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Lytro camera overview and discussion with CEO Ren Ng

By dpreview staff on Oct 19, 2011 at 21:15 GMT

Lytro Founder and CEO Ren Ng showed us the Light Field Camera and talked us through some of what it can do. Having played with the camera, we've written an overview in which he discusses the shooting and sharing experience, gives some more details about using Light Field images and tells us about 'Camera 3.0.'

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

Comments

Total comments: 103
TheSuitcaseMan
By TheSuitcaseMan (Oct 25, 2011)

I is a new approach (for a consumer product) and as such it is welcome. The principle of operation is different compared to classic photography and that gives ground to new exciting possibilities. Inevitably we may need to redefine 'creativity' when considering light field camera shots.

Personally, I'd be willing to try such a camera when/if the cost becomes more affordable for my pocket - $499 is NOT.

Yes, there are a number of shortcomings, like the difficulty in affecting the input and - most importantly - the difficulty in using/manipulating the acquired photos. However, I would imagine that such problems will be addressed later on, as the product matures.

In any case - curiosity aside - I doubt that it can substitute my existing cameras, at least for the time being.

0 upvotes
obspsr
By obspsr (Oct 24, 2011)

Please before talking about this technique, read the MOST of 202 pages of the Thesis of mister Ren Ng.
It does not work the ridiculous way people described there ;-)) It's a bit more clever and truly NEW ! ...
As a senior in picture work, at first time, I was really impressed, despite the low resolution of the device, I was ready to buy it for test, and then .... END OF STORY ... Lytro is not for Linux people ::

the FAQ answer "we are not currently planning to support Linux." denotes a very bad attitude in the field of Image Processing business, as these "Only Apple" guys are easily forgetting their OS-X is a true BSD UNIX OS. Supporting Linux, even with a sold software application is mandatory today, as people really interested in the field have leaved Mac and M$ for a long time. So we will wait and see ... Serge.

1 upvote
kenwl
By kenwl (Oct 24, 2011)

The Lytro page https://www.lytro.com/camera is informative. The picture output is only "HD-quality interactive, living pictures." There is no indicated capability to produce single images with single focal points. (As a consequence of this, there'd be no ability to stack photos using other party stacking software.) There is no indicated dpi for pictures. There is no flash or flash connector, which in spite of the F2 lens will make it NOT fun for, say, indoor party photography. There is no indication of basic lens quality -- e.g., who manufactures the lens (for those of us who would like good resolution). The sample pictures are all of medium size to large objects, the smallest being of a flower or butterfly; I find it annoying that I can't click on one of the monarch's antennae to bring it into focus, making me wonder about the actual number of focal points in the image (as already mentioned by other reviewers).

0 upvotes
Lawrencew
By Lawrencew (Oct 23, 2011)

The demo images seem to be extremely limited. In most cases there is a simple choice between foreground and background. I was expecting a slider with an almost infinite number of focus points as you slide through them.

Is this going to be improved in the production versions?

0 upvotes
Lawrencew
By Lawrencew (Oct 23, 2011)

Surprised there didn't seem to be any demo images showing a deep DoF by combing images focused at multiple distances. Surely that would be another use, rather than having the user select the focal point

0 upvotes
markeast
By markeast (Oct 23, 2011)

Might be just the thing for surveillance video/photos!

The current ones are never clear enough to identify the suspect!

0 upvotes
Boomz
By Boomz (Oct 21, 2011)

Its NOT new technology. There's a company that has been making digital refocusing technology cameras for a while now -

http://raytrix.de/

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 23, 2011)

It is totally different from Raytrix technology, much more processor intensive, and much more capable, and much,much greater potential.

0 upvotes
XCreature
By XCreature (Oct 21, 2011)

Could be something like that....?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h2Yh-AbvyU

1 upvote
robogobo
By robogobo (Oct 21, 2011)

Ok I'm sick of this already. Why isn't anyone officially calling these people out on their supposed new technology. It's gimmicky hocus-pocus and nothing spectacular. "Light Field"? Please. They act as if they've redefined the laws of physics and given it a new name. Meanwhile image quality is horrible.

I predict a massive fail on this. They're trying to be Apple. Only Apple can be Apple.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Oct 21, 2011)

Its a plenoptic camera, a.k.a. a light-field camera. Look in wikipedia. There is nothing wrong with the name.

2 upvotes
John Crawley
By John Crawley (Oct 21, 2011)

I think this simple little box is going to be the wave of the future. Fast lens...almost limitless focusing possibilities, easy to carry about...not at all intrusive like a bid DSLR rig is. This guy is on to something. To be sure, it will evolve (hard to believe I grew up in Texas and can use that word...LOL) The Lytro is worth watching for sure...I think maybe worth owning...(like the first MAC was and is...)

JC

0 upvotes
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Oct 22, 2011)

Don't get too excited, and don't be the first to order one...

...540x540 pixels

0 upvotes
Soo Yee Seong
By Soo Yee Seong (Oct 21, 2011)

Should give some support on the new technology from innovative researcher. Who knows it may be our future one day.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
abi170845
By abi170845 (Oct 21, 2011)

It might not appeal to people who gave negative comments, but for the Y and Z generations,who thinks that uploading from Blackberry, listening to compressed mp3 is AWESOME, I think this gadget should sell very well

2 upvotes
MattME
By MattME (Oct 31, 2011)

Yes, but how many people can spend $500 on a 'gadget'? and you're absolutely right, it is a gadget, nothing more. Not that it won't evolve in the future, but they have a long way to go before it can become a serious photographic tool - I suspect the money will run out long before then.

0 upvotes
mike051051
By mike051051 (Oct 21, 2011)

Helicon focus type software built into an image capture and display "system". Please note that there are no more than 5 zones of focus in any of the demo pics on the Lytro site. 5 shots taken very rapidly at different distance settings to be observed by using the Light Engine Player.
Clever use of existing technology applied in a way that is arguably attractive and quite well marketed at this point.
It will be interesting to see how well it does in the marketplace.
Just my two cents, I'm sure many will disagree and that's AOK.

0 upvotes
dnebdal
By dnebdal (Oct 22, 2011)

That's not actually how it works. It's more interesting than that - it trades Mpix for focus, so to speak.

Basically, it puts an array of tiny lenses in front of the sensor, creating groups of pixels that get light from different directions. This is enough information to later on create differently-focused 2D shots out of a single capture - at a significantly lower resolution than the physical sensor.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 23, 2011)

And because it takes the picture at wide open aperture and computes DOF later, it generally uses the fastest shutter speed available.

Also, the web viewable images are compressed in 4D space so they are limited in resolution and focus ability compared to the full images.

0 upvotes
scott_mcleod
By scott_mcleod (Oct 20, 2011)

Before anyone gets too excited you'd all better read this (all of it):

https://www.lytro.com/legal/terms-of-use

I shall say no more... (except a thanks to Thom Hogan for pointing this out in his blog)

0 upvotes
Johan01
By Johan01 (Oct 20, 2011)

I read it as it pertains to joining their web site.

What are you implying is wrong with anything said in that? Looks legit to me!

0 upvotes
scott_mcleod
By scott_mcleod (Oct 21, 2011)

I did not imply it was in any way illegal - but can you imagine any other camera manufacturer placing such OTT conditions and restrictions on the images *you* create? No commercial prints without their express permission? And so on... maybe some are okay with this but even if I was interested in the Lytro (which I am not), their T&C's and the non-replaceable battery would be deal-breakers

0 upvotes
SidneyX
By SidneyX (Oct 21, 2011)

The no commercial prints part was specifically about Lytro content, not user content. They make a distinction, and they state: "We do not claim ownership of your living pictures; they are yours. "

As a website owner myself, their Ts&Cs look standard for a website.

0 upvotes
ssam
By ssam (Oct 21, 2011)

a bit like the bit in the canon 5dii manual that says that the h264 codec in it is only licensed for non commercial use.

0 upvotes
scott_mcleod
By scott_mcleod (Oct 21, 2011)

But if you can't even view the image without using Lytro (or their approved) software, then surely any print would have to be made using Lytro content (with attribution)? The really "interesting" part is found under User Content, e.g.:

...with respect to content that you submit to Lytro.com you grant us a non-exclusive, fully-paid, royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable and transferable license to:

◦Copy, store, display, and distribute such content;
◦Modify and create derivative works of such content by using our light field picture player or another player approved by us. We may allow our users and visitors to create other modifications or derivative works and print your content for their personal use;
◦Transmit copies of such content to, and embed such content on, other websites;
◦Display the Lytro trademark with such content; and
◦Display and feature in public areas of Lytro.com, at our discretion, certain of your public living pictures selected by us.

Nice deal for Lytro, huh?

0 upvotes
scott_mcleod
By scott_mcleod (Oct 21, 2011)

BTW Canon is legally obliged to roll over for the h.264 codec, as is everyone else held hostage by these guys. I recall reading somewhere that at least one DSLR maker was looking at creating their own codec to get around this (can't remember which one). Intellectual property is one thing but the video codec game is a license to print money IMO.

You don't see people being sued for selling prints made from JFIF-encoded files, do you?

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 23, 2011)

Actually those are pretty normal for all picture display web sites - otherwise they wouldn't have the right to display your public picture to the public. Nothing to see here...

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Oct 23, 2011)

The earlier part of the legalese is standard for photo web sites in order to replicate and mirror your images on servers.

But the later part, where they get to display the Lytro trademark and pick your photos to display on their site, is less agreeable.

0 upvotes
WhiteBeard
By WhiteBeard (Oct 20, 2011)

Very intriguing techology, but the proof is in the pudding - in this case, the pictures. I have looked at some of the pictures displayed on Lytro's site (http://www.lytro.com/living-pictures#living-pictures/294?&_suid=683) and came to a few preliminary conclusions:
1) It IS a cool way to look at pictures, at least for a while.
2) The focus-after-the-fact is nice but somewhat limited. For example, it often can't re-focus the background.
2) The zoom-after-the-fact is very limited. Any "conventional" digital pictures of 5 Mpixels or more enable better "zoom" capabilities on-screen.
3) The amount of chromatic aberrations is quite huge (see the branches in the forest picture referenced above) and overall IQ is only passable.

Probably the whole thing still needs to be tweaked a bit but for some jobs, it might be quite a usefull tool indeed.

0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Oct 20, 2011)

As with any new product, there are two questions have to be addressed: 1) what problem does it tries to solve, e.g. what customer pain does it eliminates; and 2) what trade-offs does it bring, i.e. at what expense?
The answer to the first one, as the company suggests, is focusing pain. But does it really exist? I don't think so. People still need to compose the image, decide what to be in focus and what not and by how much ... Does the new device completely takes the focusing considerations out of the picture? -- not really, it rather postpones it to a later time, which is of questionable benefit, some may say it's a disadvantage. When it comes to the second question about the price to pay for this, I don't think the trade-offs are acceptable, in particular low utilization of the sensor area, leading to high cost, low resolution, high noise. And because the sensor with micro-lenses cannot be separated from the lens, there is no (inexpensive) way to make zoom or interchangeable lenses.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Oct 20, 2011)

"As with any new product, there are two questions have to be addressed..."
I think those questions are pertinent to evolutionary products, improvements to existing products. But radically new products often answer questions which have not yet been imagined. Nobody was clamouring for the microwave oven before it was invented, and people took a while to work out what role it fulfilled.

0 upvotes
Identity
By Identity (Oct 20, 2011)

The number of out-of-focus shots we have of our fast-moving toddler tells me that yes, there is a definite market for a camera that allows you to adjust focus after-the-fact.

1 upvote
infosky
By infosky (Oct 20, 2011)

Out of focus and blur image caused by fast moving object are two different problems. The only way to solve the second problem is to have very high shutter speed. The light field camera has F2 aperture which is quite fast to allow shorter exposure time. But, the post processing will have to follow the law of physics. If you maintain F2, the DOF will be very narrow, meaning you only can focus the object of interest. If you want to see more depth, you can electronically reduce the aperture. But, you lose signal strength also. You only can brighten up the image by digital processing. In regular camera, you could have set a higher ISO speed. But, you can not do any optimization using light field camera. My guess is that the image from the light field camera will always suffer low contrast and noise in the dim area.

For this reason, it will be only for capturing contents (right place and right time) and will take many years to be considered a photography equipment.

2 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Oct 20, 2011)

"...radically new products often answer questions which have not yet been imagined" -- I'd like to see the investors who are willing to give money for products that answer no existing questions, I have a lot of such radical ideas to sell :)
B.t.w. it's not true that microwave didn't address existing needs at the time. People were willing to spend money on a device that significantly speeds up cooking, reheating, defrosting ... Products that address no existing needs (other than curiosity) can become a fad for a time, but eventually cease to exist as curiosity about novelty wears out.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Oct 20, 2011)

"The number of out-of-focus shots we have of our fast-moving toddler tells me that..." -- it tells you that you might need a better camera, better light, better preparation, better skills, ... -- there may be many things that make the task possible, but Lytro camera is not one them.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Oct 21, 2011)

Seems reasonable to me - family photos of children are often out of focus because you are trying to capture spontaneous moments, the kids are not standing still and posing whilst you arrange "better light". The moment itself is by definition never amenable to "better preparation", that is the whole point of candid spontaneous shots - they are not "prepared". As to "better skills" that is testament to the shortcomings of current cameras - they demand "better skills". I guess you still drive a manual car with no synchromesh - just double-declutch all the time - better skills, eh?
No, you got it right first time - "better camera". And for this purpose, a camera which allows you to focus after the fact is ideal. If, indeed, it can fulfil that promise.
The new Nikon 1 range might also fit the bill, with lightening fast focus, high frame rates, and 1 second mini-movie clips, etc.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Oct 21, 2011)

"it's not true that microwave didn't address existing needs at the time. People were willing to spend money on a device that significantly speeds up cooking, reheating, defrosting ..."

You say that now, with hindsight. I was there at the time, I well remember the sheer bemusement of people when shown a microwave oven. Nobody ever missed the ability to reheat their cup of coffee in 30 seconds, until they could do that. Nobody ever dreamed of defrosting stuff in an oven - what sheer lunacy.
Anyway, Ng has obviously convince $50M out of investors, so I guess he has answered some of their questions.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 23, 2011)

Actually this allows f/2 (35mm effective about f/11) shots to be refocused to up to f/8 or f/12 (35mm f/44 or f/66) DOF (depending on actual microlens pixel array sizes) independently of brightness.

It really is a different type of image capture,

0 upvotes
Edward Sargent
By Edward Sargent (Oct 20, 2011)

I like the possibilities, particularly for security applications. But for personal use I want something designed for humans to hold. But maybe this is the perfect camera for those with no right hand/arm.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Oct 20, 2011)

I would have thought this was a far easier shape to hold and operate one-handed than the traditional film-bound (please, why?) slab-and-cylinder shape.

0 upvotes
P Hartung
By P Hartung (Oct 20, 2011)

Please. It’s a novelty for a few Mac users, at best. The vagueness of ’11 megarays, 8x optics, etc.’ is laughable. If these specs were photographically significant then they would have been made clear in terms that photographers understand (corresponding to the 35mm standard).

And what segment of the market is this aimed at – the P/S users who know little more than how to click the shutter release? Those who don’t fathom spending more than $200.00 per throw-away camera?

Lytro has not realistically positioned/equipped this thing to snag a coherent portion of the market, and it certainly isn’t going to carve out an untapped segment.

The technology itself is intriguing, but this first application of it seems like a total blunder. Too bad.

1 upvote
Bryan Campbell
By Bryan Campbell (Oct 20, 2011)

Why is it a novelty for Mac users and not Windows users?

If your arguement is that Macs are toys then you've already lost. That argument is tired and just plain wrong. More professionals use Macs for video editing and photography than ever before. So if your saying the Lytro isn't for serious photography (which is true at the point in time) then if anything, it would be a novelty for Windows users, many of which are made up of people who don't want to spend over $400 on a computer.

In defense of the Lytro, you have to start somewhere... This isn't Canon, Nikon, or Sony releasing a new product. We are talking about a newer company with limited funds. If it catches on they we could see more advanced cameras in the future. Having a variety of cameras is not a bad thing, and at least they are trying something different.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Joshua Hadley
By Joshua Hadley (Oct 21, 2011)

I suspect P Hartung is referring to the fact that their software is currently Mac-only. See https://www.lytro.com/camera under 'Details' (they do have a Windows version under development, though).

0 upvotes
Tahir Hashmi
By Tahir Hashmi (Oct 21, 2011)

Actually, they've very strategically targeted an audience that's willing to spend lots of money on good looking, "simplified" products. For that audience, the vagueness of "11 Megarays" is more gratifying than megapixels, ISO, etc.

They're not as likely to complain about lack of features and flexibility, as long as what they get is done nicely.

0 upvotes
PhotoSaur
By PhotoSaur (Dec 16, 2011)

The Devil of Photography is unintentional blur. Could be just out of focus could be just a tad slow exposure. This is certainly the Devil's plaything. Not to disparage the technology, but the marketing and hype seem to be aimed at the venture capitalists. Not the kid at Facebook who can not read the Elf manual about face recognition. Ironic huh? What consumer is going to go in and refocus their shots? People who care to do that know how to bracket and shoot variations with the easy to hold and carry $200 cameras they have. Why is is so hard for people to understand how photographs are made, why make another camera that protects us from that knowledge?

0 upvotes
Yuri P
By Yuri P (Oct 20, 2011)

My naiveté theory that the camera might capturing everything sharp along with the distance information per pixel (or a picture zone), using some kind or rangefinder algorithm.Then the viewer selectively BLURS parts of the picture based on the selected sharp distance - the further pixels are from the selected sharpness point, the more they blurred.

To me, this is the simplest explanation.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 20, 2011)

Three counter arguments:

1) How likely is it that a man with a PhD in this subject would decide to start a company that did something totally different, then just pretend it was plenoptics?

2) I've seen an example microlens array, which wouldn't be cheap to fabricate, just to support such a conspiracy.

3) Your theory wouldn't allow the slightly moved point-of-view 3D demonstration discussed in my overview of the camera.

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 20, 2011)

Three counter-counter arguments:

1) Occham's Razor: Yuri P's "naiveté" method (deep fixed focus capture, with selective post selection of what to leave sharp or to blur) is cheaper, simpler, and employs higher resolution of ordinary sensors.

2) Non sequitur: that the existence of a dissertation or an academic credential "proves" that something. Ng presented his dissertation to a Computer Science department. It contains interesting propositions, but not any experimental demonstrations that others can replicate and test independently. Do we have any independent reviews of the work by optical physicists or camera engineers?

3) The Sagan / Hitchens Hurdle: exceptional claims demand exceptional proof. No one will really know until the camera is offered for sale and can be tested. PC users will not be among the "elect" for that purpose. It will be curious to see if plenoptics make any more splash than stereo 3D photography, which "consensus" opinion slams and gives little sympathy.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Oct 21, 2011)

Yuri - why should it not be a plenoptic camera? Of course it is. Thats the simplest way to do it. You have a regular 10 MP and use 5x5=25 pixels per plenoptic pixel. Then you get a 400K pixel camera that you might scale up some (e,g, to 1 MP) when creating a JPEG image. I see no problems.

0 upvotes
dnebdal
By dnebdal (Oct 22, 2011)

Cy: Regarding point 2, what are you trying to say?

Stanford university has experimented with photography for a while, using e.g. their multi-camera array ( http://graphics.stanford.edu/projects/array/ ). Lightfield techniques are on the list of things they've done with it - so it's not like this is a theoretical-only thing.

Obviously, if you want to accuse them of faking the entire thing, go ahead - but that runs into your "extraordinary claims"-hurdle.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 23, 2011)

Actually his dissertation is all about the experiments they did with a prototype and how it was done - did you even look at it?

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Oct 23, 2011)

Cy Cheze said:
"1) Occham's Razor: Yuri P's "naiveté" method (deep fixed focus capture, with selective post selection of what to leave sharp or to blur) is cheaper, simpler, and employs higher resolution of ordinary sensors."

Except that the reason this method fails the Occam's Razor test is that it is not the simplest answer. A deep focus shot using traditional methods requires, at least, a very wide lens, and ideally, a very small aperture. Especially if the latter is involved, it means something else is being done (such as high-speed, high-noise ISO) to avoid motion blur due to the long shutter speed required to expose for enough light without flash.

The Lytro potentially fulfills Occam's Razor by using an alternative "simple" approach in that they take the photo at a wide aperture, which allows at least two things: Their other stated benefit of no need for flash, as well as the possibility of focus isolation based on true depth.

0 upvotes
fitzgaf
By fitzgaf (Oct 20, 2011)

Try looking at and playing with the sample photo's on the web site. Whatever the good, bad or indifferent thoughts there are about this camera, they are a great tool to give you ideas about how and where to use focus points in traditional photography. For an amateur like me, they help in giving me ideas how to improve my pictures with a DSLR.

1 upvote
tfeltz
By tfeltz (Oct 20, 2011)

With high frame rates (10+ fps) becoming more common on conventional cameras, focus bracketing could become an option for non-Lytro cameras. Via software similar to HDR (high dynamic range), the areas of focus can be selectively determined during post processing, including extended depth of field.

1 upvote
DavidVogt
By DavidVogt (Oct 20, 2011)

Perhaps - but at Asia D Lytro demoed parallax movement that could eventually create true 3d images with a single shot - no amount of FPS can recreate that.

0 upvotes
scott_mcleod
By scott_mcleod (Oct 20, 2011)

Any 3D effect cannot simulate a separation greater than the diameter of the front element, so it's going to be less than half that of the average spacing of the human eyes. Unless they release a humungous version, which is unlikely to fit with their target demographic. Lytro - the ultimate one-trick pony.

0 upvotes
TheEye
By TheEye (Oct 20, 2011)

"It lets people shoot first and think later," says company founder Ren Ng.

That's not what photography is about.

3 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Oct 20, 2011)

Why not? Perhaps you prefer "think first, whilst you miss the moment"?

7 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Oct 20, 2011)

He is thoroughly confused, the quote wasn't about photography, it was about police. But seriously, I don't think anything is worth doing without thinking first, you can't successfully market that line -- people don't like to be treated as dummies.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Oct 21, 2011)

I agree - what ng says there is just rubbish. What the camera does is to make you focus on the subject rather than focussing. Putting the focus right is seldom a process of thinking.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 23, 2011)

That's not what art or perhaps great photography is about.

If you have a DSLR they aren't trying to sell to you. They are trying to sell to the far greater number of P&S snapshotters that just want to capture or share a moment, and getting the AF right, or freezing the motion is too difficult a lot of the time.

0 upvotes
willm11
By willm11 (Oct 20, 2011)

Sound's like a cool toy and all, but the deal breaker for me is whether or not I can adjust the focus of the images on the camera, or whether I'm going to have to upload everything to the computer to fiddle around with it.
If anyone knows the answer to this, I'd be interested to know.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Oct 20, 2011)

You don't adjust the focus, the viewer does. That's why all the images are hosted on Lytro's server, so that the viewer can refocus the image in real time.

1 upvote
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Oct 20, 2011)

"... so that the viewer can refocus the image in real time" -- tried and failed concept, the DVDs, and then BluRay tried to get viewers involved in the process and every time viewers didn't want any of it. The viewer is not the one who should or has an interest deciding how the picture should look, it's the task of the artist, not the audience.

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Oct 23, 2011)

The deal breaker for me is that I often will not want the viewer to take the focus point away from what I wanted them to pay attention to! If they prevented viewer alteration of the image, I might be more interested.

0 upvotes
Giumba
By Giumba (Oct 20, 2011)

"When a wise man points at the moon, only an idiot looks at his finger".
Despite the bad adjective (it's an old adage), I think most of you is looking at the finger.

How can't you realize the technology behind the product (bad product, I agree) is rocking and will be changing the photography in the next years ?

Ren Ng, go ahead and you will be remembered!

4 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 20, 2011)

Like Nikola Tesla, who clashed with Edison, or Giordano Bruno, whom contemporaries treated so warmly.

1 upvote
Artistico
By Artistico (Oct 20, 2011)

I just visited the website again. Refocusing is fine, but it would be nice if actually any part of the image could be properly sharp rather than choosing which bit is going to be the least fuzzy...

2 upvotes
nofumble
By nofumble (Oct 20, 2011)

Is this just a Focus Stacking in high speed?

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (Oct 20, 2011)

If it had been, the image quality would have been a lot better, probably, since then at least something would have been in proper sharp focus somewhere.

0 upvotes
DavidVogt
By DavidVogt (Oct 20, 2011)

No, it is not. I also had this suspicion until I saw their parallax movement demo. Very impressive and not achievable with focus stacking.

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Oct 20, 2011)

downside... it is distinctly a shallow dof only effect... no high dof effect to be permitted... :P
it has maybe 4 max? (not 5?) focal zones permitted?
very near
near
medium
far
and... that's it? (and only the very near distinctly focused, while all the rest farther out... 'kind of focused'?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
DavidVogt
By DavidVogt (Oct 20, 2011)

Actually, it allows stacking of the photos to create complete sharpness throughout depth - while still having the benefit of shooting at a large aperture.

0 upvotes
Astro8
By Astro8 (Oct 20, 2011)

Cheap invention. We should support people and companies like this. I am on the waiting list.

5 upvotes
Boomz
By Boomz (Oct 21, 2011)

Then you might be interested in this - http://raytrix.de/
And you won't have to wait.

1 upvote
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 23, 2011)

Totally different concept - and much less capable.

0 upvotes
closin99
By closin99 (Oct 20, 2011)

expensive toy,I stick with my DSLR

1 upvote
gladmatt
By gladmatt (Oct 20, 2011)

Does anyone know if it's possible to alter the depth of field of the focus, as well as the focus point? IN theory it should be possible, I would have thought

0 upvotes
DavidVogt
By DavidVogt (Oct 20, 2011)

You can add areas that you want to be in focus. Check out the Asia D video where they demo their software.

0 upvotes
JimWongyyz
By JimWongyyz (Oct 20, 2011)

What story do I use to tell my wife that I need one more camera ?

I already have half dozen cameras. Three iPhones, iPad2, RIM Playbook, Samsung Galaxy Android phone. I'm addicted to these toys.

0 upvotes
Astro8
By Astro8 (Oct 20, 2011)

Have you heard of something called eBay or Kijiji :-)

2 upvotes
Marco 2k7
By Marco 2k7 (Oct 20, 2011)

Just sell some stuff

or get divorced

2 upvotes
bimmerman
By bimmerman (Oct 20, 2011)

Is it pronounced ly-tho or le-tho or what? And even more curious, how do you pronounce "Ng"?

0 upvotes
ChrishsChan
By ChrishsChan (Oct 20, 2011)

In US & Canada, Ng pronounced as Ink. In HK is 吳, Haha.....

0 upvotes
bimmerman
By bimmerman (Oct 20, 2011)

Buddy of mine from Malaysia just confirmed it's pronounced "erng". In the Fujian dialect of China it literally means yellow and in Cantonese... you tell me. :)

1 upvote
Artistico
By Artistico (Oct 20, 2011)

Presumably they spelt it Lytro so people would pronounce it, well, "Lytro."

1 upvote
nsng
By nsng (Oct 20, 2011)

In Mandarin it is Huang and in Cantonese, Wong. I have the same surname:)

0 upvotes
VIPZone
By VIPZone (Oct 20, 2011)

I believe it is Cantonese and it is pronounced like you would pronounce "hoping" without the "hop". In Mandarin the same character would be pronounced Wu.

0 upvotes
nsng
By nsng (Oct 20, 2011)

The Chinese character is 黃. In pinyin, it is Huang, in Cantonese it is Wong. He was born in Malaysia and this is written as Ng, Fujian dialect. I speak Fujian, Cantonese and some Mandarin.

1 upvote
Boomz
By Boomz (Oct 21, 2011)

How do you get 'INK' out of 'NG'? LOL!
Its not difficult to pronounce it correctly ie "erng"
Just remember 'Bang' ... 'Ba-ng'

As for Lytro much like Lychee = "Lai-chee" (not "Lee-chee" - mispronounced in many parts of America).
Remember 'Hybrid' = "Hai-brid" (not "hee-brid")
The proper way of pronouncing Lytro is "Lai-tro"

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Kenneth Margulies
By Kenneth Margulies (Oct 20, 2011)

Very interesting. I am encouraged that there is a company pursuing photography in a different way. I would think most people who like photography would be supportive, for although the technology is still new, it seems to hold significant potential.

5 upvotes
Boomz
By Boomz (Oct 21, 2011)

Not new technology, other companies design and sell light field cameras - http://raytrix.de/index.php/Technology.html

0 upvotes
gblatchford
By gblatchford (Oct 20, 2011)

So who controls the image if you the creator took it and owns it?

An *pple inspired approach to control and distribution, fantastic, more corporate land-grabs. Except worse.

Thanks, I'll pass. Convenience, something I flush after using.

1 upvote
a1shot
By a1shot (Oct 20, 2011)

Hi, first I signed up to be a field trials operative, never even got a response!
The cameras is best used in Surveillance so any area can be pulled into focus...
Overall it looks a little "kid like" -- and somewhat unprofessional!!

1 upvote
Tlipp
By Tlipp (Oct 20, 2011)

A camera shaped like a box. What would Mr. Eastman think?

3 upvotes
Ravncat
By Ravncat (Oct 20, 2011)

Can it do deep depth of field? All of the samples i've seen show only moving narrow depth about in the image...

2 upvotes
GBo
By GBo (Oct 20, 2011)

Based on several narrow depth of field images (with a range of different focus plans), you can always try a focus stacking technique in a separate software :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focus_stacking
regards,
GBo

1 upvote
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 23, 2011)

The Mac software has adjustable DOF including fullly focused. See the AsiaD demo.

0 upvotes
Graystar
By Graystar (Oct 19, 2011)

Pass

0 upvotes
Drareg Ajerap
By Drareg Ajerap (Oct 19, 2011)

Maybe Olympus should hire Ren Ng. Maybe Lytro should buy Olympus. :)

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 20, 2011)

Ironically, if Lytro launches an IPO, its intial market capitalization might be greater than the poor disgraced Oly.

0 upvotes
Boomz
By Boomz (Oct 21, 2011)

You guys might be interested in this - http://raytrix.de/index.php/Technology.html

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 23, 2011)

Thought it was totally different, but seems that was someone else's guess as to how Raytrix works :(

It is the same tech, Raytrix even references Ray Ng (Lytra founder) as a source in their materials! :)

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 103