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Ever take a photograph, and realize after the fact that you focused on a tree in the background instead of your subject’s face? Wish you could go back and fix it? Well, unfortunately you can’t if you used a regular camera, however if you had a plenoptic camera it would be no problem. Instead of capturing a flat, 2D array of pixels, a plenoptic camera uses an array of microlenses to capture 4D lightfield data. This data can then be processed to create a final image that is focused on any part of the scene.

Daniel Reetz and Matti Kariluoma wanted to experiment with light field photography, but you can’t really buy one of these cameras, so they built one themselves. Instead of using a single camera and microles array, however, they decided to use rapid prototyping equipment and a bunch of point&shoot Canon cameras loaded with the SDM firmware, and the result is the Large Light Field Camera Array. Plans aren’t available yet, however they are pledging to release the whole thing as an open source/hardware project. Looks great, guys! [via teamdroid]