There is some confusion out there concerning the technology that allows you to refocus after an image has been captured. Lytro pioneered the “light field” technology that captues million light rays of data (or megarays), including the direction of each ray, and then processes the data into a picture that can be refocused later.
Anything else is a post-processing editing effect: i.e. part of the mage is blurred to simulate the effect you have shifted the focus. It’s a blurring effect, not a refocusing technology.
Here are two cameras that claim to provide post-capture image refocus, but only the Lytro Illum is actual technology while the HTC One M8 is blurring editing effect.
- LYTRO ILLUM is the “first high-end camera that harnesses the power of light field – capturing the direction, color and brightness of the rays of light within the frame.
- That means the ability to explore your pictures from different perspectives, focal points and dimensions.
- LYTRO ILLUM’s 40 Megaray customized sensor, with Lytro’s patented microlens array technology allows “photographers to portray not just a cross-section of reality, but an authentic, interactive window into their world.”
- It also allows you to preview the dimensions of every picture right on the camera.
- During image capture an interactive depth feedback display shows the relative focus of all objects in the frame, allowing composition in three dimensions.
- A real-time color-coded overlay of the live view lets you know which elements of the picture are within the re-focusable range.
- 8x optical zoom 30-250mm equivalent focal lens with a constant f/2.0 aperture and 1:3 macro lets you take a wide range of shots without ever having to change your lens.
- This lens weighs just half a pound.
The HTC One (M8) smartphone has an all-metal frame with wrap-around curves, which houses a dual lens camera. It may be one of the best Android smartphone out there, but it is the Duo Camera refocusing claim that we take issue with: it captures a normal image (with depth information), then when you touch a subject on screen, it uses that depth information to decide which part of the image not to blur.
This video presents “HTC One (M8) – Shoot now and change the focus later with UFocus.” Notice that the original photo has both persons in focus to begin with and UFocus simply blurs everything you did not touch on the screen. It’s not refocusing anything, just blurring part of the one original image to give a shallow depth-of-field impression. Like digital zoom isn’t real (optical) zoom, you can also apply this “mock bokeh” effect at anytime using an image editing software. The following marketing ad reads like it is refocusing technology, but keep in mind it simply isn’t.
- “With UFocus™, change the focus of the photo even after you’ve taken the shot.
- You can also apply a Bokeh effect, an aesthetic blur that adds a professional feel to your photos.”
The depth info grabbed by Duo Camera provides numerous post effect possibilities. Add an artistic touch to the background with Foregrounder, create 3D impression with Dimension Plus™, or apply a seasonal effect with Seasons.
This video presents “HTC One (M8) – Create cool and engaging photos with Duo Effects.”
- “The depth info grabbed by Duo Camera provides numerous post effect possibilities.
- Add an artistic touch to the background with Foregrounder, create 3D impression with Dimension Plus™, or apply a seasonal effect with Seasons.”