Today is the day. Panasonic has officially released Post Focus via a free firmware update for its Lumix GX7, G8, and FZ300 cameras that will give users the ability to shoot now, focus later.
The overall premise sounds similar to the light field technology Lytro has built its name upon, but Panasonic takes an entirely different approach. Namely, rather than using micro lenses atop individual pixels as Lytro’s cameras do, Panasonic records 4K video and captures up to 49 points of focus in a single burst by slightly changing focus between each frame.
Once the sequence is captured, users can then scan through the points of focus and choose what ones they want to keep or discard using the touchscreen on the back of one of the compatible cameras. Below is a video showing off the selection process in action:
Post Focus is also useful to stack focus, but you’ll have to edit all of the frames together on your computer using third-party software.
One limitation of Post Focus is that you’ll only be able to grab eight megapixel images in Post Focus mode – the resolution of 4K video. Another is that this only really works with static subject matter due to the nature of the focus racking.
Limitations aside, it’s nice to see camera companies adding value for the consumer after it’s already been sold. More and more I can’t help but feel camera manufacturers will focus on upgrading cameras and their feature sets via firmware.
You can download the firmware from Panasonic’s website.