Sunday, October 18, 2020

Light Field Camera for Smartphone

MDPI paper "Miniaturized 3D Depth Sensing-Based Smartphone Light Field Camera" by Hyun Myung Kim, Min Seok Kim, Gil Ju Lee, Hyuk Jae Jang, and Young Min Song from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, proposes a simplified approach for lightfield imaging:

"The miniaturization of 3D depth camera systems to reduce cost and power consumption is essential for their application in electrical devices that are trending toward smaller sizes (such as smartphones and unmanned aerial systems) and in other applications that cannot be realized via conventional approaches. Currently, equipment exists for a wide range of depth-sensing devices, including stereo vision, structured light, and time-of-flight. This paper reports on a miniaturized 3D depth camera based on a light field camera (LFC) configured with a single aperture and a micro-lens array (MLA). The single aperture and each micro-lens of the MLA serve as multi-camera systems for 3D surface imaging. To overcome the optical alignment challenge in the miniaturized LFC system, the MLA was designed to focus by attaching it to an image sensor. Theoretical analysis of the optical parameters was performed using optical simulation based on Monte Carlo ray tracing to find the valid optical parameters for miniaturized 3D camera systems. Moreover, we demonstrated multi-viewpoint image acquisition via a miniaturized 3D camera module integrated into a smartphone."


  1. If there's no airgap between the light field microlens array and the sensor surface, then there can be no functioning pixel microlenses (or at best very long focal length pixel microlenses due to a very small refractive index difference). This will have a negative impact on sensitivity and crosstalk.

    1. Doesn't have to be an airgap. It can be a really thick microlens array deposition can work equally well as an air gap right?

    2. A change in material reflective index is required for a pixel microlens to focus light on the photodiode. Without that, the sensitivity will be low and crosstalk will be high.


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