Nokia brings new focus-shifting camera app to Lumia Windows Phones (Updated)

Nokia Lumia 925 back camera side

Nokia has announced it will be bringing a new app named Refocus to its Lumia phones soon. It’s the latest in a line of specialist apps which add more functionality to the already excellent cameras fitted to Nokia’s Windows Phone hardware, and this time it’s a feature you won’t find many other places. Refocus allows you to play around with the focal point in a picture, after you’ve taken it.

Photography fans may already be aware of such technology, through cameras such as the Lytro, while smartphone aficionados may have been following DigitalOptics’ work, as it produces a lens which can do the same thing. In the case of Nokia’s app, it’s all software driven. It works by taking several different images, all at different depths of field, when you hit the shutter release.

Once the picture has been taken, you can bring different areas into focus just by tapping on the screen. This can have a dramatic effect on the image, potentially highlighting things which weren’t immediately obvious when you snapped the picture. This isn’t Refocus’ only trick either, as in macro shots it can bring the background into focus for you, or will keep the focal point in color while turning the surroundings black and white. 

The news was published on Nokia’s Conversations blog, and there are a pair of demo images which let you play around with the depth of field now. This is also how Refocus pictures will be shared on Facebook, so your friends mess around with the focus too.

Refocus will be available for free from the Windows Phone Store in the coming weeks, and is compatible with the Lumia 920, Lumia 925, Lumia 928, Lumia 1020, and the Lumia 1520. Should the Lumia 929 be made official soon, we’d hope it’s also included, and are slightly surprised the Lumia 1320 isn’t already on the list.

Updated on 11/14/2013 by Andy: Nokia has released the Refocus app in the Windows Phone store today, and you can download it from here. It’s currently exclusive to Nokia Lumia PureView phones, including those listed above.

Article originally published on 11/11/2013

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