Shoot Photographs always In-Focus – Adobe Plenoptic Lens

Adobe is out to change the very face of photography with a new groundbreaking technology that would change the Photography forever.

The new technology computes an image in much smarter way. Adobe uses new Plenoptic lenses to capture a series of images over certain depth range when camera is clicked. The images taken by this method capture various focus levels ( right from too much IN to too much OUT), capturing just enough data to produce perfectly focussed image during Post-processing , a method of taking pictures so that any part of a photo can be brought into focus after the fact.

Adobe demoed this Revolutionary Technology at the Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference.  While the technology is still a good ways from being commercialized, it’s an interesting look into the future of photography. By using a bunch of tiny lenses and some rendering software, users will be able to select what they want in focus, even after the photo has been taken. This technology will let users create Stereoscopic 3D images on the fly as well.

How Plenoptic Lenses Work

Plenoptic lens consists of hundreds of tiny lenses kept together–in between a camera’s lens and the image sensor.

Here’s what the plenoptic lens looks like. The lens is on the left; that large round object is a pin head:

With the Plenoptic lens in-place, the camera’s sensor records what looks like a bunch of fragmented images, but in reality, each fragment contains more information about individual light rays entering the camera.

To understand this better, lets recall how a traditional camera works and then compare the difference

With traditional or current generation cameras, a ray of light enters the lens and gets recorded on a specific spot, as illustrated below:

Plenoptic lens adds magic to it, the same light ray passes through several lenses before making it to the sensor, so it’s getting recorded from several different perspectives.

Because there’s all these tiny little lenses in front of the sensor, the resulting image looks like a pixelated image with several 1000s of tiny images, which when post-processed yields images with any focus. but, when these iamges are processed, they give you vital information about the image with different Focus levels.

Watch the Video to get a closer look:

Indeed, a very intriguing demonstration. While the technology has yet to be miniaturized so that it can fit into modern cameras, the potential is huge for power Photography professionals. And not to forget a simpler approach for amateurs.

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