Friday, May 07, 2010

Omni-Focus Camera Sees Everything Perfectly [Research]


Omni-Focus Camera Sees Everything PerfectlyThere are well-known methods to extend depth of field. There are even digital cheats to extend depth of field. But imagine shooting macro photography and telephoto photography, all in perfect focus, as one image. A new camera makes it possible.

The Omni-Focus Video Camera, by researchers at University of Toronto, can accomplish such a feat—and yes, it does cheat a bit, of course.

The camera is really many cameras, all focused at various distances. But what the Omni-Focus does really well (through collaboration with another related project) is map each pixel that each camera is shooting in 3D space, then combine these pixels appropriately into one image.

Obviously, photographers often enjoy blur. But I could see the benefits for 3DTV programming, in which anything out of focus can cause eyestrain. Plus, there's obvious utility for the industrial, security and pervy spycam sectors, too. [Physorg via PopSci]