Nokia Refocus launches, Lytro inspired focus in post

Nokia announced the Refocus app during the Nokia World conference and today it’s here. The ability to take a photo and allow your viewers to focus later is a...

Refocus

Nokia announced the Refocus app during the Nokia World conference and today it’s here. The ability to take a photo and allow your viewers to focus later is a neat trick. Those with a  keen eye on photography will know this isn’t exactly a new trick, with Lytro first introducing a dedicated rectangular camera with this technology around 2 years ago. This is however the first time we’ve seen it on a smart phone and the truth is, it works pretty well.

The way this works is you take the photo with the Refocus app (exclusive to Lumia’s), then share that to Skydrive and post a link to social media. The reason is that unlike a animated gif, this isn’t a single file you’re linking to. In fact behind the scenes the post-focus effect is done by the camera taking multiple photos and thanks to some fancy javascript, just transitions between the different images with a variety of focus points. It’s a really neat effect.

If you do want a hard baked copy of a particular blur, don’t forget about the screenshot function on WP8 by pressing home and power at the same time. Of course if you’re after the same single focus photo from a computer, you can still right-click and save the current image out. While on the surface level look at this app may leave you wondering how useful it actually is. Thankfully the variances in focus really can change a single image from bring boring to interesting in a click.

I can’t help but feel that Nokia should have purchased Lytro, who knows, maybe they did receive an offer, but asked to much. Now that Nokia and inevitably others will/have copied the idea, the reasons to spend hundreds on a dedicated camera to achieve this, just blurred out of focus.

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Here’s my first image using Nokia Refocus, over the next few days, I’ll be taking plenty more with the Lumia 1020.

More information at https://refocus.nokia.com/

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NokiaPhotography

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