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Is it possible to increase the depth of field for an image?

The ability to refocus is great, but what if you want more of the scene in focus at one point? Conventionally you'd stop the aperture down but the Lytro is fixed at 2.0 (whiich is very nice for indoor work!)

Kenneth Stagg

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33 answers

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Mark, Greg - We will support "all in focus" sometime after we ship:

http://lytro.zendesk.com/entries/20558106-will-it-be-possible-to-place-all-subjects-in-focus-at-once

lfeldman - "the Flash demonstrations on your website and others only allow focusing at two points":   Not really.  What's going on is that the pictures you are playing around with are web optimized versions of the light field file.   The amount of depth information that was captured -- which is based on the skill of the photographer's 3D compositions as much as camera itself -- will result in more or less refocusability and thus more or less refocus points.  Note that some of our web gallery pictures have 5 or more focus points.  

The original file has all the light field information in it; as a result, it's pretty big (about 16MB) and would be an unwieldy beast to share.  

"When you release your cameras, will your software be able to focus at any arbitrary point in the image" - Yes, you'll be able to do this on the Lytro Desktop software.  But again, there is skill and learning involved; if you take a picture at 1x zoom, and your near subject is 5 feet away, they are effectively at infinity as far as we are concerned.  There will be very little depth (and therefore refocusability) in such a picture.  

A great lightfield photo at 1x will have your near subject about 4-6 inches away.  

adam gould
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I have been wanting a camera that has a depth of field from the tip of my nose to the far horizon for 35 years. With the refocusing ability the Lytro has, it would seem like all the information is there in the file, so is it possible to have a great depth of field? everything in the picture in focus at the same time?

mark.chambers
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I'm looking for a similar capability. In theory, a light field camera should be able to focus at any point in the image, but the Flash demonstrations on your website and others only allow focusing at two points--effectively, foreground/background. When you release your cameras, will your software be able to focus at any arbitrary point in the image, or will it also be limited to just two points of focus?

Len Feldman
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Playing with the sample gallery, its doesn't seem that the depth of field can be increased.  And the depth of field is very limited because of the fixed f/2.0 lens.  Perhaps the company's software will have a solution.  But until then, I would guess that you would have to make 2 or more JPEG and then combine them using Photoshop.  Clearly if you are a fan of the f/64 school of photography, this is not the camera for you.  

Gregory Gieber
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I had the same question, but I see the obvious answer (assuming that the DoF isn't as great as you want it).  Save multiple JPGs from your desktop software using multiple (and different focus points), then open Photoshop in automate mode for stacking (merge) and stack the images.  Each of the focus points will be merged into one multi-focal image.  It's a little more work, but you can set up a batch process to do them quicker once you save the multiple-focus images.  That's my solution anyway.

Tom Manson
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So this means that the features are basically software issues, and that the camera has much more potential?

Wayne Kee
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@wayne, that's correct.  Things like 3D, parallax, tilt shift, EDOF, etc are all computational features, that is, they are made possible by the software,   All the data we need is in the .lfp file, we just need to get it out >;-)  

And what that means, is that when we release a new feature on Lytro Desktop, you'll be able to apply those new features to every living picture you've ever taken, if you want.  Refocusability has always just been the beginning...

 

adam gould
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And based on what Adam said above, you don't ever want to delete a picture from your desktop program just because it wasn't focused the way you wanted!

Camera Bug
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From Adam Gould: "The original file has all the light field information in it; as a result, it's pretty big (about 16MB) and would be an unwieldy beast to share."

In saying this, isn't one of your major selling points; "Friends and family can explore your living pictures – having fun interacting with them like you did – on nearly any device, like your mobile phone, your web browser or your tablet."

 So they will only get a semi-useful living picture like displayed on your website then? As you have said the original file is just not feasible to be shared due to it's size.

Nicholas Cox
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The difference between the full 16MB file on your Desktop, and the web-optimized version you're sharing is marginal, from the perspective of most living picture consumers. There's really just not huge refocusability differences between Desktop and your shared images.

You want to keep everything you've taken, in raw form, for when we release new features like parallax. Those new features need access to all that juicy lightfield data that is not contained in the web-optimized versions, to generate the living pictures with parallax. In other words, you'll need to re-process and re-share any pictures you've already published, that you want to have that new effect.

Does this address your concern about only getting "semi-useful" living pictures?

adam gould
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It seems to me that as the rendering engine progressively focuses from near to far that only rendering those pixels and adding each layer iteratively would produce a near perfect image or you can set a depth range to compose the subject with the remainder out of focus.  I can think of a way to primitively do this by using layers in photoshop. I hope this feature becomes available, as I've been hesitant to purchase this camera without it.  Also I want to produce a still image in jpg or raw to work with elsewhere.

Nick Waters
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and if it will be available to those who purchased now?  I don't want to get myself

involved with another 'Apple' type company. (a few months after buying original iPad, out comes

iPad 2 with camera...there goes my $500. down the drain. Apple is now dead to me and many others)

Joe Ciccone
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I do not know the date, but I know that as I had my camera since about April, I have already received number of firmware updates (I think it was 2) and few Desktop app updates for both Mac and Windows. I totally agree with you about the Apple approach - even though you support  them, they'll just keep making you want to buy new release after a new release. I do believe Lytro will have to, at some point, release a new hardware platform, to improve performance, resolutions, and so on... but at this stage it looks like they do have a lot they can change via software on the computer and on the camera, to keep growing capabilities of this device... As prices of everything go up, $400-$500 for a camera is not that much.. but as this is the most expensive camera I have, I certainly would not want to be pushed to buy a ver. 2 any time soon..... Let's just hope they think that way too..... ;)

Greg Tokarski
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I'm glad to hear the file size is manageable at 16MB- obviously large for convenient web toting- but it gives me some idea.

Thanks Adam Gould

Max Bellasys
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@max, the 16GB original files are not designed for sharing; we create a web-optimized version that is specifically for sharing, at about 200-400K each.  The original files are really just for viewing and working with in the Lytro Desktop software.

adam gould
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This could be a pain in requiring a lytro-specific plug-in to parse, but at this point couldn't someone develop a nice multi-resolution analysis basis set (like curvelets) optimized for light field data?

 

Elijah Gregory
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Or is something like this already being done to allow sharing of the images?  Would like to see less-lossy compression.

Elijah Gregory
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If you go into 'perspective shift' mode the entire image appears to be in focus. You could simply copy the image at that point in order to have the maximum DOF for that image.

 

What I would like to see in the desktop software would be a 2-slider system for DOF control; one for the 'depth' of the DOF and the other for the center of the DOF. This would make composition easier and more intuitive.

Jeff Kingsley
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Jeff! A good idea! Of course not every image has as many focus layers as others.. or at least they do not differ.. but in once that do have the differential, it would be cool to use your idea to decide what's in focus, and how deep of a layer of "all in focus we got"... That would be quite cool for those who do some really creative work...

Greg Tokarski
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I get all-in-focus images by p-shifting them, then clicking and dragging to shift the perspective to the one I like.  A screenshot will have the image all-in-focus.  However, a jpeg extraction still will not.  This is a feature that I hope will be included in a release soon.

Jeff Wilson
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My purchase dollars await the ability to control point of focus and depth of field after shooting followed by export to .jpg with the chosen settings.  My application absolutely requires that.  Any idea when that might be available?

Don Gateley
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Hi Don,

Point of focus: already available (when exporting to JPG).

Depth of field: I'm sorry, but we cannot commit to a timeline on that.

Ian Ellison
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January 2012 - "We will support "all in focus" sometime after we ship"

June 2013 - "Depth of field: I'm sorry, but we cannot commit to a timeline on that."

So basically, you guys have got no idea?

I have seen some reviews which show horrible image quality from your camera and the final image resolution is 1 MP. Is this true?

Users are saying they cannot even play the files on their home HDTVs as the resolution is so low. What's wrong?

Nicholas Cox
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Although it is called All-In-Focus, this may be very misleading to consumers.

From your release statement, "out-of-focus targets in the original due to range or movement will still be out of focus", which means that anything which is beyond the original DOF of the camera, which may be significant due to using a fixed aperture of 2.0, will not be and can never be in focus.

Also, can you comment on the second part of my post which related to the poor image resolution of the images produced?

Nicholas Cox
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Nick, 

> anything which is beyond the original DOF of the camera, which may be significant due to using a fixed aperture of 2.0, will not be and can never be in focus.

Many of our customers have used the "All in focus" phrase to mean anything that can be in focus, is in focus.  They have been asking for such a feature for some time, and we have delivered.   As yet, I have yet to see any complaints about confusion here but we'll certainly keep a lookout.  

 

> I have seen some reviews which show horrible image quality from your camera

All cameras are capable of producing poor results; it is, after all, just a tool and the output of any tool is dependant on the skill of the wielder.  Some tools are harder to work with than others -- there is certainly a learning curve to getting consistently great pictures on the Lytro camera, which we have never tried to hide.  The first digital cameras were heavy, expensive, didn't hold many pictures, and relatively paltry resolution.  They weren't for everyone, but were great for some, and the technology had to start somewhere.  As the technology advanced, their appeal widened until 25 years later, we have the mass appeal, mature market we have today.  

Lightfield photography is still in its infancy, and while our first lightfield camera lacks many of the incremental improvements that have come from 25 years of advances in digital technology, future Lytro releases will have advances that will make getting shots easier.  

Every picture you see on our gallery was taken with a stock Lytro camera, and many of them were taken by non-professional photographers. 

> The final image resolution is 1 MP. Is this true?

If you want to ** export a .jpg**** image**, that image is 1080x1080.  While this resolution is fine for most web sharing, if exporting high-resolution 2D pictures is important, the Lytro camera is probably not a good fit for you.  

The Lytro camera is not intended to replace your DSLR or even your point and shoot.  It's aimed at early adopter creatives who want to preview the potential and early ability of lightfield photography in particular and computational photography in general.  We have many customers having a great time composing light field photos that simply can't be created with a traditional 2D cameras.  

> Users are saying they cannot even play the files on their home HDTVs as the resolution is so low.

With practice and experimentation, anyone can take great lightfield pictures they'd want to share.  ** We have a great educational series to help, and have other learning materials in our ** Lytro Learn section.

Potential Lytro customers should definitely do their research and ** make sure it's a good fit for them; we want new and potential customers to join our small but happy club of creative innovators.  This is also why we offer customers who purchase ** directly from our store our 30-day money-back warranty to help with this decision.  

 

adam gould