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June 22, 2011 / davebirss

It’s not often you see such revolutionary innovation

This morning one of my friends at Clock sent around an email about a new form of image capture – light field photography. It really got me rather excited.

The company that’s developing light field cameras has raised an impressive $50 million. And now that they’re asking people to express their interest in buying one, they’ll have a pretty good idea of how long it’ll take to claw that back. Naturally, I’m one of those interested parties.

The magical thing about the cameras is that they capture the entire light environment – that means they pick up the light waves travelling in every direction rather than just the ones that point directly at the camera lens. And that allows you to do some pretty magical stuff, like refocus the images AFTER you took them. You can also turn them into 3D images and change their perspective. It sounds too good to be true.

And best of all – they say they’ll be releasing the cameras this year.

Yay!

I went along to their site to have a play with the images. And here are a couple of lovely examples. Unfortunately WordPress doesn’t allow me to embed the interactive versions into the post, so I’ve taken screen shots instead. And I’ve added a green circle in each of the images to show you where I clicked on the image to select a focal point.

The first example shows how you can change the focal distance.

But some of the shots also reveal more details as you click on different parts of the image. In this example, you get to see through the reflections in glass to unveil the King himself.

You really need to have a play with it yourself to understand it.

It sadly doesn’t work on an iPad yet – but they’re apparently working on that.

I just can’t wait to get my hands on one of these things. Although, that’ll be after I get my GoPano 360º  dooh-dah.

Another yay!

I’m now really hoping that someone’s working on that hover skateboard.

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