Dispatches from a Small Business
This is pretty cool, if they can pull it off. Though I am not sure getting focus right is really the issue with most photographers any more. It would be interesting if you could change the depth of field, though.
The cnet article says that it captures more depth, so it should be able to adjust that way... I have trouble seeing them not looking that far ahead!
I am not sure getting focus right is really the issue with most photographers any more.The focal plane is the one thing you can't fiddle with in post though. Not that it's a huge difficulty to get something in focus,* but if it's out of focus it stays that way.
* I think sports photography would be the exception, but I don't have any personal experience with that.
It would be interesting if you could change the depth of field, though.I'd heard that was one of the primary selling points of this technique, because you could have (or simulate) infinite depth of field and still have a wider aperture setting.
The software displayed in this interview does show the ability to both flatten depth of field and to zoom in far more than you can on their little applet pics.
I think perhaps you've missed the real big advance here. What's the most expensive part of many of the "cheap" cameras on the market today? The Auto Focus. You can do some of that digitally, but it still requires mechanics, which requires space, power, and weight, etc. With this technology, that expence (not to mention the physical requirements) magically disappears into software you load on your general purpose computer. Now, take that down the road 5 years, and you're looking at try credit-card thin cameras taking photos at multiple depths. You also get really cheap cameras capable of grabbing 30 or more frames per second (think auto focus action shots, something that's REALLY hard to do even with the high-end pro gear).
The digital camera is about to be reinvented again. You'll be able to take shots of your son playing ball that would be up to standards for Sports Illustrated. That's kind of a big deal.
Think of this technology on the most popular camera style today - the cell phone. There is a requirement that the lense be thin, which this technology seems to offer. There is lots of processing power - modern smart phones are getting GPU's that are more powerful that PC's. This seems to be quite a useful approach, although some of the claims are a bit over-the-top (capturing the whole "light field", blah blah blah).