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Futurepicture, a homebrew light field camera

Computers & Mobile Photography & Video
Futurepicture, a homebrew light field camera

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]

6 thoughts on “Futurepicture, a homebrew light field camera

  1. daniel reetz says:

    Thanks for the post!

    You caught us a little off guard — we were planning on releasing all this tomorrow with these two Instructables:

    The first one describes the field a bit and talks about what we’d like to do:

    The second one shows you how to do the same kind of refocusing tricks, but using a single camera:

    Hope this is worth another post, we’d really like people to have the tutorial content.

  2. Mike says:

    Very cool!

    If anyone wants to try playing around with this, you can use “focus bracketing” if you are shooting a static scene. CHDK for Canons has the ability to set up focus bracketing, I think as a separate script. From there, software is available to combine images and adjust focus.


  3. kakali says:

    You can capture a 4D light field even cheaper by using a large format camera and a cosine filter up. Thats much easier to get a hold of then microlenses or I imagine a large number of cameras. Dr. Ramesh Raskar of MIT Media lab has demonstrated this.

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