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Old Jan 5, 2008, 8:23 PM   #11
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Sounds magical, but I don't think this is violating the laws of optics - most likely a series ofrecorded imagesat different focus levels (think cat scan, MRI, serial sections, or aloaf of sliced bread). This would involve large file sizes and requireconsiderable processing power, and most likely won't be cheap (at least at first). And I doubt it would have sufficient DOF to go from lens surface to horizon, so it will still be possible to get an out of focus image, but it could still be a boon (if not a boondoggle).
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 8:45 PM   #12
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#10 is intriguing.. i wonder why he predicts that pentax would unveil it..

roy
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 9:48 PM   #13
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I can think of a couple of reasons - Pentax has always been innovative. It took them a while to get into the dSLR market, but once they committed to it, they've started to raise the barrier each time they've introduced a new camera (well, recently as both the K100 and the K10 have had features only much more expensive cameras have had, or in some cases, brand new ideas). They'll need to come out again with something really eye-catchingto maintain their market share.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 9:58 PM   #14
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snostorm wrote:
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Well I guess. . . to be able to get perfect focus from just about any shot! -- seems like it would eliminate AF focus speed as an eternal forum topic -- just shoot it, and do the critical focusing in PP. . . sounds much too good to be possible!

Scott

The method (PP) cannot recreate missing data in those off focus area.

I think it involves multiple exposure somewhat like bracketing (for different distance).

Imagine we take a pict of 5 ft away , it also takes pict in bursts of 3, 4, 6 & 7 ft as a backup. That is workable. Whether we like the result is something else though

Daniel, Toronto
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 12:38 AM   #15
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From http://www.wired.com/science/discove.../2005/11/69594

A prototype camera made by a Stanford University graduate student could herald the end of fuzzy, poorly lit photos.

A computer science Ph.D. student at Stanford University has outfitted a 16-megapixel camera with a bevy of micro lenses that allows users to take photos and later refocus them on a computer using software he wrote.

The student, Ren Ng, ran out of patience with taking pictures the traditional way -- adjusting the distance between the camera lens and sensor or film before snapping each shot. So he created something that far surpasses Photoshop. A photograph can be modified after the fact even if nothing is in focus, he said.

"We just think it'll lead to better cameras that make it easier to take pictures that are in focus and look good," said Ng's adviser, Stanford computer science professor Pat Hanrahan.

Ng calls his creation the "light field camera" because of its ability to capture the quantity of light moving in all directions in an open space. It stems from early-20th-century work on integral photography, which experimented with using lens arrays in front of film, and an early-1990s plenoptic camera developed at MIT and used for range finding. By building upon these ideas, Ng hopes to improve commercial cameras' focusing abilities.

Traditionally, light rays filter through a camera's lens and converge at one point on film or a digital sensor, then the camera summarizes incoming light without capturing much information about where it came from. Ng's camera pits about 90,000 micro lenses between the main lens and sensor. The mini lenses measure all the rays of incoming light and their directions of origin. The software later adds up the rays, according to how the picture is being refocused.

The technology could help snap-happy amateurs and professional photographers, as well as aid security cameras in capturing sharper information.

Turning Ng's invention into a commercial product poses a few challenges. First, it works best with expensive high-resolution cameras, and when you add the price of Ng's device, the cost could be prohibitive (Ng declined to estimate a cost). A photographer could get pretty good results by modifying an 8-megapixel camera with Ng's invention, but it wouldn't be possible to refocus over as wide a range.

On the other hand, the invention could make cameras simpler in some ways. A camera equipped with Ng's device wouldn't need the motors that focus lenses, so the camera would have fewer moving parts.

Amateurs might embrace the camera, but some professional photographers may not, said Ken Light, a photographer and director of the Center for Photography at UC Berkeley.

Photojournalists and news photographers, especially, are strict about what can be done to an image after it's shot, he said. For some, tweaking a photo after the fact, even if only to refocus, might not fly, he said.

"Some people might find it over the line," he said, "because it's not being done by a person, so to speak -- it's being done by the computer."
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 12:54 PM   #16
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ishino wrote:
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Amateurs might embrace the camera, but some professional photographers may not, said Ken Light, a photographer and director of the Center for Photography at UC Berkeley.

Photojournalists and news photographers, especially, are strict about what can be done to an image after it's shot, he said. For some, tweaking a photo after the fact, even if only to refocus, might not fly, he said.

"Some people might find it over the line," he said, "because it's not being done by a person, so to speak -- it's being done by the computer."
Some people embrace new technology and some do not. How many people said that digital would never replace film?

And the Flat Earth Society has managed to survive into the space age. . . .
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 10:48 PM   #17
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something i see as much easier would be a camera with the ability to automatically expose HDR images.. all it would take is an in camera program to automatically take 3-5 images and combine them into one for the best DR.. hmmmm

roy
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 10:58 PM   #18
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robar wrote:
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something i see as much easier would be a camera with the ability to automatically expose HDR images.. all it would take is an in camera program to automatically take 3-5 images and combine them into one for the best DR.. hmmmm

roy
You are right, current technology should support that Roy. I am hoping that as sensor technology improves DR will be expanded to the point that HDR is an anachronism.

Tim
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 1:30 AM   #19
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Number 10 is interesting and so is the predictin that Pentax would be first to market with it. That would be enough of an improvement to make me upgrade my K10D to a K20D.

Robert
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 5:28 PM   #20
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Ladies and Gentalmen for the first time in 2008 Robert Barnett has had a thought! <Applause Now!>

1. This sounds interesting, but also saddens as it will be just one more thing for people say why bother getting it right from the start I will just do it post process. It seems like more and more people are getting sloppy with thier picture knowing that by and large one can correct most things post process. I think Ansel Adams is weeping in his grave (it could be flash flood from the night before).

2. There has to be some trade off and I bet it is in overall image quality. Yes, it can save a bad shot, but the quality won't be as good as it would have been had the shot been taken right from the start. Everything post process is like this, it is a trade off.

3. In order for this or even HDR technology to happen in a camera they are going to have to build camera more like computers. Meaning more powerful processors and a lot more memory. Once this happens (hopefully as soon as they get off the MP ride, which I hope is soon). A lot of things will be possible. Things like being able to create custom named folders on your memory cards and with the click of a button tell the camera to store the images you take next in such and such a folder. This would be great for seperating out regular shots with shots for HDR and shots for Panaoramas, etc. There is a lot of computer technology that could be added to the camera if it had a good enough processor and enough memory.

This concludes Robert Barnett's thoughts for 2008. <Weep now, the the brilliance has ended!>
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