Focus-free photography

I heard about a doctoral thesis on this a few years ago. Seems to be working out.

The camera sensor works so that the focal point can be set when you get back to your computer. Sweet.


Great, even more time to be spent in front of your computer at home trying to fix what you weren’t able to do when you actually took the shot, plus an exponential increase in file sizes and processing power requirements. Add that to combing through each and every frame from 24-frame-per-second HD footage to try and find the “right moment” and you’re basically stuck doing post-processing 24/7.

As far as I can tell this kind of technology is older already… the news is that this is done on one single sensor now or so:

And I hope that this one property “can focus later” is the main point for using this invention… it seems like generally it is fit for simply capturing more info about a scene, up to being able to extract 3D info.

Law of storage has been tracking exponentially at double the storage for the same price next year. “If something is in abundance, waste it.” Waste it to include in the photo a closer semblance of all the information of the world the lens is seeing. Waste it to create better user experiences. Three years from now, we should expect phones with 1 terabyte of storage.

The potential in this I feel is maybe moreso on the viewing end of things than it is from the creation end. You can always manipulate the captured version of the image at capture time, as you do now with any camera. With this, the controls are digital rather than mechanical, but they are controls nonetheless. However, since this includes more information about what the lens sees, and your manipulations are digita filters on top of that raw information, the viewer can take that one photo and see it in many different ways, including the way you originally envisioned.

You can play with it here:

Daftness just because they can. Learn to take the shot you want and spend the rest of your time watching America’s Got Talent or the Simpsons. Unimpressed. Its just techies being techies. Super-cutting-edge for techies. Absolute waste of time and effort for the rest of us. Damn! The so-called techies at my work just deleted my Photoshop and guess what? I haven’t missed it in the slightest.

Isn’t it helpful for people who don’t know to take a focused shot?? Also for folks who inadvertently shot sth. while focusing on another subject. It should be great for Intelligence agencies.

I think it’ll be aces for taking photos of my girls. They’re not going to be in lock step, and who knows which is going to have the expression I want in focus (or not) at any particular time as they’re running around. It’s another ‘if you don’t want it, don’t use it’ feature.

NOT! I meant NOT the main point.

I feel there are much more useful properties than just “no need to learn how to focus right”, or “more time to spend fiddling around afterwards selecting the right focus”.

To me it is like: Learn how to focus and use that knowledge on the spot, or learn how to spend yet MORE time sitting on your arse in a dark room screwing about with software. I know which I prefer.

Still, something is not kosher, playing with it made me realize that it doesn’t do what they say … you can not choose any point in the image to focus on … some areas stay out of focus … no magic here and the ‘light field’ they talk about, questionable!

They use a wide angle lens, focused to infinity, probably after exposure they apply some blur (software) to give the impression of being focused where you want …

So it’s a scam???

No. It’s a website simulation, is all. Got to wait to see what the camera itself can do.

Seems like a good idea to me. If it helps non-enthusiasts, busy people etc get better snapshots of friends and loved ones, great. For anyone taking pictures for a hobby, art, profession, it’s just a different tool. The most important part is still the 12 inches behind the camera.

As opposed to pornography.