Some time ago, the Lytro camera shocked photography fans by its ability to take a single photo that could be manipulated later on to change the depth of focus. It was revolutionary, but its high price kept many from adopting it. The thing is though, that major feat was the result of some clever software so it was just a matter of time before an app did the same. The Nokia Refocus app was recently released for all Nokia Lumia smartphones. What that means is that now even a low end smartphone like the Lumia 520, can take some amazing photos.
The Refocus app does pretty much the same as the Lytro did, it lets the user take a single photo, and the user can decide later on what depth of field they require by changing it. It’s important because smartphone camera technology has so far been limited to just increasing the megapixel count. The Refocus app however, is doing something different, through software. To get the most out of the app of course requires a very capable smartphone camera like the one on the Nokia 1520. But the fact that the app can also be run on the Lumia 520 shows that the smartphones of today really are a touch above. We can’t wait to see an Android clone of this app, because it can be done. It is software after all.
The secret to making a good refocus-able photo is to take a photo that involves an extremely close object. That way, you get a good depth of field, so experimenting later on can be fun. Because of the limited capabilities of smartphone lenses, it isn’t advisable to take refocus-able photos of distant objects, because there won’t be any depth of field to play with. There’s also a couple of other options in the Refocus app like color filters and an ‘All-focus’ mode. Really, you have to try the app first-hand to see what the fuss is all about. Highly recommended!