When the Gigapixel Camera prototype was first demonstrated, I heard one of the principal investigators say, "with other cameras you point then shoot, with the Gigapixel Camera you shoot then point." Using computational imaging, Schuster, Dansereau, Wetzstein, and Ford demonstrate the feasibility and design of a very wide field-of-view Gigapixel camera that can shoot, then point, then focus. The reconstructed data also provides 3D awareness of the field of view. These are not the only advantages of their design; by eliminating the re-imaging optics, they are able to considerably reduce the form factor of the camera. Their design shows a 164 MPixel camera that can almost cover a hemisphere and can fit on the palm of your hand.
The paper is a joy to read. It describes in detail the procedure the researchers followed to assemble experimental prototypes and is an inspiration and guide to new researchers that great work requires courage to take things apart and glue things together. I am looking forward to purchasing one of these cameras at the GoPro store.
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