Light field Cameras - lame or game?

category: gfx [glöplog]
Apparently theres a new kind of camera in town which lets you focus the pictures after they were taken... what do you think of it?

added on the 2011-06-29 12:17:27 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
I think that's a hoax, or some kind of joke... and even if it was for real, the picture quality is extremely lame (this could come from compression for web, but then again, if you are showing off, why not show off completely?)
added on the 2011-06-29 12:44:16 by Jcl Jcl
added on the 2011-06-29 12:53:23 by maytz maytz
Jcl: it's absolutely not a joke or an hoax, that kind of camera already exists and can be ordered but are VERY expensive.

The lytro's one got some buzz because they are releasing some "afordable" camera (on the site they give a range of 1.000$->10.000$).
added on the 2011-06-29 12:57:05 by rez rez
rez: there are wavefront coding chips on the market (which serve the same function, as in "post-focusing" an image), but that doesn't work as their pseudo-science diagrams want to explain.

And most definitely, that technique can't do 3D or perspective shift as they claim (not more than "guessed 3D" that is available on most 3D TV sets today) :-)
added on the 2011-06-29 13:01:16 by Jcl Jcl

You don't want to understand... We are not speaking about flying saucer here.


added on the 2011-06-29 13:04:32 by rez rez
rez: yes, that's wavefront coding on a plenoptic camera... that's far from what they are marketing... let me quote:
They allow both the picture taker and the viewer to focus pictures after they’re snapped, shift their perspective of the scene, and even switch seamlessly between 2D and 3D views. With these amazing capabilities, pictures become immersive, interactive visual stories that were never before possible – they become living pictures.

But hey, with a $50M pre-launch investment they better market it well :-)
added on the 2011-06-29 13:11:22 by Jcl Jcl
added on the 2011-06-29 13:16:59 by hornet hornet
oh yes, and the image quality of their gallery images is still extremely lame :-)
added on the 2011-06-29 13:20:57 by Jcl Jcl
wow, that gallery blur demo thingy looks bad indeed.
(as in, low-precision-zbuffer-modulated-blur-wingo looks better)

googling Plenoptic though, never heard about it until now.
added on the 2011-06-29 16:17:01 by superplek superplek
....if the light wouldnt need to be focussed through a lens anymore, you need a very high resolution and still some kind of optical electronics to tear the parts of the pic apart, of which pixels are from the front and which are the ones that come from more far away.

The finer the shifting between far and near, the less pixels you have for each picture. So there will be still some interpolation (Taking pixels from other distances) going on if you want 5 Mpix pictures with a nowadays-tech-resulution-chip.

Even if this is not a hoax, the usability with capture chips in the 15Mpix range will most likely give a worse result than with a proper lens.

From my expierience from what i saw on these websites, its kinda bullshitting people with a useless new function.

The pictures i saw were not just Low-Res for nowadays Camera standards, they also were pretty grainy in the areas where there was supposed to be sharp details.

To sum it up: Now you've got a camera that makes partly blurry, partly grainy pictures, bro.

Also, if people want to tell a "story" with partly blurred out pictures, why not make a single, good, sharp picture and blur out the areas with photoshop? :P
added on the 2011-06-29 23:20:51 by Exin Exin

A 25x25 depth map from the camera.
added on the 2012-03-01 03:55:25 by xernobyl xernobyl
hoax or not.. read this and decide for yourselves: http://www.lytro.com/renng-thesis.pdf you should have read it before because its directly linked on the site though.
added on the 2012-03-01 09:29:14 by rudi rudi
it's simply sth like this, but build in one case:
Camera Array
added on the 2012-03-01 11:49:32 by v3nom v3nom
added on the 2012-03-01 11:51:01 by v3nom v3nom
Colour is unbelievable, Google some images...
added on the 2012-03-01 14:49:22 by FunGas FunGas
I've seen quite a few of the original stories from when it was first revealed claiming it was a micro-lens array (in which case expect it to be real, but very low res and expensive).

But then there were a second batch of stories with more technical detail, and they seemed to suggest it was simply taking something like 5 photos at different focal lengths, and then using some software magic to create a depth image to work out which parts of which image are focused. That gets you a uniformly focussed image, which you can then apply fake DOF effects to.

I'm inclined to think it's the micro-lens array, because all of the reports I've seen say it's very low res (like 512x512 or something), and some of the stuff they do ties in with the stuff in that thesis. Like the perspective shifting & 3D - this IS actually possible in a non-fake way. If you capture the light field, you capture rays from the sides of the lens, and if the lens is say 3cm wide that means you can move the position of the 'virtual camera' by 3cm. That gives you just a little perspective, and enough for a 3D image.
added on the 2012-03-01 15:10:23 by psonice psonice
to be honest, most of the sample pictures on the lytro page look like they were made with my 2005 point'n'shoot crap.
looks like also the parts of the image that should be in focus are slightly blurred (and grainy, but no nice grain). I'd call that an out-of-focus image that I usually immediately delete from my camera.
added on the 2012-03-01 22:01:41 by styx^hcr styx^hcr
I read a review earlier. The res is 1080 x 1080, and they said quality is low and yeah super grainy in poor light. They did say the refocusing effect was really cool though, and they've seen a new feature where you can shift the perspective a bit. The interesting bit there was that reflections changed too, so it's not a depth trick. That image enhancement scene from bladerunner is possible :D
added on the 2012-03-02 00:31:20 by psonice psonice