This is a completely different kind of camera. Rather than simply capturing the intensity of light that hits a sensor after going through a lens, light field (or plenoptic) cameras capture the intensity and direction of that light passing through a zillion microlenses.
This changes all the rules for photography. All kinds of properties like focus, DoF, frame rate, motion blur and even (to an extent) the camera position itself are no longer burned into the captured image, but are rather computed from the light field data, and can thus be post-production decisions. Add in VFX-friendly features like self-stereography, better camera tracking, depth screening (good bye chromakeys), and this redefines what is possible in production.
So what do you think of the technology? What do you think about the blurring lines between acquisition and post?
Definitely cool conceptually though their still cameras never seemed to gain much traction relative to the initial “whoa, that’s cool” buzz they got at launch. The camera looks massive (like a broadcast camera you’d see at a sporting event), has data requirements up to 400gigs a second, and a base rental price of $125,000 so it’s certainly looking to carve out a niche at the upper end of the pro market. I wonder how well it would intercut with Arri Alexa footage or 35mm?
For now it’s strictly a rental camera for high end EFX. 3 years from now it might be standard kit. The ability to Key based on “distance from background” will be major. For the rest I’m not too excited about handling focus in post – but when cpu and storage advances make this available as an iPhone option, it will be handy to have.
nothin\’ attached to nothin\’
\”Deciding the spine is the process of editing\” F. Bieberkopf
I’ve been following this for a few months. It’s an interesting technology full of possibilities. A lot of the cool things that you can do with depth maps and z space information might be possible with live action video. I personally look forward to the day when we no longer have to rely on colored backdrops to isolate foreground from background elements. Things like re-lighting, object removal and CG integration will probably be a lot easier to do… then of course, producers will expect you to do more with even less time… can’t wait.