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
In comparison to conventional digital cameras, current light field cameras are still limited in spatial resolution and depth of field control. Using a new camera combination, Vivek Boominathan and colleagues from Rice University were able to lift these limitations.
In a recent publication, the authors present a prototype hybrid imaging system consisting of a Lytro light field camera (380 x 380 pixel spatial resolution) and a conventional Canon DSLR (18 megapixel resolution). The setup doesn’t require co-location or prior calibration of the two cameras. In conjunction with a “simple patch-based algorithm”, the researchers were able to produce a high-resolution light field with 9 times the Lytro camera’s resolution and about 1/9th of the camera’s depth of field. Continue reading
Today’s light field processing algorithms have mostly been tailored for relatively low image resolutions in the range of a few megapixels. That means, even with increasing sensor resolutions, light field technology will still be effectively limited by resolution. The analysis of light fields at high spatio-angular resolution, so-called “gigaray light fields“, remains a technological challenge due to the sheer computing power it requires.
Researchers at Disney Research in Zürich, Switzerland, have come up with a new, faster way of processing such light fields. Their secret: ignore some of today’s established practices in image-based reconstruction, and try something different.
Light field photography is very exciting, but so far, the options for consumers are very limited. You can either get an affordable dedicated light field camera (coming with its own set of drawbacks), or go for a custom DSLR modification that is pointed at the professional and industrial market and basically out of reach for typical enthusiasts.
Recent news of a new Olympus patent for a Micro Four-Thirds plenoptic adapter have already shown that it might not be so long until we can upgrade interchangeable-lens cameras on a flexible basis. At this year’s SIGGRAPH conference, set to take place next week in Anaheim, California, Researchers Alkhazur Manakov and colleagues from Saarland University (Germany) will be presenting a new, addon for ordinary DSLR cameras, that will achieve even more than “just” light field capabilities.
At its current development stage, light field photography (based on microlens arrays) poses a compromise between spatial information and resolution: The more refocus or prespective a camera is required to provide, for example, the more of its sensor resolution is sacrificed. In the Lytro Light Field Camera, an 11 Megapixel sensor takes pictures that result in pictures of 1.1 Megapixels, so only about 10 % of the sensor resolution make it into the final image.
As reported previously, the MIT‘s Camera Culture group has come up with a new method to capture light fields, which is both cheaper and more effective. In a new article published by MIT News, the researchers explain what their system, named “Focii”, is capable of:
At this summer’s Siggraph — the major computer graphics conference — they’ll present a paper demonstrating that Focii can produce a full, 20-megapixel multiperspective 3-D image from a single exposure of a 20-megapixel sensor.