The quality of a DSLR in a camera that fits in your pocket – that’s what camera startup Light promises with the just announced L16, the world’s first multi-aperture computational compact camera, which is made up of 16 individual camera modules.
Apple is known to have been interested in light field technology since before Lytro released their first-generation light field camera, as Ren Ng was reportedly invited by Steve Jobs himself to discuss the technology’s potential. The company has even patented some of their own inventions in the field.
Now, it seems that the tech giant has made its next move towards light field photography: Apple has acquired Israeli camera module maker LinX, which specializes in thin camera arrays similar to Pelican Imaging’s PiCam.
LinX promises powerful camera modules with advanced image quality (“leading the way to DSLR performance in slim handsets”), but also additional information such as scene depth through its “multi-aperture” modules (read: array cameras and possibly light field technology).
It’s gotten a bit quiet around Pelican Imaging, lately. Until today, when the mobile plenoptics specialists have broken the silence and announced their own version of a WebGL light field viewer.
“What do photos with depth look like?”, the company teased in their newsletter. To answer that question, the company has published a small sample image gallery based on the new “Pelican 3D Image Viewer”, which allows users to check out and interact with 8 sample images taken with the Pelican Array Camera.
As much potential as light field technology has, Lytro is – until now – the only company actually going that way with consumer cameras.
Now, according to Canon Rumors, Canon may be one of the first “big” camera makers working on integrating light field features into DSLR and Point-and-Shoot cameras:
We’re told that Canon is working to implement depth of field control in upcoming PowerShot and Rebel DSLRs. Continue reading
Pelican Imaging has recently released a short video where CEO Chris Pickett explains what’s so interesting about light field photography:
In the 2-minute clip, Pickett explains how Pelican’s Array Camera works, and shows its most exciting features: software refocus, multiple focus (focus on several depths in one image), segmentation (automatic depth-based object extraction). Continue reading