Nokia's post-capture focus app Refocus now available for all Pureview smartphones
Nokia has made its Refocus app available for all Pureview devices. First announced with the Lumia 1520, Refocus allows users to choose a focal point after the image is captured, similarly achieving in software what the Lytro Light Field Camera does with hardware.
Nokia explained how to use Refocus in today's announcement:
First focus on the object that’s the closest to you, and as you look through the viewfinder with your camera, it will look blurry. However, move the camera closer to the object and everything becomes clear. This is to help you know how close you can go before you take the shot.
Once you have the closest object in focus, tapping the screen on your Lumia will start the capture process – which only takes a couple of seconds (try to be very still). During this time, Nokia Refocus performs a ‘focus sweep’ and creates a depth map.
[...]The result is a series of 2-8 images, depending on what’s in view, each at five megapixels at a different focus that’ll be aligned and forged together to make one image.
By tapping on any part of this final image you’ll be able to shift the focus to that particular part. The great thing here is that you can achieve a variety of different shots from just the one photo.
Nokia has also added a color pop tool in Refocus. A nice idea, but the selective desaturation feature seems to take away from the awesomeness of Refocus' post-capture focal adjustments. By only saturating portions of your image, you are purposely drawing attention to those areas, yet the interactive nature of Refocus' images encourage viewers to choose their own focal points. It's a totally optional feature within the app, so people don't have to use it, but it just seems a strange addition in the first place.
Refocus is available for free in the Windows Phone 8 Store and works on the Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 925, Lumia 928, Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520. If you haven't already, download the Amber Update before installing Refocus.
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