Smartphone shoots: The local call

The day is not far off when Indian film-makers would be able to shoot films with simple smartphones. A couple of Indian researchers at MIT are working on a light-field camera technology which can revolutionise the way films are shot.

Kshitij Marwah and Professor Ramesh Raskar and their team at MIT are working on light field cameras which help you adjust the focus of photos after they have been taken. “If you take a shot where there are two actors in a frame, the focus invariably will be on one of the actors. If the director/photographer feels at a later date that the second actor in the frame needs to be focused, he can do that even after the cast and crew have packed up and left,” explains Kshitij Marwah.

“This can be done by fitting a coded mask between the lens and the sensor of the camera. When you capture the image, the camera also takes in a sample of all light rays in that scene. Later on, you can use simple computations or editing techniques to refocus anywhere in the scene,” explains Marwah.

“Such a camera can help directors shoot directly in 3D in a single shot,” says Mr Marwah. These light field cameras can also help you eliminate glare and even introduce one, as and when needed. It can also help you get better dynamic range, bringing the colours and contrast similar to that of film cameras,” he says.

The team has built such a light field camera in their lab and is also working on how these light field cameras can be mounted on normal smartphones.

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