Wide-FOV Monocentric Light Field Camera | CVPR 2017

Donald G. Dansereau, Glenn Schuster, Joseph Ford, and Gordon Wetzstein

This work presents the first single-lens wide-field-of-view (FOV) light field (LF) camera. Shown below is a pan through a 138°, 72-MPix LF captured using the optical prototype. Shifting the virtual camera position over a circular trajectory during the pan reveals the parallax information in the LF. There is no complex post-processing or alignment between fields, this is the raw light field as measured by the camera.


Both wide-FOV and LF capture have been shown to simplify and enhance a range of tasks in computer vision, and we expect their combination to find application spanning autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality capture, and robotics in general.


Light field (LF) capture and processing are important in an expanding range of computer vision applications, offering rich textural and depth information and simplification of conventionally complex tasks. Although LF cameras are commercially available, no existing device offers wide field-of-view (FOV) imaging. This is due in part to the limitations of fisheye lenses, for which a fundamentally constrained entrance pupil diameter severely limits depth sensitivity. In this work we describe a novel, compact optical design that couples a monocentric lens with multiple sensors using microlens arrays, allowing LF capture with an unprecedented FOV. Leveraging capabilities of the LF representation, we propose a novel method for efficiently coupling the spherical lens and planar sensors, replacing expensive and bulky fiber bundles. We construct a single-sensor LF camera prototype, rotating the sensor relative to a fixed main lens to emulate a wide-FOV multi-sensor scenario. Finally, we describe a processing toolchain, including a convenient spherical LF parameterization, and demonstrate depth estimation and post-capture refocus for indoor and outdoor panoramas with 15 x 15 x 1600 x 200 pixels (72 MPix) and a 138° FOV.


Joseph Ford and Glenn Schuster, Photonic Systems Integration Laboratory, UC San Diego.

External Links

Project page with more detail featuring panoramas, refocus, super-resolution, depth estimate, and hardware photo gallery.


  • technical paper ( pdf )
  • technical paper supplementary videos ( zip )


D. G. Dansereau, G. Schuster, J. Ford, and G. Wetzstein, “A wide-field-of-view monocentric light field camera”, in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), in Press, 2017.


title={A Wide-Field-of-View Monocentric Light Field Camera},
author={Donald G. Dansereau and Glenn Schuster and Joseph Ford and Gordon Wetzstein},
booktitle={Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition ({CVPR})},


We thank Kurt Akeley and Lytro for a hardware donation that enabled this work.  This work is supported by the NSF/Intel Partnership on Visual and Experiential Computing (Intel #1539120, NSF #IIS-1539120).  The authors thank Google ATAP for providing the Omnivision sensor interface, and Julie Chang and Sreenath Krishnan for their help with early optical prototypes. The monocentric lenses used in this work were fabricated within the DARPA SCENICC research program.


Additional results and photo galleries are at the external project page here.

System Overview

(left) The optical prototype employs a novel relay system and a rotating arm to emulate a tiled-sensor camera; (top-right) The main lens and lenslet array; (bot-right) The monocentric lens (fore), Lytro Illum (center), and a conventional lens with similar FOV and resolution (back).

Example panoramaand depth

138-degree LF panorama and a depth estimate based on a standard local 4D gradient method, shown as 2D slices of larger 72 MPix (15 × 15 × 1600 × 200) 4D LFs.

Outdoor panorama

138-degree outdoor LF panorama, shown as a 2D slice of a larger 72 MPix (15 × 15 × 1600 × 200) 4D LF.

Refocus Demo

Refocus example, alternating between the foreground dinosaur and background elements. This was carried out using unmodified shift-and-sum LF refocus.

Refocus demo

Refocus example, alternating between the foreground ducky and background elements. This was carried out using unmodified shift-and-sum LF refocus.

Super-resolution demo

Enhance! LF super-resolution, using a simple linear method.

Enhance!  LF super-resolution, using a simple linear method.

Enhance! LF super-resolution, using a simple linear method.