan pictures) looking at the scene overlooking a lake you can't focus on things that are far away.

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