Full Frame future in small cameras and Cell Phones/Tablets

Started Mar 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
BorisK1 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,644
Re: Full Frame future in small cameras and Cell Phones/Tablets

scorrpio wrote:

BorisK1 wrote:

scorrpio wrote:

It would require creating a material that can manipulate light in the same fashion a regular lens does while remaining entirely flat and about 1-2 mm thick. Probably something integrated with the sensor like those microlenses in use today - but of a much higher order of construction, and manipulable on atomic level to provide zoom and focusing functionality. Consider a precisely aligned refraction layer where every atom can be rotated at the same time by a precise angle. Billions of them at the same time. That's a level of nanotechnology we are nowhere close to. Although who knows what those secret military-funded labs are up to?

Or, it would require an array of cellphone camera modules. Mount enough of them on the back of the tablet, add some image-stacking software, and you'll have all the characteristics of an FF sensor - great low-light performance, narrow DOF, huge DR, that sort of thing.

Sensor is not the problem. The problem is the lens, the optics.

Nope, same deal with optics as with the sensors.  If you have a set of images from an array of tiny (but reasonably sharp) lenses, you can use image stacking to recombine them into a large, high-resolution, low-noise, wide-DR image.

As a bonus, the offsets of the lenses will provide a down-to-the-pixel level depth map, which will let you change DOF in postprocessing and model any kind of bokeh signature you like.

The thing is, such a contraption would be a huge overkill for an average cellphone user.  Shot-to-shot time would be slow, battery life would be very short, and it would have to rely on postprocessing (no way your average cellphone would be able to do the raw conversion on the fly).

Now, here's my quick mental marketing survey:  To estimate a demand for something like this contraption, count the number of people you see every day walking around with a cellphone mounted on a high-quality tripod 

Seriously though - I think a camera array based on a somewhat larger camera (like the one I outlined here) would be cheaper to develop, easier to make in small quantities, and should attract more people.  I can see it being a successful Kickstarter project.

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