Ashley Pomeroy: I sincerely hope it turns out well. I suspect it'll end up like the Wankel Rotary Engine - a niche thing, with fans - but it's nice to have a bit of diversity. I can remember when the possibilities of digital imaging seemed endless, but over time the technology seems to have homogenised, with most of the effort going into the packaging; if this could be made to shoot video the results would be beautiful.
Although I worry that the technology is too complicated to add to an existing imaging system, as a kind of added ingredient, and conversely too esoteric to capture a mass market. I wonder if it could be built into lenses, so that e.g. you could stick a 70-200mm f/2.0 Selective Focus lens on your Canon, or what-have-you?
NO, it is less than 1 MP
READ the article, do not invent "facts" to fit your opinions; the existing cameras are less than 600 pixels on a side but he says he can get 1080 on one side (in another iteration, maybe?)
TheSquid: For the first implementation of this....it's akin to the early stages of consumer digital cameras. Remember those.... 640x480 pixels. Good for web use but not so much for print. After looking at their examples, the ability to change focus point is nice, but the resolution only works on the web. Therefore, implementing web based use is the only practical way to view the images. No prints....just pixels on a screen. For those of you looking for this to be something to use professionally, you're sadly mistaken at this point.
you are wrong
there isn't at this point any way to save a single viewpoint
My suggestion would be to try a screencapture and see if this works but then the image quality is so low that why bother
Don Simons: Sorry Dr Ng, great tech, but people won't buy into this business model.
wander - no, cloud processing is necessary - there are (latest specs) 11 focus points that are matrixed in the microlenses and using the cloud processing you choose which you want to see.
All the stuff he is talking about (3d, etc.) relies on heavy software on heavy iron - mainframes!
You will be able to view your pix on a Macintosh but little else until you get the files uploaded to the net
Zvonimir Tosic: I admit I was very skeptical about this technology in the beginning, but now I can see it was because of the lack of the real-world examples, and because of the lots of ramble and noise around the net, all created by assumptions and *without* a down-to-point, excellent explanation now presented by Ren Ng.Could anyone make sense of what an iPad can do for people if Steve Jobs did not present it so wonderfully and made people crave for it?In that same manner, kudos to Mr Ren Ng. In this way or another, his ideas will change something inside the world of photography, same as the original Mac did in the computer industry.
and yet more people who do not understand what this is - it is NOT a camera, per se; but the shooting part of an online image sharing system - a facebook toy for high school kids
While that is a big market, the bigger question is will they trade using their smartphones for this toy
Ivanaker: we have zooms, we have autofocus, we have autoexposure, we have digital. 50 years ago noone had this, and when all of those apeared people laughed at the concept. leica laughed to the slr concept and failed big time.this is the future, deal with it.sure hope that nikon and canon goes into this and implement in their future FF cameras, or they will fail.lytro, welcome, the world of photography is yours.
Ivanaker - yet another demonstration of someone who has no understanding of what they are talking about
This thing works by having a matrix of 11 different focus points via different microlenses - and software that allows you to select which of the 11
what idiot at canon or nikon would go to a less than 1MP image? What idiot would buy that?
This is NOT the future, this is a toy technology
and NO, Leica did not fail, the market just grew bigger with SLR'sLeica still exists NO leica was not dominant, ever. NO, Nikon did not take over the world of news, and sports NO, ALL photographers laugh at digital being so low resolution (20 MP indeed, Pros still laugh at autofocus for non-moving and many moving targets, AF is still poor to unusable
And a Big Fat NO; you can not have a focused microlens system also use multifocused; this is a different technology to photography; not photography at all. It will never be in a Nikon or Canon
Anfernee Cheang: We can complain about the look, the picture quality, the irremovable battery, the less of functions, or anything else. But we shouldn't complain about the concept, right?
I still got hundreds of beautiful photos in my HDD without proper focus. It's my fault not doing focus right at the time I shoot them, but why don't I deserve a chance to make correction? If the "focus-after-shoot" concept can be improved and incorporate into our DSLR/EVIL/DC, what can the world be?
It's funny seeing someone said users need to adjust focus one photo by one. I agree this generation of the camera may be weak in design. But how about if we can use "default focus" on shooting, and then go back home to check on the photos? If we find any one unfocused, we adjust them. The number of rework photos should be dramatically drop to 1/100 of total!
This is the trend for allowing more tolerance in our life. You don't need to like it, but please let it grow. If no one likes it, it will disappear naturally...
But you have to understand the concept - there is no picture, per se; just an essentially video file in which you can adjust the focus by controlling which of 11 or so focus points you want to see
NO, you can't combine them to increase the D O F (in other words it can select from 1 and only 1 of the 11 at a time)
NO it is less than 1 MP per image (not very sharp or usable on a large screen; not printable in any real way)
NO it might not help your unfocused photos as it is so small AND yoyu only get 1 focus at F 2.0 at a time
It would be better not to call this a camera so much as a facebook imaging device
maridia: Hmm... The device certainly seems interesting, but he mentioned F-book far too many times for me to take him seriously. That, and the device is Mac only. How about a little Linux love? Or at least Windows so I could Wine and dine it. Potential this has, but perhaps many years beyond present day.
YES it is Mac only (at this point - set for release next year but taking pre-orders NOW)
Mac OS-X 10.6 or higher in fact
Windows to come sometime next year, they say (and likely it will be windows 7 only at first)
Deconut: This is a nifty new technology. But like any photography breakthrough, this concept will be copied and assimilated. Just like more megapixels and video were added to SLRs, your Canon EOS and Nikon D will have the same ability before too long...
deconut - NO. This is just yet another adaptation of existing technologies that has no use for it's cost. You need to understand what it is as NO it isn't anything that you could or would want to add to any dslr (in other words this is a different sheet of microlenses so it is an either / or technology not a technology you can use focusing on all pixels or focusing differently on some pixels than others
hahiran: First, I can't believe all the haters here. I've not written anything on here for years because of this kind of pointless patter, but I can't help saying something about this camera.
This is absolutely a disruptive technology, and the speed at which Ren has brought a working product to market is nothing short of astonishing. And it's not just a working product, it's an incredibly elegant one. If complaining about new technology makes you feel better about the world, then by all means keep up the good work, but I'm buying one of these beauties and enjoying the future.
It's not hate; but a rejection of the hype.
NO this is not disruptive technology, it is just na application of existing technology - and a poor one at that.
Yes it will be good for all the high school girls who load up their facebook pages with music and pictures to have yet another toy - but toy it is; this is not a serious camera and has no pretenses to be except in the marketing and minds of the easily fooled; those who fail to read and understand what they are looking at
loose the hype, this is as useful as a $29.95 640 x 480 pendant camera; no this is not a serious camera and cameraphones have the market this thing goes into
maxhodges: Personally, I think there is no consumer market for such a product and the company is likely destined for bankruptcy. Current digital cameras and mobile phone cameras do a pretty good job of focusing, many are now outfitted with face recognition features, and their small sensors yield greater depth of field than DSLR cameras which means botched focus has less impact of the final image anyway.
If photographers cared enough about focusing, they will take an extra shot or two for safety and learn to use their camera's focus-lock features which allow them to manage most unusual cases quite well. (But I bet if you surveyed people you'd find a larger majority of consumer digital camera owners have never bothered to learned how to use focus-lock on their camera, which, if true, would indicate general satisfaction with their camera's native focus performance.)
I think it has a market - those who want a nifty cool toy to play with on facebook
Think high school girls
and that is a pretty big market
GordonSaunders: Whatever the merits of the technology it's refreshing to see a camera which isn't shackled to the styling of a film camera. Most cameras don't use film and don't have mirrors so the format of film-era cameras can be discarded. The styling may be novel but it recognises the principle of form following function. Do the fans of DSLRs drive Model-T Fords? That's unlikely, but they want to use cameras which haven't changed shape since those days. Wake up, boys and look at how comfortable video cameras are to hold.
again, this has been tried before and failed miserably
There is a reason for the camera design we have and NO it has nothing to do with film. People want to hold a camera still in TWO hands, you want the lens in the center so it moves the least when you take pictures - center of movement is also the central focal point of the image )
Look at a Kodak DC50, sony mavica, fuji finepix s9500, agfa ephoto, sony / minolta dimage, fuji es-1, sony dsc 42, polaroid pdc; none had the two hand layout and all were failures because they did niot have the two hand layout
This isn't about the styling, you have to use this thing and as a point and shoot it will work but as a zoom it will fail - you don't have anything to hold onto while you zoom
wetsleet: "a device that, unlike many cameras, doesn't have any film-era roots to its design."
I'd buy it for that alone! At last, after how many years (?) someone has realised that there is NO FILM cannister to spool anymore, so you don't need the "flat square back with a perpendicular lens barrel sticking out the front" design any more.
If all those mirrorless CSC designers had only realised that, we might have had some pocketable CSC cameras.
no film camera roots - except the lensesk, etc. etc
Seriously, this HAS been tried (look back at the early sony's, etc.) and NOBODY LIKED IT!
Cameras are the shape they are for a reason!
1) lens mounted middle so you do the least amount of vibration . moving the focal point (similarly notice that better CD and DVD players keep the player in the MIDDLE)
2) areas on both sides so your hands can hold it
this is and always be a snapshot oriented TOY, not a real camera; and that is Ok because that is the market they are going for
And while they are taking orders now for 2012 delivery - it is Macintosh OS X 10.6 or better ONLY (no PC version yet)
OneShotOneClick: Does anyone have well examiated the pics on Lytro's web site and noticed that thi camera....being a camera..works using the rule of 1/3 and 2/3 Depth Of Field?!?!?
YOU CAN'T REFOCUS AS YOU LIKE having always the same good result.
You can't focus the very first thing if You shot the picture pointing at the far last thing..Go and try to refocus and You'll see what I mean.So I ask...
IS IT A REAL LIGHTFIELD CAMERA?!?
Guspaz - you are ignoring that the microlenses are 1) wider than the pixel and 2) GLASS and not as shrinkable as the sensor
No your analogy / math suck, you can make an 8MP 25mm or so sensor but only because it IS an 8MP 25mm sensor (there are connections, edges, etc. that do not count as part of the 25mm, that is only the sensed surface)
This isn't really a new technology but a variation of existing technologies which has a very limited use as it requires special software to see your pics which is only on their site
Adrian Harris: What a wonderful breakthrough, photography is about to change- for the first time in over 150 years.
not really a breakthrough, Canon has been doing tricks with microlenses and has figured out how to suck out the air from between the sensor and the microlenses; they have been using software to make a 1920 x 1080 pic from a 5615 x 3744 sensor; they have been using large computers to calculate 3d positions in movies; all this does is do all this together
People need to understand exactly what this is or you come up with the old saying that any technological achievement that is not understood becomes "magic" to the ignorant.
Guspaz - NO, this isn't for video (the processing required for this times the FPS of video is prohibitive and remember, so far this is less than 1KMP; HD video is 2 MP); NO it is not scalable to 4K, you would need a sensor 6 to 8 times the size
NO it doesn't shoot in 3D - it takes a variety of focuses at once by matrixing single focus microlenses over the sensor - the 3D is all calculated; NO you can not make focal decisions later (they are ALL in the file at once
5inchfloppy: Finally a camera that lets me concentrate on framing without worrying about focus. Isn't that what photography is about? Taking pictures of what you see (frame) so that you can show others what you see?
Haters gonna hate, and this is a great breakthrough (not the plenoptic tech, but the fact that they make this tech easily available).
This will indeed change photography as we know it. I want in!
1) in reality your eyes also have a set depth of field (you just adjust faster)
NO this isn't clear enough (less than 1MP) and NO this isn't photography - this is snapshots
Photography is the art of light and shadow and focus is a part of that
and NO this won't change photography (and please note that you can ONLY view your pictures via their software on the internet on their site)
NO this does NOT change slow shutter speeds nor motion of the camera or subject
Incompetence is undefined, therefore unanswerable, artistic vision is SUBJECTIVE
Michael - the problem is those images can only be viewed by lytro's software on their website and linked to it from another site (i.e. facebook)
Najinsky: Just playing with the numbers, the images, and the above soundbites, I'm guessing each ray is getting split to 9 detectors (11 megarays giving 1080 HD could suggest 10 but given the square format I go with 9). This perhaps gives 9 fields of focus, and when you play with the images, you certainly get the feeling of switching between different focus zones rather than smooth refocussing. I guess more zones are possible through interpolation and I suspect that's what the 3D software they are working on is trying to do.
In this current incarnation, the appeal is the playing with the images to reveal hidden subject interactions. It's a high tech toy. At least for now.
Aside from where it might go in the far future, I think this has a lot more potential for video. Both in terms of current resolution and limited IQ (far objects have such small resolution, focus is almost irrelevant) but the ability to pan focus from subject to subject (after shooting) would definitely appeal to film makers.
Is there anyone else who does NOT understand that image sensors (pixels) are NOT laid out in a square?
they are laid out (relative to the color filters that separate R-G-B) as in:
. . r b g. g r b gb g r b g ------- trying to get this to space right, the characters should slant
all colors are FALSE in that each pixel has 1 real color and "borrows" the other colors from the adjacent two sensors of that color (with the exception of the foveon sensor) - but the layout is NOT square, it is more a hexagon
Most of what I have seen are images significantly less than 1 MP with an ostensibly listed 12 MP sensor that makes for 11 (a number I have seen elsewhere) fields of focuses in a matrix
what they are doing is a software that merges these into a selectable depth of field and can make fake 3d and move perspective the same way the movies do now - by programming fakery
ChrisKramer1: I have a terrible, sneaking suspicion that these are going to catch on. You can never tell...
I think this will catch on when people understand that it IS a WEB BASED image that has a toy quality to it, not a camera - This is what some people are looking for; NOT a camera but an internet toy for playing with their friends
Thomas Kachadurian: It strikes me as the future of security cameras. Imagine, once the volume of data can be handled by a computer in a security system, imagine the possibilities that can get details out of anything in the scene to be determined later. I think artistic applications will come later.
although the idea would seem to work, in practice the depth of field you can get with a good lens on a higher resolution camera would beat the extremely low 1 Megapixel image this develops (and they haven't even talked about light sensitivity)
Andrew Roos: I suspect DPR is misinterpreting the "at least HD" statement. 720p is also an HD standard, and I suspect the Lytro camera will have an image resolution of around 960 x 720 (in other words, 720p vertical with a 4:3 aspect ratio) with an array of 4 x 4 pixels under each microlens, giving an 11.06 MP sensor "11 mega rays" in Lytra terms. (I can see four distinct focus zones in the posted Lytro pics, which may be related).
Had you ever been to their site, the images have a number of focus points (11 may be right) BUT are ALL less than 1 Megapixel - I believe they are all 525 pixels on a side
The notion of sharing microlenses is misleading, each pixel has it's own microlens that has a different focal point than any of it's neighbors so they are in a matrix
also misleading is the notion of a "light field" (although this works as a concept, the microlenses at varying focal points do add up to a field - in effect) - but the misleading part is the notion that you capture light direction information on a digital sensor - NO; but you can simulate it the same way the movies do when they rotate an image - not actually 3D but simulated
AnHund: First of all this is amazing technology. Incredible that the prototype is already there.
But does anyone know if it is possible to select a specific focus point and then save the picture as jpeg?
NO. There is no specific focus point, anywhere
NO, marco; you did NOT read the article. You can share, via a link, the image from their site to other sites (e.g. facebook) but it still requires their computer to put the images up
Although you might be able to convince some screen capture software to generate such a file; the other issue comes up that currently the images are less than 1 MP and they are talking about going to maybe a full Megapixel - would you seriously want that?