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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

...And Forward to the Future

Go here and scroll down to the "DxO Labs Digital Optics Technology" video. This looks really promising for future cameras.

(Though how the heck it can focus in software, I dunno.)



Blogger expiring_frog said...

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1:58 AM  
Blogger expiring_frog said...

I don't know about the DxO thing, Mike, but you evidently haven't checked this out :).

Great posts, btw. Have linked you.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Motto! said...

Yes I've seen that link as well, although to be fair they don't do it entirely in software, there are some modifications that must be made to the camera as well.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Dave New said...

As near as I can tell, their microlens array essentially reduces the overall resolution of the sensor behind it by a factor of 12x, so a 16MP sensor ends up being somewhat under 2MP. The tradeoff, is that each pixel of the original 16MP sensor is not only recording light intensity, but by inference of its exact X,Y offset under the corresponding microlens, can also record the direction the ray of light came from, thus allowing one to measure the so-called 4D light field. To speed up calculations, the whole capture is put in Fourier space, so that 2D slices (which is what a sensor at the focal plane actually captures) can be made by simply X,Y lookup, instead of double integral sums.

Some other caveats -- the sensor plane must be parallel to the lens, so no view camera-like movements are allowed. Also, you must shoot with the lens wide open, otherwise a spatial (i.e. integration, again) filter must be introduced to account for the smaller source field of light rays.

This is a pretty interesting line of research, and considering that current technology is giving us almost more pixels than we know what to do with, it wouldn't be inconceivable to see something soon like a 144MP sensor coupled to a microlens array, that gives an effective 12MP image that can be re-focused at will. Using an f/2 lens, the shot can be re-focused as if it was taken with an f/2 x 12 = f/24 lens.

11:37 AM  
Blogger expiring_frog said...

Yes, Dave, the resolution is indeed drastically reduced. 144 MP... (swallows).

Incidentally, Ren had his PhD thesis defence on this subject abt half-an-hour ago -- maybe I should have gone, but woke up too late.

12:20 PM  

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