Olympus Patent: Light Field Adapter for Micro-Four-Thirds Cameras
Light field technology is still in its infancy, but its set to change the world of photography. We see the rapidly rising number of companies that are researching in this field as a good indication for its potential power. So far, however, there are only a few companies that produce light field cameras commercially, and only one (Lytro) that is in a price range suitable for end users.
A recently published patent application by Olympus may soon change this situation, and help grow more diversity in the field of commercial plenoptics.
Japanese blog Egami has found the application for a Light Field Adapter for Micro-Four-Thirds cameras (mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, MILCs), which dates back to November 2011 and was published on May 30 of this year. The adapter is fitted between the camera body and lens, and turns any MFT compatible system camera into a light field camera.
Advantages of such an adapter sound quite convincing: You can use your mirrorless camera for high-resolution standard photography as well as lower-resolution light field pictures (the effective image resolution is significantly lower than the sensor resolution), switch between different types of microlens arrays, and use your existing lenses on top of the adapter.
By tapping into the progress and diversity of mirrorless cameras, we expect light field technology to get hustled further into the mainstream, and its own evolution to pick up pace.