Another camera/optics article. I'm not particularly interested in cameras, but the new technology is interesting. A big leap from cameras of the last 150 years. I had never heard of Plenoptics as a concept.
Light-field technology heralds one of the biggest changes to imaging since 1826, when Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce made the first permanent photograph of a scene from nature. A single light-field snapshot can provide photos where focus, exposure, and even depth of field are adjustable after the picture is taken. And that’s just for starters. The next generation of light-field optical wizardry promises ultra-accurate facial-recognition systems, personalized 3-D televisions, and cameras that provide views of the world that are indistinguishable from what you’d see out a window.
Today's cameras record an image by storing 2D X and Y information. A Light-Field camera stores X, Y, & Z spatial information, and the direction of each incoming ray that was reflected off of the object of interest.
There is a drawing labeled "Conventional Camera" and "Light-Field Camera". At first, it looks like the drawing has something to do with splitting up colors - it does not. The colors are simply used to describe three different focal plane scenarios. The multiple focal planes to the front of the drawing are examples of where an object may be positioned with respect to the camera. The actual image sensor is at the back of the drawing.
If anyone here has or buys a Lytro Light-Field camera, tell us about it!
Light-Field Photography Revolutionizes Imaging - IEEE Spectrum