Another alteration of a camera’s field of view makes it possible to shoot a picture first and focus it later. Todor Georgiev, a physicist working on novel camera designs at Adobe, the San Jose, Calif.–based company that produces Photoshop, has developed a lens that splits the scene that a camera captures into many separate images.
Georgiev’s group etched a grid of square minilenses into a lens, making it look like an insect’s compound eye. Each minilens creates a separate image of the scene, effectively shooting the scene from 20 slightly different vantage points. Software merges the mini-images into a single image that the photographer can focus and refocus at will. The photographer can even slightly change the apparent vantage point of the camera. The team described this work last year in Cyprus at the Eurographics Symposium on Rendering.
In essence, the technique replaces the camera’s focusing lens with a virtual lens.