Friday, June 24, 2011

Lytro Put Ren Ng 2006 PhD Thesis On-Line

Lytro kindly allows everybody get a taste of its technology from Ren Neg's 2006 PhD thesis here. The thesis is titled "Digital Light Field Photography" and explains it in pretty much plain words. I'm not sure if this 5 year old work reflects Lytro's current state, but it's interesting read anyway.

Light field camera from the dissertation:


This appears to be the raw image output (probably after de-mosaicing):


The modified DSLR sensor assembly used in the thesis:


I'd guess it took big big effort to transfer it technology from DSLR with relatively nice sensor output to a modern small pixel sensor with all its artifacts.

Update: Optics.org has a nice article discussion pro and contra of Lytro approach.

8 comments:

  1. what happens if there is a microlens array on the sensor ?

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  2. I think this is very interesting for those who are not as adept in using DSLR camera lenses. They can now get some optical effects using software. :)

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  3. What will happen if I drop my camera and that the microlens array got displaced a bit? Will it not work anymore?

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  4. with 50M$, you can buy a lot of DSLR cameras, so no worry!

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  5. Lytro is getting all the press about this at the moment, but Adobe is also working on similar things:

    http://www.notcot.com/archives/2008/02/adobe-lightfiel.php

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  6. Is this technology related with Fly's muitl-eye? which means.. a fly can see further depth of light field more than human. Little creatures but we should learn from them.

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  7. I checked the Lytro web-site and I found it SCARY that NONE of their executive leadership is an image sensor expert. Most of them have software experience and are 'international travellers'. They all sound like an opportunistic bunch playing around something they don't understand well enough. I am an image sensor designer and Lytro scares me shitless.

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  8. I saw Ren speak at a technical forum. Unfortunately, it was more of a sales pitch and recruiting drive. Lots about how it will change imaging and creativity and what a great place to work it is, little about how it works.

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