Light Field photo tech promises true HD upscaling

One of the things that delays photos that you take with a point and shoot camera between when you press the shutter button and the image is actually recorded is the time needed to focus. We have already talked about a camera before called the Lytro light field camera that could shoot a photo and then focus later that would eliminate that delay. Fraunhofer is now presenting a similar solution at IBC 2011 convention in Amsterdam that will allow photographers to use a special lens and software after the photo is snapped to change focus, angle, and depth of field.

The hardware and software technique will allow photographers and videographers to go back and completely change a scene or photo to focus on a different aspect and will allow them to change where the point of focus is on a photo or video as well. In tests, the researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute used a micro lens array in front of a camera sensor. Each lens of the camera records a slightly shifted image of the scene as if several different cameras had been aligns.

The cameras using these lenses are able to record images in a 4D light files. The light intensity, position, and direction are all recorded. What the lens does is allow the user to go in and completely adjust the image on a computer in post processing using software. That allows for post production of the video or photos to completely change the angle of view for a sequence and choose a completely different area of focus. That would mean no reshoots or missed shots due to focus or angle issues.

One of the more interesting things about the sensor used is that it has fewer pixels than a normal HD sensor would have and therefore only grabs the data that is a necessity for the photos. The software on the computer is then able to use scanning and signal frequency to turn the image into true HD. That means the image data doesn't need in camera processing or compression, which should speed up the process of taking photos and video.