Never miss focus again!

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by mc2imaging, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Hmmmm.... seems to me that with a floating sensor, this technology could be incorporated into a Pentax pretty easily...
    http://thisismynext.com/2011/10/19/...-field-camera-pre-orders-today-shipping-2012/
    Perhaps not all that revolutionary, and "never" is probably a strong word. It looks like it is a bracket focus system. I don't see this saving fast action shots, but there have been times when shooting macro subjects where I picked a focus point and after the fact I wish I had focused somewhere different.
    On the other hand, moving the sensor may make this concept faster & more versitile. A novelty now, but an interesting concept to keep your eye on.
     
  2. According to DPReview, this really is a brand new approach to digital photography. The camera uses a layer of microlenses which break the incoming light up in such a way that the resulting "image" can later be focused anywhere. It doesn't depend on conventional focus plus bracketing. I don't think it could be incorporated into any existing camera system. I can't explain further, but check the link.
    FWIW, this sounds very cool to me but I'm not sure who's supposed to want it. For serious photographers, focus is a basic creative tool. Snapshooters just want the kids to be in focus. In each case, it seems easier to get the focus when taking the picture, rather than later in software. Of course a few geeks will want it just because it's cool. A few pomo artistic types will think of something clever and ironic to do with it. But I can't see a market for it except maybe in security and surveillance, and that doesn't appear to be how they're marketing it.
    [Edited to add] Another question I have is whether it's possible to adjust depth of field. Lens aperture is fixed. The examples I've seen all have a shallow depth of field. I'm not sure if that's part of the way the system works, or if the examples have been processed that way to make them more dramatic. If you can't adjust for greater depth of field, that's a problem for both serious photogs (obviously) and snapshooters (who want the kids and the Washington Monument to be in focus).
     
  3. The most obvious use would be as security or CCTV cameras, as the everything-in-focus means simpler face detection and recognition software needed to process the images.
     
  4. This looks pretty cool to me. I'm not buying one (yet) but I'm interested to learn more and see some results. Even if this camera isn't a game changer, this technology could be.
     
  5. Miss-focusing happens all the time, especially with mirrorless cameras. It may look in focus on that dinky LCD on the
    back of the camera, but after the fact you find out different. I'm glad it's never happened to you, Aron.

    I didn't study the diagrams, but watching the first video embedded in the article, it looked like the lens simply was
    moving through its focus range during capture.
     
  6. I'm glad it's never happened to you, Aron.​
    Huh? For the record, I screw up all the time, and not just focus either. Name a mistake that can be made with a camera, and I've probably made it. (Well, technical mistakes. No Anthony Weiner type mistakes.)
    Thom Hogan has a short write-up on Lytro. I still don't really understand it. According to Hogan, the resolution will be quite limited and Lytro has some sketchy terms of use.
    Anirban, I agree. The camera body looks more like it's intended to be mounted on something than hand held, too. But see Hogan's claims about resolution and terms of use. Also, apparently there's no provision for removable memory, which would be a problem for a security cam. It's kind of expensive if you need to buy more than one and Lytro seems to be serious about marketing it to consumers.
     
  7. 8GB of storage, enough to hold 350 light field pictures​
    Question: Does this suggest file sizes consistent with brute force bracketing?
     
  8. With apparently limited resolution, at least in the initial incarnation, the Lytro would seem to have limited security applications, particularly in situations where the camera is asked to cover a wide area...say half of a large parking lot. For that application a high res sensor or HD video cam makes far more sense . A wide angle lens gives the depth of field/focus over a large area and the high resolution gives the ability to blow up the image for facial identification. At this point Lytro seems like a novelty technology...interesting but limited application. But then I thought that about the ipad.
     

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