Tech-Giant Toshiba first appeared in the “refocus market” several months ago, when news got out about a tiny light field camera module for smartphones and tablets in development. According to the original report, the prototype was scheduled for mass production “by the end of fiscal 2013″.
Last week, Toshiba officially announced a smartphone camera module with refocus capability, but it’s quite different from the products that were described earlier this year: Instead of a single 1 cm2 camera module with 8-13 megapixel sensor, 500,000 microlenses and effective resolutions of 2 megapixels (6 MP in the second prototype), the new prototype dubbed TCM9518MD consists of two 5 megapixel cameras, a Large Scale Integrated (LSI) chip and no microlenses at all.
In an official press release, Toshiba announced that the dual-camera module will offer software refocus and other features, but not 3D functionality. The module is priced at 5000 Yen (approx. 52 USD, 38 EUR). Working samples will be available in January 2014, and mass production is set for April 2014.
A few days ago, we reported about ebina1′s tool “Refocus”, which makes the processing of Lytro RAW images possible in Linux.
Now, ebina1 has taken his work further, and released two more programmes that, for the first time, give users the ability to do (one kind of) image editing with Lytro LightField pictures:
insert_focus lets you insert an image at a specified focus level within the picture. Continue reading
Adobe is probably best known for it’s image editing application Photoshop. Over the last few years, the leader in image manipulation has given us a few glimpses into their research with LightField technology.
The first LightField camera prototype that was ever shown by Adobe, was called “Magic Lens”. It had been developed between 2004 and 2006, and consisted of just 19 lenses. Subsequent models slowly evolved to an increasing number of sub-lenses and sub-images – 7,000 microlenses in the 2010 prototype. In comparison, Lytro’s LightField camera uses about 100,000 microlenses.
Apart from the actual hardware lens systems, Adobe has also demoed prototype Photoshop features such as a “Focus Brush” or selective editing of fore- or background.
If we’ve sparked your interest in Adobe’s LightField work, we’ve compiled more information, photos and videos on a dedicated page in the Prototypes section: Adobe LightField Camera Protypes.
The concept and details of LightField Photography can be a bit overwhelming when you first come into contact with the topic. If you’ve ever wondered how the Lytro LightField Camera works in detail, and what is possible with LightField Photography in general, we recommend reading through the LightField Notes of computer vision researcher Hanlin Goh.
Goh first gives a Technical Introduction, followed by an explanation of the Lytro’s Raw LightField image.
Research in Motion (RIM) recently presented a new camera innovation that is yet another blow to purist photography, but all the more useful and practical:
Everybody who has done group photos knows that capturing “that perfect moment” when everybody is smiling and has their eyes open, is very very hard. This is why RIM’s new Blackberry 10 will be equipped with a camera that records not just one moment, but a little timeline of images.
It automatically detects faces and lets you “travel through time” to find the best shot of every individual face.