Light Field Photography Demo, Ren Ng

This camera is cool! Last week, Ren Ng came over to give me a demo of the culmination of his PhD work in the computer graphics lab at Stanford University. Ren and his team have produced a prototype, hand-held, light field plenoptic camera, which is capable of extending the depth of field of the camera without reducing the aperture. It can also produce perspective and focal-length shifts by simulating images that would be produced by pin-hole cameras between the camera's aperture and sensor. All of this happens from data collected in a single exposure!

The prototype uses a Contax medium-format camera and 16-megapixel sensor with a microlens array placed in between the aperture and sensor. You should totally check out the tech report and sample videos Ren has posted on the web. The technology is really cool; I hope it makes it into consumer products, eventually.

Aaron Logan and his lovely wife, Natalie, came over to visit as well. I walked around downtown Oakland with Aaron, visiting a gym that had a room full of bizarre yoga toys that looked like they might be used for less-than-wholesome purposes.

Oh, and I got to practice lockpicking, too. My neighbor, Greg, happened to lock himself out of his loft, and when the locksmith guy came to pick the lock, he took one look at my key (produced as an example), said dejectedly, "oh. six tumblers," and left the building to get more serious equipment. It took me 10 minutes to open the door, which surprised me because I am totally out of practice (I thought I might fail). That locksmith should feel bad that a random dude like me can beat him in what he is supposed to do for a living. :)

Also below are random photos...