Mon, Dec 01, 2014 - Page 11 News List

New light-field camera chip heralds photographic revolution
「光場相機晶片」 引爆相機革命

A researcher holds up a modified digital camera with a new light-field chip in this photo taken in Taipei on Nov. 20.

Photo: Wu Po-hsuan, Liberty Times

No longer will you have to spend time focusing shots. Researchers at National Taiwan University and National Tsing Hua University have spent the last two years developing a light-field camera chip that can record all the light in the scene at the moment of capture, and the photographer can then adjust the focus and the depth of field as they please in post production. In the future, this could also be used in mobile devices like phones, so that everyone can be an expert photographer.

National Taiwan University vice president and engineering professor Chen Liang-gee and National Tsing Hua University assistant professor Huang Chao-tsung formed a research team together and spent two years researching light field chips in depth, successfully developing 5D light-field imaging to capture depth within the scene. Huang says that the chip processor can record 25 angles simultaneously, “just like the compound eye of a fly” and, using computer calculations, attain the same effect as the human eye.

Chen believes that the light-field chip overcomes the shortcomings of cameras only being able to record at a single plane of focus with a set depth of field. By recording all of the light at one time, the photographer can take their time adjusting the focus and depth of field as they want back home. In addition, the chip reduces the need for other camera components, saving at least a half to a third of space, so that in the future digital cameras and smart phones can be even slimmer. Even though changeable focus lenses are still being developed, Taiwan is a global leader in chip processor technology, and this has already created a buzz in Silicon Valley in the US. In the future, it will spark a new photographic revolution.

(Liberty Times, translated by Paul Cooper)


1. depth of field n. phr.

景深 (jing3 shen1)

例: Shallow depth of field in a photo creates a pleasing blurred background to portraits.


2. shortcoming n.

缺點 (que1 dian3)

例: He’s a nice person, despite his shortcomings.


3. create a buzz v. phr.

引起熱切關注 (yin3 qi3 re4 qie4 guan1 zhu4)

例: The reports of a new breakthrough in quantum theory are creating a buzz in the scientific community.






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