April 22, 2013

FocusTwist brings Lytro-style imaging to iPhone

The new $2 app lets you refocus images after capturing them:

PetaPixel writes,

Unlike Lytro’s light field camera, which uses innovative new technology that actually captures entire scenes sharply in one shot, FocusTwist “fakes it.” The app doesn’t require any additional hardware because it’s simply based around the idea of stacking multiple photographs.

The app snaps multiple photographs of a scene with different focal planes and then merges them together into a single interactive image that can be refocused. One of the “secret sauces” behind the app is the image stabilization algorithm that it uses to cancel any hand shake that might be present when it shoots the multiple exposures.

What do you think—is the effect legitimately useful, or just a gimmick?

Posted by John Nack at 10:03 AM on April 22, 2013


  • Rich MacDonald — 11:58 AM on April 22, 2013

    Like pretty much any new technology, most initial uses will be gimmicky, but some creative souls will find a legitimate use.

    Look at Photoshop. There was an overwhelming amount of knee-jerk filter usage in the early years. Now that Photoshop is main-stream, and dare we say boring, it is being used more than ever for creative legitimate uses. Now it’s about the end product instead of showing what we can do.

    See this Seth Godin article: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/03/bring-me-stuff-thats-dead-please.html

    As for the ability to refocus an image later. Hopefully apps like this will accentuate what makes light field photography truly unique and powerful. Refocusing poorly focused images gets old fast. It’d be a bit like having to fix white balance for RAW files that had all over the board starting auto-whitebalance. Post control is nice, but it’s better to get things right at the capture time in order to save post-editing toil.

  • melgross — 11:25 AM on April 23, 2013

    No more of a gimmick than the Lytro itself. I’ve played with that, and from my useage, it seems to be one of the biggest pieces of junk around. At least this allows a photo with full resolution, rather than going back to the early ’90’s.

    Also remember that the Lytro only allows a few focus points. It isn’t infinitely adjustable, and the focus point is rarely exactly where you want it.

  • Richard Liu — 9:52 AM on July 15, 2013

    Photography has indeed evolved to a great extent! This new app will please all those who are with creative souls. And the best part is that unlike other quality apps will be considerably cheap. It has its competitive advantages for Eden Creative Media demands.

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