'PureView take 2's creator working on 'universal' imaging at Adobe

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Back in 2016, I postulated that Google's Pixel camera software, usually referred to as using HDR+, was effectively 'PureView take 2', doing oversampling in the time domain rather than the physical, as on Nokia's famous handsets, and I followed this up with various imaging comparisons (e.g. here). The architect of HDR+ was Marc Levoy and I covered his recent leaving Google earlier in 2020. But he's now popped up at Adobe, starting a couple of days ago. Most interestingly, he's said to be working on a 'universal' camera app, though of course it will be months before see any fruit from this.

The Verge had the initial story, on Monday:

At Adobe, it sounds like Levoy could be planning to make a great camera not just for Pixel users, but for anyone with a smartphone. Levoy will be working on computational photography initiatives across Adobe, and intriguingly, his efforts will be “centered on the concept of a universal camera app,” the company said in an email. That said, Adobe wasn’t immediately able to define “universal camera app” for us — we’ve also heard that phrase refer to an app platform that companies like Facebook and Snapchat could use to produce their own camera apps or an app that could work across, say, a cameraphone and a larger camera like a DSLR. We’re hoping to narrow that down.

Adobe already offers a camera app in Photoshop Camera, and there’s one built into the Adobe Lightroom app, too, but perhaps Adobe has a grander vision for its camera apps. And Adobe said in an email that Levoy will also be working with the Photoshop Camera, Adobe Research, and Sensei AI teams, so maybe Photoshop Camera will be the focus for these bigger efforts. Levoy will report to Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis, and he starts today.

One person doesn't write an entire application, of course, but having Marc heading up the Adobe imaging teams will at least make the company's photo output more attention-worthy later in 2020 and into 2021. 

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