MIT News reviewed MIT Graphics Group's article presented last week at IEEE Conference on Computer Vision in Kyoto, Japan. The idea is that given enough time, a digital camera could take a dozen photos with different focus distance and software could stitch them into a perfectly focused composite.
For the time being, however, the technique is limited by the speed of camera sensors. So, the group described alternative approach based on "lattice-focal lens," an ordinary lens filter with what look like 12 tiny boxes of different heights clustered at its center. Each box is in fact a lens with a different focal length, which projects an image onto a different part of the camera's sensor. The raw image would look like gobbledygook, but the same type of algorithm that can combine multiple exposures into a coherent composite can also recover a regular photo from the raw image.
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