Future of photography: Imaging by light vector recording.

Started Apr 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
BorisK1
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Pelican Imaging uses an array of lenses, not plenoptics
In reply to DiverM, Apr 15, 2013

DiverM wrote:

The tradeoff between the "refocus" ability (or 3D ability) and resolution (and low light ability) is what insures that this technology will never be more than a novelty.

Does Pelican Imaging use the same technique as that described in the Ren Ng paper? Are there any technical merits of their approach over the Lytro method?

If there are any links to more technical information on the Pelican Imaging approach, they would be appreciated. (I don't find much on their website; I do have the Ren Ng paper)

Thanks in advance for the education.

From the PR, it appears that Pelican Imaging is not based on plenoptics.  Instead, they use an array of small (but not micro-) lenses, and use parallax to derive a rough distance map.  Then (from here on, it's purely my assumption), they use some clever proprietary algorithms to try and refine that map, and finally, use it to selectively blur parts of the picture, simulating a narrow DOF.

It would be interesting to see how scalable this approach is.  The lenses are very small, and (I would imagine) fixed-focal-length and fixed-aperture.  On the other hand, it may be possible to build large, yet affordable, arrays.  A cellphone-sized device whose entire back is covered by a lens array, could collect enormous amounts of light - but then you'd need lots of GPU power to run those smart algorithms.

At the face of it, this looks to hold much more promise for consumers than plenoptics does.

Here's one story about it:

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/152761-pelican-imaging-promises-freedom-from-focusing

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