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Lytro announces Light Field Camera

By dpreview staff on Oct 19, 2011 at 18:54 GMT

Plenoptic camera maker Lytro has unveiled its first product - the Lytro Light Field Camera. Available in early 2012, the camera will come in 8Gb and 16Gb versions, costing $399 and $499, and capable of storing 350 and 750 images respectively in their internal memory. The cameras feature a 35-280mm equivalent, constant F2 lens with what the company is calling an 11 megaray sensor, that captures photos that can be refocused after shooting. Company Founder and CEO Ren Ng showed us the camera and talked us through the shooting experience.

Click here for our Lytro Light Field Camera overview with Ren Ng

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Press Release:

Lytro, Inc. Unveils the World's First Consumer Light Field Camera

Groundbreaking new camera instantly captures interactive, living pictures to share with friends and family online

Mountain View, CA – October 19, 2011 - Today, Lytro, Inc. (www.lytro.com) unveiled the first Lytro consumer light field camera, introducing 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 a powerful 8x optical zoom and f/2 lens in an iconic design, 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 Lytro's sleek design was created with simplicity in mind. With no unnecessary modes or dials, the camera features just two buttons — power and shutter — and has an intuitive glass touchscreen that lets pictures be viewed and refocused directly on the camera. While the Lytro camera houses complex technology, it is fundamentally easy to use, opening new creative opportunities for anyone interested in sharing their favorite memories with friends and family.

The Lytro camera's features include:

  • Form follows function: The Lytro's unique compact design is driven by its 8x optical zoom lens, which features a constant f/2 aperture. The Lytro's anodized aluminum body is lightweight yet sturdy. At less than eight ounces, the Lytro puts remarkable power in a pocket-sized camera.
  • Proprietary light field science: The Lytro is the only camera that captures life in living pictures. Its innovative light field sensor captures 11 million light rays of data (or 11 megarays), including the direction of each ray, something conventional cameras don't do. The light field engine then processes the data into a picture that is displayed in HD quality.
  • Unparalleled speed: The Lytro's speed ensures that people never miss a moment. It turns on instantly and has an instant shutter. With no need to auto-focus, the Lytro has no shutter delays.
  • Low-light sensitivity: By using all of the available light in a scene, the Lytro performs well in low-light environments without the use of a flash.
  • Significant storage: The Lytro is 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.
  • Seeing in 3D: Coming soon! Captured as a full light field, all pictures taken with the Lytro are inherently 3D. Special light field algorithms, available in 2012, will be applied to the light field pictures to enable viewing on any 3D display and to enable viewers to shift the perspective of the scene.

The Lytro light field camera is accompanied by Lytro's desktop application, a free software download that easily imports pictures from camera to computer. Currently available for Mac OS X, the desktop application lets people view, interact with, organize and share their light field pictures. Lytro pictures can then be uploaded to Lytro.com to be shared via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or as links in email messages. Once shared, Lytro's living pictures allow viewers to live the moment with the photographer and explore a scene like never before. Viewers can continually interact with Lytro pictures – focusing them over and over – expanding the creative possibilities of each and every shot.

Concepts related to the light field and computational photography have been researched in academic circles for more than a century. Light field science was the subject of Lytro CEO and Founder Dr. Ren Ng's Ph.D. dissertation in computer science at Stanford, which was awarded the internationally-recognized ACM Dissertation Award in 2007 as well as Stanford University's Arthur Samuel Award for Best Ph.D. Dissertation. Dr. Ng's research focused on miniaturizing light field technology into the body of a single camera to make it practical for everyday use.

The digital still camera market is large and growing with $38.3 billion in worldwide revenue in 2010 and expectations to increase to $43.5 billion worldwide by 2015.* Visual storytelling is universal, with 60 billion photos shared on Facebook in 2010, projected to reach 100 billion photos by this summer.

"Light field photography was once only possible with 100 cameras tethered to a supercomputer in a lab," said Ng. "Today it's accessible to everyone in a camera that's small and powerful, but incredibly easy to use. Our goal is to forever change the way people take and experience pictures, and today marks our first major step."

Pricing & Availability

The Lytro camera is available in two models: 8GB ($399, 350 pictures, in Electric Blue or Graphite) and 16GB ($499, 750 pictures, in Red Hot). It is now available to order at Lytro.com and will ship in early 2012. The Lytro desktop application will be available initially for the Mac operating system; a Windows version will be available in 2012.

For a demonstration of living pictures, visit the Lytro Picture Gallery: www.lytro.com/living-pictures.

* ―Digital Still Cameras: Devices, Features, Lenses, Sensors, and Semiconductors,‖ In-Stat (2011)

Additional images

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Comments

Total comments: 271
123
ripimage
By ripimage (Oct 19, 2011)

Never say never....remember the first comsumer digicams? Laughable, would never replace film cameras...or so some thought, not so very long ago ;-)

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Jim Radcliffe
By Jim Radcliffe (Oct 19, 2011)

Yes, I do remember and knew all along that digital would change photography in big way. This technology is really quite amazing but already people are picking it apart because it doesn't do this or it doesn't do that.... the same way the old film guys knocked digital when it began.

What's the old saying about people not learning from the past?

Lytro, more power to you.

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Oct 19, 2011)

Yes, but that doesn't do us any good -today.

0 upvotes
StefanD
By StefanD (Oct 20, 2011)

This is a great product! We see an ever increasing number of megapixels, and now someone thought of a new way to use those megapixels. Instead of taking a 20MP photo, you can also take 10 2MP photo's with different focus. Of course the resolution is less, but you get a lot of fun when viewing the result.
The quality of the current demo photo's is unacceptable to me. Even on the web the are not sharp. But that is a matter of time...
Funny that the thesis of the CEO is used to apply for a degree in philosophy, where I would expect a degree in technical engineering.

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Oct 19, 2011)

Here is why I am not canceling my S100 order

The camera looks very pocket unfriendly. "Is that a light field camera or are you happy to see me". Quick shooting is useless if you have to spend precious seconds ferreting it out of your backpack.

I love that it does not have a pinochio style zoom lens. I've had way too many "lens errors" from the current state of the art but I have an old Casio P505 that keeps on going (5x non telescoping out lens).

The lack of controls makes it look very easy to water proof. It's a shame it is not water proof as many folks might then be able to justify this as a second camera plus it would be easier to compete against the IQ in that market.

Accessories: A video DSLR style LCD eye cup for the display for use in bright sunlight.

Software: Alot of folks still use cameras to print out 4x6's to send to their 90 year old great aunt who won't touch a computer. This market will be lost, unless the software allows you to fix the focus and output a jpeg.

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Oct 19, 2011)

Your first sentence is a dead giveaway that the rest of your post will be redundant.

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Oct 20, 2011)

????

I'm a dad looking for a camera to take pictures of his kids. Both are $400 putting them as direct apples and apples competitors.

TLDR: One camera I can fit in my pocket, the other I can't (comfortably). I'm keeping my order for the one that fits.

0 upvotes
Kwick1
By Kwick1 (Oct 19, 2011)

It's ashame that the software will only run on 10% of the computers people own (Mac's). What about the 90% market share of Windows machine users?

2 upvotes
icexe
By icexe (Oct 19, 2011)

Directly from the article: "The Lytro desktop application will be available initially for the Mac operating system; a Windows version will be available in 2012."

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Oct 19, 2011)

What?

You can't output to JPG?

Oh man, sorry.... NOT INTERESTED.

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 19, 2011)

You want to be able to save 2D versions of an essentially 3D image? Would you not be better off just using a conventional camera at that point?

4 upvotes
increments
By increments (Oct 19, 2011)

Is CameraLabTester not just asking to be able to output in a way analogous to Raw to JPEG?

(i.e. Take shot, choose desired focus point for a given need, then output to a conventional format.)

0 upvotes
ripimage
By ripimage (Oct 19, 2011)

Yes. And nope. I'd want to be able to make a big print of any of my action shots with the focus exactly where I wanted it.....

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Oct 19, 2011)

Yes to increments and ripimage.

I want the FREEDOM of choice to make a JPG image myself.

Not some cloud cover holding MY images in cyber cumulus nimbus.

0 upvotes
eav2k
By eav2k (Oct 19, 2011)

What?

You can't output to PNG?

Oh man, sorry.... NOT INTERESTED

0 upvotes
Ivanaker
By Ivanaker (Oct 19, 2011)

I dont like this camera, as a camera. but the technology is brilliant. one day this system will be a part of all dslrs that is for sure. just imagine 135 f/2 ond you are going for tight head shot and want just one eye in focus. take a camera and shoot, focus later.
technology is really great. cant wait to see this in nikon D6 or canon 1dx mk3.

and if it has an option to make everything in focus, but the light is low and you need to be at 1.4, back is defocused, you want it in focus....
implementation of technology will be just great

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 19, 2011)

I've been shown demonstrations with everything in focus but it's not clear if that feature will be available at launch (though the files will contain the information to provide it, once the software catches up).

2 upvotes
Jim Radcliffe
By Jim Radcliffe (Oct 19, 2011)

I can almost see this in brushed aluminum with an Apple logo on it.. such a simple design.. just reminds me of Apple products.

0 upvotes
TimarIuveo
By TimarIuveo (Oct 19, 2011)

the first thing that comes to my mind would be MACRO

1 picture and EVERYTHING in focus.
they are not there yet but soon :D

1 upvote
increments
By increments (Oct 19, 2011)

I don't know if the guys at dpr have been able to get their hands on one, but from what I've seen on the lytro site the focus adjustment isn't precise. Looks better than the previous images we saw, but not truly adjustable throughout the depth range. I also find that it struggles with objects that are relatively far in the image. Maybe resolution issues?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 19, 2011)

So you haven't read the overview story with Ren showing us the camera?

The version downloaded to the computer can be continuously refocused to any depth. The version viewable over the web doesn't seem to have the same level of control. They describe is as like the difference between Raw and JPEG - JPEG compression retains the information required to make it look almost the same as the uncompressed version and throws the rest away. To make the files small enough to load quickly across the web, the viewer version only shows certain depths (because most images only have objects in a couple of planes. Well, that's the theory.

2 upvotes
increments
By increments (Oct 19, 2011)

I missed that on the first run through.

"Unlike most contemporary compacts, the battery and memory are built-in and not user replaceable - the camera both charges and connects via a micro USB connector. Upon connecting, the full light field images (analogous to Raw files) are then downloaded to your computer. The versions of the light field viewed on your computer contain all the information captured when you shot the image and allow focus to be pulled continuously from the back to the front of the image."

Kind of buried isn't it?

Thanks for putting me right.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Oct 19, 2011)

For a new rolled out technology, the price is amazingly cheap!

Unlike some other manufacturers who gouge the consumer with thousands of dollars of old school gadget wrapped in advertisement mumbo jumbo magic (Nikon V1), the retail price of this newfangled notion seems to be very inviting and friendly.

However, it is yet to be seen how this new "way" of photography would endear to the masses.

Fujifilm tried to revive 3D with their W3 cameras but it just went nowhere,,,

3 upvotes
gDaniel
By gDaniel (Oct 19, 2011)

from docs:

"Includes a free desktop application for importing, processing and interacting with living pictures from the camera. It is built for Mac OS and requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. A Windows application is in development."

wait...no windows app for now? it's "very smart" to develop a product which can run only on 7% of OS'es...

Hopefully they will deliver the windows app on the launch day.

..as for the product, it looks interesting.

3 upvotes
micksh6
By micksh6 (Oct 19, 2011)

Worldwide Mac market share is lower, about 5% (higher in US market, about %10 probably). Sure, it would make way more sense to start with larger market. Windows is on around 92% PCs worldwide. Many Mac owners also have Windows as dual-boot or second PC, but not the other way around.

I believe the reason for going Mac-only is that they didn't have budget for software development. They probably had a friend who could do some Mac programming.

Expect software to be half-baked and expect problems with porting to Windows. That is unless months ago they started to invest significant money in software development.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Eigenmeat
By Eigenmeat (Oct 19, 2011)

11 "mega rays", yet I still cannot find the output resolution on their website...

1 upvote
gDaniel
By gDaniel (Oct 19, 2011)

"Picture Output Produces HD-quality interactive, living pictures."

so i guess it's 2MP...1920×1080 ?

Edit: maybe not full HD and only 1280×720...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Eigenmeat
By Eigenmeat (Oct 19, 2011)

Well, all the sample on their website are never larger than 800*600. And given the tiny screen on the back, I guess they are not too confident about its resolution. (tiny touch screen for all the controls??)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
rkny
By rkny (Oct 20, 2011)

Wow, some unbelievably close minded and short sighted people in this discussion.

This camera is basically an early proof of concept that you can actually buy and use. How often do you get to do that in the tech world? Mark my words, this camera has made a place for itself in the history of photography, and fantastic images WILL be made with it, by someone, somewhere. Maybe by not you, but it WILL happen.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
wildbild
By wildbild (Oct 19, 2011)

I am sorry to say that: but I think a brilliant engineer wasted a lot of time making this a consumer product/toy. Further I think it is relatively expensive for a snapshot thing. And I'm not sure if the people from lytro understand photography and its magic…

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 19, 2011)

Having met the CEO and director of photography, I'd disagree with that assessment. They are really enthused about photography, and realise it isn't always about resolution and 'technical perfection.'

3 upvotes
wildbild
By wildbild (Oct 19, 2011)

yes. I think I understand that this is meant to be the perfect snapshot thing — but it is trying to give you the opportunity to fix afterwards what went wrong in the momemt you shot / avoid wasted shots, unsharp pictures
when I look at the sample pictures on their website they do not even have the oddness of early mobile phone cameras —it's just really boring.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
absentaneous
By absentaneous (Oct 19, 2011)

from the technology point of view is surely interesting but as it is I find it quite useless. I mean when one looks at real examples on their website then what you can see is an average phone image quality that you can play with but often things appear overall blurry anyway and I don't think that an average consumer were ever too concerned to get their focuses perfectly right anyway.

2 upvotes
rambarra
By rambarra (Oct 19, 2011)

ill never ever go out without one

0 upvotes
Neimo
By Neimo (Oct 19, 2011)

Can the final images have everything in focus from 1cm to infinity? Can they have two focused planes and out of focus in between? Can users determine how out of focus planes will be?

0 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (Oct 19, 2011)

From what I've read, yes, yes, and yes.

2 upvotes
Threshold Tech
By Threshold Tech (Oct 19, 2011)

With reference to the first word of this article, I'm quite sure the camera is "plenoptic" and not "plentoptic" as it is written. There it is.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 19, 2011)

Rats. Oddly enough, my spell checker didn't know either.

1 upvote
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Oct 19, 2011)

Looks like a security camera. Can't wait to see the 1.2 MP pix?

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
photoman2063
By photoman2063 (Oct 19, 2011)

I see this technology leading into 3D imaging. Not stereoscopic 3D imaging, but actual 3D imaging.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Oct 19, 2011)

Interesting. How do you "see this technology" handling the "occlusion problem"?

"Parallax", the thing that allows us to see in 3D, also causes parts of the background that are covered by foreground objects from one eye's view to be visible to the other eye.

That's why techniques that create 3D images from "focus stacks" tend to produce a 3D image that looks like it was "extruded", pushed out by a pasta maker. The feeling is that the foreground was "painted onto" a "bumpy" background, not floating independently in front of the background.

When movie studios have 2D footage converted to 3D, they have artists "clone in" the occluded background for the other viewpoint needed for stereoscopic imaging, which is "actual 3D imaging" in the way that Lytrol, focus stacking, or hand conversion never can be.

1 upvote
PhotoArtKC
By PhotoArtKC (Oct 19, 2011)

Two of these side-by-side could do some interesting things... As a single-lens system, it may do psudo-3D, but pair them up correctly and it could be very "human-like" vision which could be interesting. However, I'd much rather see something like that as a video product rather than a still product. (While retaining the re-focus ability.)

0 upvotes
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Oct 19, 2011)

I read "field camera" and thought it meant something else entirely. Silly me.

3 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Oct 19, 2011)

And, because it's a "light field camera", the discussion should turn to what kind of wood it's made from. ;) ;) ;)

2 upvotes
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Oct 19, 2011)

we're both hopelessly old skool. ;-)

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Oct 19, 2011)

Indeed. ;)

0 upvotes
eyefuse
By eyefuse (Oct 19, 2011)

We need 1080p video of this sort! :)

0 upvotes
Lost in Time
By Lost in Time (Oct 19, 2011)

If it means smooth, silent (motor-less) AF tracking, this may actually be a very interesting technology for high-end video cameras.

However, I can't see the resolution being sufficient for a consumer still camera - why carry something so awkward and bulky when your cell-phone takes higher resolution images?

0 upvotes
eyefuse
By eyefuse (Oct 20, 2011)

Yes, and if you can select the focus area later in post prosessing it would be priceless. Imagine creating the perfect focus pulls in pp. Full control over focus.. Whoa!

0 upvotes
ToTi_Kor
By ToTi_Kor (Oct 19, 2011)

1 image is about 23.4mb.
What about the dimension of image?

0 upvotes
kb2zuz
By kb2zuz (Oct 19, 2011)

At what resolution? 0.09 MP?

0 upvotes
KitHB
By KitHB (Oct 19, 2011)

is this really going to find it's niche where you actually do decide after the event which parts of the shot you need to see sharply, for example security footage of crowds or in-store cameras. This could capture a whole scene (f/2.0 should do nicely under most lighting) and then selectively refocus to pick out the subject of interest. This could mean you've got the whole field of view captured in one go without running into problems of the interesting bits being outside depth of field.

0 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Oct 19, 2011)

yeah but with these small sensors in security cameras, they just set focus on infinity and leave it. Besides how often will the subject of interest be right next to the lens? Not often since the camera is often mounted to a ceiling.

In anycase, I think it's interesting tech, but I still haven't seen any results that equal or even come close to a quality capture that was focused pre-capture. For me, this would be a novelty, but until it can be used for serious work, that's all it is.

The current models they annouced seem like a joke with thier 2 buttons, one for power and one for take picture. What about exposure control? Is zooming done with the touch screen? No card storage?

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 19, 2011)

A security camera must have everything in focus. Would a court admit evidence with part of a scene, or some faces, selectively blurred?

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Oct 19, 2011)

this is a solution looking for a problem, just learn how to focus in the first place.. amazing

7 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Oct 19, 2011)

well obviously you have not much fantasy to see why this can be usefull for some......

1 upvote
photoman2063
By photoman2063 (Oct 19, 2011)

Have you never struggled with a lens that constantly back-focuses or front-focuses? It is incredibly annoying to have a shot ruined because the autofocus sensor doesnt work correctly.

2 upvotes
frosti7
By frosti7 (Oct 19, 2011)

well put

0 upvotes
Julio
By Julio (Oct 19, 2011)

Lol. Predictable elitist attitude. Autofocus? Focus for the focus-challenged. Autoexposure: Exposure for the exposure-challenged. Zoom? Lenses for the walking challenged. Digital? Sensors for the darkroom challenged...and so on. Real photographers only shoot on 8X10 glass plates they coated themselves.

Ever think that mom and pop casual might want focused shots of their toddler despite their obvious bad jusdgement in learning to say, bake bread instead of photography as a hobby? :)

7 upvotes
balios
By balios (Oct 19, 2011)

In your example, I think mom and pop want a picture of their toddler with more than 1 megapixal (Lytro will produce photos of about 800x600, from what I’ve seen).

Mom and pop just want to point a camera at their kid and get a good photo as the result. The auto modes of a good p/s or basic DSLR (with their more advanced auto exposure / whitebalance, better resolution, and integrated flash) will give them the best chance at a good photo. This Lytro will not.
If mom and pop can’t work a DSLR, then they should get a decent point and shoot, where pretty much everything will be in focus. The main problem with point and shoots is blurred photos (from slow shutter speeds in poor light), not out of focus photos. So I’m not really what problem this camera is solving for them. Unless their problem is having too much resolution in their photos, or having photos that are too technically perfect…

1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (Oct 19, 2011)

8x constant f/2.... I'll believe that when I see it.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Oct 19, 2011)

Why not? They do it in video all the time. Obviously, a $399 (at launch, when things are most expensive) camera is going to have a really small sensor.

With really small sensors, they can take an f4 zoom design, stick a 2x wide converter after it, and "shazam", an optically marginal f2.0 zoom.

Poor image quality is fine for video, where low (by photographic standards) resolution and motion mask all the optical flaws of the lens, and it's fine for Lytrol, which delivers even lower than video resolution after all their processing.

2 upvotes
snorkel guru
By snorkel guru (Oct 19, 2011)

Send me one now!!!

0 upvotes
SamTruax
By SamTruax (Oct 19, 2011)

So the question remains... after what Adobe pulled this week how do we know that there is anything in this technology at all? What if it is just a fixed focus lens on a cheap digital camera and the images are just being 'played with' in the software. Maybe the image being captured is completely in focus front to back and then the software is just 'highlighting' an area that you want to have focused on.
Maybe they are just really good at making a gimmick like "background defocus" look good. Just my opinion.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 19, 2011)

So you think someone who authored scientific papers on plenoptic image capture suddenly tuned their back on their research, went down a totally different route and then pretended it was the same technology?

6 upvotes
roblarosa
By roblarosa (Oct 19, 2011)

First, Adobe "pulled" nothing. Second, really? lmao

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Oct 19, 2011)

yeah thanks for your "opinion".

but adobe has the technology to make deblurring work.
even when they used one artifical blurred image for demo.

second... i hope next time you get some infos about a technology before making comments.

personally i don´t care about this camera but i also see why it can be very usefull.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
kb2zuz
By kb2zuz (Oct 19, 2011)

Your opinion appears to be based on a lack of knowledge. Please look up "Plenoptic Imaging" or "Light Field Camera" this technology has been talked about for for the past 6 or 7 years, and the earliest research in this field goes back to 1992.

1 upvote
R Ortiz
By R Ortiz (Oct 19, 2011)

SamTruax is getting beaten up for stating his opinion, but he makes a very good point.

Until we see the actual production model working this could be just a fixed focus camera with software to selectively defocus some areas (wich would not be easy either, mind you).

The rationale for it? Making back the $50 million they burned during development.

You all know it is possible.

1 upvote
SamTruax
By SamTruax (Oct 19, 2011)

Well obviously you guys are experts so I stand corrected!
I hope it lives up to the hype.
I think we will have to wait until this technology shows up in a 'real' camera before we can see any benefit to it. Right now it seems like a novelty for people who post to facebook and the like. I guess they are hoping that will fuel the interest and raise the funds needed to see this put to some good use.

0 upvotes
SamTruax
By SamTruax (Oct 19, 2011)

Do I need to be corrected on Adobe as well? I don't remember them stating that the image they were using was only a simulation... if they did then I stand corrected. I only caught the statement they made afterward.
Just because everyone else does it with their marketing doesn't mean it is right.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 19, 2011)

Yes, it would be simple and cheap to use software to sharpen or defocus select areas of a high resolution picture shot in deep fixed focus. The plenoptic approach costs more and offers less resolution. Solyndra had a great idea for solar energy collection, but got beat by the falling price of ordinary panels. Some firms that claimed to distill cheap fuel from hay (cellulose) and published "research" turned out to rely on strange accounting to make it look feasible. This camera will get its fair tests. Whether it catches on and makes money, who knows?

0 upvotes
pvmiami
By pvmiami (Oct 19, 2011)

People can't make their mind with a zoom already...
I see application in security monitoring.
But thank you not for me I can chose & have no regrets ...in photography ;-)

0 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Oct 19, 2011)

Wonder if the f/2.0 is throughout the 8x zoom range. I really want to see what this "tube" shaped camera looks like. I hope the samples are better quality than the embedded samples they have been showing up to this date. I find that even when "in focus" things aren't really that sharp.

0 upvotes
Frederick Lim
By Frederick Lim (Oct 21, 2011)

The aperture is constant at f/2 across the zoom range. I think it always shoot at f/2. there is no aperture to select.

From Ren's disseration p.168, what I understand is it is not only let you select focus point in software, but the aperture as well, that means you can choose a new depth of field.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
LVPhoto1
By LVPhoto1 (Oct 19, 2011)

Looks like sum big changes are coming in the digital world….about time!

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Oct 19, 2011)

OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 271
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