Shree K. Nayar, chairman of the computer science department at Columbia University, does research that includes computational photography. “The data megapixel sensors gather is just an intermediate step on the way to a picture,” he said. “We are interested in how you design a camera that goes hand in hand with computation to create a new kind of picture.”
Many images produced by computational photography are seen mainly in research — for example, in shots where the focus has been changed after the fact. But inexpensive applications for ordinary camera phones are also starting to appear, said Marc Levoy, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford.
“A year ago this wasn’t happening,” he said. “But the industry is beginning to think that if the megapixel war is over, computational photography may be the next battleground.”
Edward Steichen: “No one has ever exhausted the possibilities of a Brownie.”