Lytro Focus-Later Camera Is A Revolution In Photography

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News Posted: Fri, Oct 21 2011 6:06 AM
What if you could take a snapshot of anything, and then focus or blur it after the fact, without any Photoshop? It's now possible. Lytro, Inc. has just revealed a new consumer light field camera, which introduces a new way to take and experience pictures. Unlike conventional cameras, the Lytro light field camera captures all the rays of light in a scene, providing new capabilities never before possible, such as the ability to focus a picture after it's taken. The pocket-sized camera, which offers an 8x optical zoom and f/2 lens, creates interactive "living pictures" that can be endlessly refocused. The camera is available in two models and three colors, starting at $399.


The Lytro is the only consumer camera that lets people instantly capture a scene just as they see it by recording a fundamentally richer set of data than ever before. Lytro cameras feature a light field sensor that collects the color, intensity, and the direction of every light ray flowing into the camera, capturing a scene in four dimensions. To process this additional information, Lytro cameras contain a light field engine that allows camera owners to refocus pictures directly on the camera. When the Lytro's living pictures are shared online, the light field engine travels with each picture so anyone can interact with them on nearly any device, including web browsers, mobile phones, and tablets-without having to download special software.

The photos have to be read in a custom app, which is currently only available on Mac, but a Windows version is in development. There's also no flash, and the design isn't super easy to shove into one's pocket. But it's still a very unique product, but hardly a P&S replacement. More like a complementary tool for people who just love photography. It'll be available in both 8GB and 16GB models, storing 350 and 750 pictures respectively. In addition, our first camera owners will enjoy free storage for the light field pictures they've uploaded to Lytro.com.


It'll support 3D in 2012, and we're desperately hoping this kind of sensor can be crammed into a future smartphone or two.
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AKwyn replied on Fri, Oct 21 2011 6:42 PM

Cool... I'd like to see it in action before I make any judgement on it but the ability to focus the images after a picture has been taken sounds pretty interesting.

 

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gazd1 replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 8:39 AM

I don't like that bit about the first camera owners having free storage with Lytro.com. That tells me that this could be an expensive mistake to get. Anyway I'd rather have just the basic DSLR camera & muck around with the photos normally. After a while I will be a little more interested in this new technology, but not right now though.

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sweenjm replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 12:07 PM

Film still reigns supreme!!!!!!!! just get it right the first time and no need to muck around with it afterwards.

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realneil replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 2:48 PM

sweenjm:
Film still reigns supreme!!!!!!!!

Gawd! Your kidding, right?

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Very interesting... I would be curious to see this type of sensor in a DSLR that would take two photos .RAW format and the format that this camera uses.

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realneil replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 8:29 PM

omegadraco:
Very interesting... I would be curious to see this type of sensor in a DSLR that would take two photos .RAW format and the format that this camera uses.

Notice that it doesn't say anywhere what the Mega-Pixel rating is?

I have read about this technology before, and I think it was here on HotHardware a few months ago.

You can GO HERE to see the pictures and click on separate areas and see them come into focus. It's cool.

 

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gloriad1 replied on Sun, Oct 23 2011 6:52 AM

Yeah! I'd have to agree with gazd1 and wait for a while to see how this tech runs.

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omegadraco replied on Sun, Oct 23 2011 12:20 PM

Very true about the megapixels :)

Thanks for the link it was very interesting to be able to play with the focus and zoom.

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CGeers replied on Sun, Oct 23 2011 4:32 PM

Awesomely dumb... it's like listening to a mix of a song that everything is at the same level, or looking at a painting that's all the same color until you decide to unpaint, remix or FOCUS it. This is just another step into mediocrity. Maybe it should actually lead you to where a great photo opportunity is and compose the shot as well. DUMB IDEA except maybe for remote cams but the resolution just isn't there. Can anyone say FAD?

It's alot like sitting in a movie theater with an image that the projectionist forgot to focus. ugh..... technology is awesome in all it's flaws. This is just another step in removing humanity from the creative process.

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realneil replied on Sun, Oct 23 2011 7:42 PM

If I bought into this,...and I think it's too damn expensive,...It would never ~replace~ my Nikon Digital and all of my lenses and filters.

But if it wasn't so expensive, I would consider it for hiking when you can't tolerate a lot of weight. Yes, I have a Cannon 14MP point and shoot that goes already.

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