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Lytro meeting suggests Apple looking beyond conventional photography

By dpreview staff on Jan 24, 2012 at 22:31 GMT

Steve Jobs met Lytro founder Ren Ng to discuss the photographic aspects of Apple products, according to a new book about the company. Details are understandably sparse but, according to Adam Lashinsky's book 'Inside Apple,' Jobs asked Ng to prepare a list of three things he'd like Lytro to do with Apple. If nothing else, the story is interesting as it suggests Jobs was as excited by the Lytro and its effect on photography as the rest of the tech community has been. It also suggests Apple's approach to mobile photography might overlap with Lytro's aim of creating something fun, shareable and engaging, rather than attempting to replace conventional photography. Such an approach would certainly be in keeping with Apple's 'disruptive' approach to technology. (from 9-to-5Mac)

In response to our questions about the meeting, a Lytro spokesperson said:

'We have always admired Apple and share their dedication to innovation. It’s in that spirit that we had the pleasure to meet with Mr. Jobs prior to his passing and to show him what Lytro was working on as a result of his interest in the technology. We cannot provide comment on any past, existing or pending business relationships.'

Lytro has stressed the importance of fun to its product

Comments

Total comments: 103
egorbogat
By egorbogat (Jul 31, 2012)

Hello to all!
Could you be so kind and help me?
I am working with Lytro camera now. I took my sample’s picture. After I click by different object on my pict and save jpg-format pictures. I click by objects with a step 2 mm (in deep, my sample – is periodic black lines in white background). I have received same pictures even if I clicked in different objects. Is it means that Lytro camera (refocusing algorithm) has special refocus point??? How to identify these refocus points in camera? I didn’t find answer in Ren Ng thesis. Please, could you help me!
Thanks a lot!
..

0 upvotes
JoshKline
By JoshKline (Jan 31, 2012)

Lytro isn't trying to create anything conventional they are making something different. Is their a markplace for it? Time will tell- but it is thinking differently from which all great innovation comes from.

0 upvotes
Peter iNova
By Peter iNova (Jan 29, 2012)

Are you willing to spend 400% data space on every shot just so you "might" need to refocus a shot later?

Or would you like to have a picture with 400% of the surface area?

Oops. The Lytro does nothing to solve the "moving camera" form of smears. And those are MUCH more common.

But good IS systems do a lot to improve those.

0 upvotes
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Jan 30, 2012)

Res is 540x540 pixels (1/4MP), files are about 22 Mbytes.

0 upvotes
costinul_ala
By costinul_ala (Jan 31, 2012)

so , as expected, once the specs got out it is obviously a useless toy, if confirmation was needed. Funny how they were taking orders prior to this .... for 500$ a pop ...

0 upvotes
Andrew Nowicki
By Andrew Nowicki (Jan 29, 2012)

The Lytro camera is a conventional plenoptic camera, which was invented by Gabriel Lippman in 1908. Plenoptic cameras have low resolution, but great depth of field. I have invented a modified/improved plenoptic camera, having higher resolution than standard plenoptic camera, but requiting longer exposure and being slightly more complex.

0 upvotes
Brandon Feinberg
By Brandon Feinberg (Jan 28, 2012)

If they could incorporate this into a every camera then I would be excited.

0 upvotes
nanoer
By nanoer (Jan 28, 2012)

No, it still has not jumped out of the box!

0 upvotes
jsis
By jsis (Jan 27, 2012)

so it outputs about a megapixel. I wonder how big and clunky this is when they shove a DSLR sensor?

0 upvotes
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Jan 30, 2012)

1/4 of a megapixel (540x540)

0 upvotes
Helena777
By Helena777 (Jan 26, 2012)

Very interesting, and very promising. For fast moving subjects specially.
For now, this is only a gadget, a toy; but with time and innovation can be great.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (Jan 26, 2012)

Bird in fly will be so easy. Always in focus.

0 upvotes
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Jan 30, 2012)

It will be too far with too little resolution :-(

0 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (Jan 26, 2012)

I will consider to buy one.

1 upvote
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Jan 30, 2012)

For what use?

0 upvotes
Geniet
By Geniet (Jan 26, 2012)

For me it is an interesting development. It offers an alternative additional choice in regard to photography. It is though not a necessity. After all, there is still the possibility to sensitize one’s own paper with a layer and use a pinhole camera. And taking longevity into account, black and white film has my vote.

Further, a Bing internet search for ‘Lytro’, from my part of the world shows 2,570,000 results, evidently Dpreview is one of a multitude websites to cover Lytro.

Should Apple integrate this technology into one or a multitude of the devices Apple puts out, it would certainly have my attention. Certainly considering the developments regarding ‘Cloud Computing’.

0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Jan 27, 2012)

Nope, Bing is just estimating, if you click through the pages found it finally reports 596 results, most of which are duplicates, and some are shopping sites which turn any word into "Low prices on ..." or "find ... here."

0 upvotes
Michael Long
By Michael Long (Jan 25, 2012)

No thanks. Their "miracle technology" drops resolution down by about a factor of ten. A demo showed an 11MP sensor generating a "huge" 1.2MP final image.

I'm more interested in Apple adding Sony's latest BSI sensor than this toy.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
1 upvote
peterBXL
By peterBXL (Jan 25, 2012)

Resolution is definitely an issue for the moment, but just remember how many photographers were reluctant about 'digital' not so long ago, and how fast this changed once the resolution (and sensor etc) got better.
This is not a professional tool yet, far from, but it opens a whole new world of possibilities. Love it or hate it, but it's coming, and probably faster than you think.

0 upvotes
Michael Long
By Michael Long (Jan 26, 2012)

Perhaps, but for the foreseeable future it's still a, what? three-trick pony.

1) Change focus point on the 1 or 2% of images where AF and Face Detection and all of the other cool toys on the P&S failed?

2) Change DOF? Like that's a major issue faced daily by the smartphone/snapshot/P&S crowd.

3) Zero shutter lag? Probably it's only saving grace, but still not worth enough to drop resolution and quality down to Sony Mavica levels

2 upvotes
peterBXL
By peterBXL (Jan 26, 2012)

Agreed, this will first be a P&S toy, since resolution is way too low, but in video I can see this getting in professional models quite fast. The needed resolution is way lower than for photography, and the advantages for news reporters or documentary filmers who have to get their shots really fast (forget autofocus for video) are tremendous. I can even see this being used in fiction in cases where manual focus pulling may be too difficult.

0 upvotes
gr59
By gr59 (Jan 26, 2012)

Certainly an interesting technique, but for taking videos the extremely high bitrate required for recording would be cumbersome (and the usual video compression algorithms are not simply applicable to the light-field recordings).

0 upvotes
peterBXL
By peterBXL (Jan 27, 2012)

At the current file size of 15MB, it would require flash cards of 3.000Mb/s, and the best SSD cards can already handle this, if I'm correct?

0 upvotes
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Jan 30, 2012)

The file size is about 22Mbytes. No current video codec could compress these files as they are completely different to simple images, so for 24fps video, you would need to record 24x22= 528Mbytes per second (or roughly 5280Mbits/s).
You would then need some very snazzy software to create a video that you can refocus as you watch...one day maybe, but not today.

0 upvotes
peterBXL
By peterBXL (Jan 25, 2012)

imagine...
just imagine this being used in photo or video post-production...
imagine your software like photoshop or after effects being able to calculate how far objects are away from your camera...
no need for green keys anymore, just tell after effects to throw away everything that's further away than let's say 3 metres (10 feet for your non-metric people)...
adding objects to your picture or video? just tell photoshop at what distance...

we're just starting to imagine what this could do...

1 upvote
Michael Long
By Michael Long (Jan 26, 2012)

Cool... but again, useless for 99% of the smartphone/snapshot/P&S crowd, who want little more than to send their latest party pix to Facebook or Flickr...

MY holy grail is exceptional low light performance, to the point where we can finally kill off the on-camera flash.

1 upvote
Catalin Stavaru
By Catalin Stavaru (Jan 26, 2012)

A lot of things were useless in the past but became ubiquitous as the future developed...

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 26, 2012)

Imagine not having the distance resolution to do the things you're talking about. Oh wait, we don't have to imagine that, that's how it really works...

OK, imagine any area that's smooth and lacking in detail so all the "rays" in the lightfield bundle register as infinity and get "holes" punched in them by the "no-green-screen" plugin. Imagine someone with smooth skin or well applied makeup having holes in their face with background showing through...

0 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (Jan 26, 2012)

imagine is what it's all about..
Who would have though half the things we do with images would be done as they are today - I worked for a company who developed the Snappy image capturing device that first used the Printer Port just 15 years ago - they could not get anyone to fund them as WHO would want images on their computer - especially not production quality - they sold millions, and their resolution was supersampled video AND the average person had never used images like we do today as scanning and such were professional only.

Again, it was only 10+ years that digital was where Lytro is today, and it offers many other chances - as HDR is just beginning to be used and now automated into cameras (good or bad...) depth of field will be done in the same way - and not just with a post processed smooth tool.

1 upvote
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (Jan 26, 2012)

There are many other aspects of image capture that I am sure will add to the experience of viewing situations such as 3D, Perspective,Color Depth/HDR/light sensitivity ,GPS, Video, Sound,infinite Depth of field as the camera is a preprocessing agent mostly, perhaps in the future we will point and click and then post precess to our hearts content. I enjoy the resolution revolution, but can't wait for all the other aspects of attaining an image to catch up although how long did it take to get to color photography from bw - we are all spoiled, but if we live long enough will probably complain (about the old days), but hopefully be amazed.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 27, 2012)

Chris, you're imagining innovative uses of existing technology. Peter is imagining violating the laws of physics.

0 upvotes
peterBXL
By peterBXL (Jan 29, 2012)

Wouldn't calculating the distance of an object become possible in a two-camera setup?

0 upvotes
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Jan 29, 2012)

PeterBXL,

Your comments are right on and the naysayers are just too unimaginative to see them. JS Wisniewski, however, is no ordinary DPreview dummy. He knows his optics and can do the math.

However, in this case you have to take Joe's comments with a grain of salt. I clearly remember that he said that although the Minolta sensor image stabilization was very clever, it would never work with larger sensors. Then he proceeded to show the math to explain why it could not possibly work with full size (35mm) sensors because of the increased mass.

As we all know either his calculations, or his unstated assumptions were wrong, because we have sensor based image stabilization in the top Sony (who purchased the Minolta digital camera line) full size sensor dSLR cameras.

In any case I have never since taken some of his pessimistic statements too seriously : )

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 30, 2012)

Actually, I said it would be difficult, needing dramatically increased power, so they couldn't just drop in the existing actuators and drivers.

I've also pointed out that they had those already, because they had actually designed that system to stabilize a film camera, moving a carrier and dragging film rolls, and even provided the patent numbers. The APS DSLR system was "thrifted", a scaled-down version of something developed years earlier.

I also debunked, multiple times, the people who said that it couldn't be done because the lens image circles weren't large enough. ;)

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1024&message=10451070

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 30, 2012)

Peter, calculating distance is possible in a two camera system, but you get the same problem I described, holes in the depth map. I even tried a trinoc, three lenses in an equilateral triangle. A lot of holes went away, the ones caused by textures that fooled the two lens system, but an annoying number remained.

And that was with a stereo (trieo?) base of about 100mm. Most stereo cameras range between 30 and 60mm, and the Lytro is an effective 20mm in its ability to calculate depth.

0 upvotes
Dmitriy Balashov
By Dmitriy Balashov (Jan 25, 2012)

Steve Jobs?&
I knew! He's alive!!!

0 upvotes
Troutguy
By Troutguy (Jan 25, 2012)

what is that, some kinda new Pez dispensor?

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 30, 2012)

Nerf weapon. But you were close...

0 upvotes
Lu Heng
By Lu Heng (Jan 25, 2012)

Maybe thinking of possibilities the technology could give would be a better way instead of thinking of limitations and uselessness of it in one's small life?

It's really boring reading through all these pessimistic/haters comments.

Personally I love the this technology and I wish I could have more time to imagine products using it.

6 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Jan 25, 2012)

It's equally boring the see people call people with different opinions pessimistic and haters.

Pointing out limitations or faults is equally productive, if not more.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Jan 25, 2012)

Caleido, all technologies have to start somewhere. The problem is that when you character-assassinate them before they even get off the ground, you just end up killing technologies before they can even mature.

2 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Jan 25, 2012)

Well, I disagree. Everyone has the right to their opinion. Calling everything great and ignoring faults and shortcomings is not a superior opinion nor does it particularly stimulate better products in the future. It goes both ways. It always does. Brands need feedback from their audience. Pros and cons.

2 upvotes
Lu Heng
By Lu Heng (Jan 26, 2012)

Personally, I believe, that a more constructive way of pointing could be all cons making future pros. One need a bigger sensor - you've got it already. In some time. So then what?
And keep on...
A 18mp full size sensor of "point and shoot" with no need in focusing. And with the ability to make deep or shallow DOF with few clicks in LR (or else).

1 upvote
jsis
By jsis (Jan 27, 2012)

people hate it because it's a waste of resources developing it for the consumer market. Yea, it's cool for 90% of us, but that's about it.

0 upvotes
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Jan 30, 2012)

I dislike the fact that all we are getting is marketing and no technical analysis from anyone at DPR.
Too many do not realise that you don't get any form of JPG. You only get a 540x540 image in an online window that you can refocus.
How are you supposed to share your pics? You upload them to Lytro.com and share a link. Oh, and you can view them on a Mac but currently NOT ON A PC unless it's through Internet on lytro.com.
It's great technology, but it is very very limited in resolution.
Surely you can refocus then print? No, that's not an intended use (ok, you can with a screen capture).

0 upvotes
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Jan 30, 2012)

P.S. Notice that they are proposing that people order one before anyone serious gets their hands on one and does an independant review...?
How many here realise what you CAN'T do with it?

0 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (Jan 25, 2012)

Wow Dpreview is the only website that covers any Lytro related piece of text! So boring...

1 upvote
dave_bass5
By dave_bass5 (Jan 25, 2012)

I think this would be a disaster for some if used in a camera phone. I can imagine a lot of people moaning about part of the shot being out of focus.
While the Lytro is an interesting concept, and i personally love the narrow DOF look, it seems that you are stuck with the narrow DOF so its not ideal for group shots etc, and this si what the causal snapper seems to like taking.

Just my thoughts.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 25, 2012)

You're not "stuck with the narrow DOF". The lytro lets you choose any DOF between that offered by a single "decimated" portion of the lens and that of the whole lens, so you can adjust DOF over about a 4 stop range. That's kind of a cool feature.

It's limitations are very low resolution, artifacts, and poor low light performance.

Oh, and lack of any actual purpose.

0 upvotes
Kriwoel
By Kriwoel (Jan 25, 2012)

How about better 3D camera like RAYTRIX ? any review?
http://www.raytrix.de/
http://www.raytrix.de/index.php/home.html

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Martinka
By Martinka (Jan 25, 2012)

Pricing of Raytrix camera is way way above Lytro (2500 USD)

0 upvotes
photonius
By photonius (Jan 25, 2012)

They seem to be going for the high-end market, vertical applications. But in any case, it's the same technology. In their documentation about lighfield/panoptic cameras, the even refer to Ng. So, what's the patent situation?

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 25, 2012)

I track scientific and industrial imaging (the market for the cameras I've designed) and no one, ever seems to talk about Raytrix. You never hear of anyone actually using them, or anyone even trying them or playing with them at a trade show.

0 upvotes
Kriwoel
By Kriwoel (Jan 26, 2012)

This one uses Raytrix , also makes 3D prints out using microlens coating papers
http://www.martinhaeusler.com/

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Jan 25, 2012)

This is the prefect technology for phone/cams to adopt. i am getting tired of looking for the perfect point and shoot when indeed, a quality cam on a phone is the answer.

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 25, 2012)

Not really phone tech.

It can't do what it does without a fairly large lens. You need to start with shallow DOF, then decimate it down to portions with deeper DOF.

0 upvotes
electronbee
By electronbee (Jan 25, 2012)

Nothing new here. Contax had this idea with digital MF cameras way back when. So long ago I can barely remember. So, I don't see why this is big news.

I wonder if the Lytro CEO knows this? I doubt it.

0 upvotes
Izu
By Izu (Jan 25, 2012)

Maybe you should try to remember because... Contax didn't have the idea, but Ng, founder of Lytro. He used a Contax MF camera as prototype of the Lytro.

0 upvotes
electronbee
By electronbee (Jan 27, 2012)

Over 10 years ago?

0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Jan 25, 2012)

What's strange about the Lytro story is that we are constantly told we should be excited, and we yawn and feel pretty bored with that toy camera, which is really good for nothing.

3 upvotes
gumraah
By gumraah (Jan 25, 2012)

How much is this $25-30.00 I think thats what it is worth ;-)

3 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (Jan 25, 2012)

Yikes!

. Another company to rip off blind?

. Mash the process/software to alter any STANDARD enough to make it LOOK proprietary, even though invented elsewhere - neatly making it unavailable to anyone not 'in the fold'?

. Imply 'invention' of it to user-fans - like:
SCSI, DVI, Thunderbolt, Touch Screens

. Patent some trivial aspect of its operation and use that non-patent to try to enforce something far more wide-ranging?

Etc. Etc. etc.

Can't think of a worse company to get in bed with unless a little short term cash is the objective. Well maybe one :)

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 25, 2012)

What are you talking about?

It's a real technology, and the founder of the company is one of the pioneers in the field. There is no "STANDARD" to "alter", and the reason that they need their own software is nothing else out there, aside from an obscure program written for lightfield microscopes, can recombine the images.

That fact that there doesn't appear to be any marketable use for this technology doesn't make the technology itself any less innovative, unique, or alter its status as a bonifide invention.

2 upvotes
Guy Incognito
By Guy Incognito (Jan 27, 2012)

He's talking about Apple. Although I don't recall them ever implying invention. Apple doesn't mention that Thunderbolt is just PCI Express + DisplayPort, but I think what's important is having both interfaces in one port, not that Apple did not invent the individual interfaces. Although Intel was mostly responsible for Thunderbolt, Apple had a hand in it.

Same goes with touch screens and using them in a smartphone - it's not inventing the touch screen that is important, but how it was utilized.

As for altering standards, anyone remember what MS did to HTML?

0 upvotes
munchmeister
By munchmeister (Jan 25, 2012)

Call me when they put this into a Photoshop filter. Other than that, it seems pure gimmickry. Go ahead, try it out on their site. Once you've "refocused" then what? Flip on through to the next one and the next? It would get old in a big hurry and offer nothing that photographers want. Kinda like the gazillion iPhone photo apps that offer the funky effects but not much more. This is even more gimmicky. I don't see Apple falling for this either.

2 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (Jan 25, 2012)

See focus stacking software :)

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 25, 2012)

photohounds, the difference is that focus stacking software requires a "stack" of images, taken sequentially, of a totally still subject, while the lytro captures it's "light field" in just one exposure, so it works on living things.

It decimates angles, not planes of focus.

The big problem is that, in doing this, it also decimates the resolution of the image, while focus stacking preserves resolution.

0 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Jan 25, 2012)

I don't see it. Enlighten me. The thing is huge and has no strap. Obviously it needs big lens elements and a big cube as a "sensor". And yet it still only delivers 1 MP of resolution. It has no flash and low light performance is not good so I have read.

The time and effort you "win" by not focussing, you lose afterwards with fiddling through the different images. Parents using it for their children now have to chose which of their infant will be in focus or use different pictures. I did not hear them complaining about having everyone in focus with the big dof from the usual compacts cameras.

Unless they can put something together which has at least the size of a regular pocketable digicam and at least some resolution from beyond the 90ties, this is merely a niche gadget for very very early adopters.

I did see some potential for professional studio or macro photography when they announced it couple of months ago, but not with the toy with only two buttons we see now.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
edu T
By edu T (Jan 25, 2012)

A little more than a coupla months ago, actually.
DPR's first hands-on look is dated Oct 19, 2011:
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7237351494/lytro-light-field-camera-first-look-with-ren-ng

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Jan 25, 2012)

I'm baffled. Did not know 4 months is no longer 'a couple of months' in the English language. Because it is in mine, you see.

Where do you put the official limit? Two months? Three?

0 upvotes
Ivan Makarov
By Ivan Makarov (Jan 25, 2012)

Well, in English, a couple means two. So yes, the official limit to a couple of months = 2 months.

2 upvotes
dbacellar
By dbacellar (Jan 25, 2012)

No, that's not true. 'A couple' can be be two or more (according to "The American Heritage Dictionary", 'couple' can be used informally meaning 'few, several').

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
edu T
By edu T (Jan 25, 2012)

Well, Oct 19 was when DPR saw a mockup, but by then the announcement itself was already "a couple of months" old. (Hence my "baffling" little more than a couple.)
See this from June 21, 2011: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/technology/22camera.html?_r=1

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 25, 2012)

"The thing is huge"?!?! LOL. I have camera batteries bigger than this thing.

As for it only having two buttons, don't underestimate the power of simplicity. Look at all the people shooting pictures with the iPhone. Sometimes it's better to just keep it simple, rather than putting a dozen buttons all over it.

Plus, if you ask people what the biggest annoyance of P&S cameras is, it's the slow focus speed which causes you to miss the shot. A camera that doesn't have that focus delay will be a big plus for a lot of people.

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Jan 25, 2012)

"Fun" photography is fine, but I don't want Apple anywhere near it. All they would do is what they do to everything else they touch--ruin it, corrupt it, make a mockery out of it, yet attract trillions of "sheeple" to it & drive the other manufacturers to copy them & ruin their existing products. No thank you. I like REAL cameras. Using an iPhone with Hipstomatic & calling it "photography" is like boiling "oodles of noodles" for 2 minutes & calling it cooking.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
13 upvotes
cowsmilk55
By cowsmilk55 (Jan 25, 2012)

I agree with you. Apple is not compatable with other products. Give me a camera any day. It is more of a challenge and rewarding in the end results. That's Fun!

2 upvotes
WT21
By WT21 (Jan 25, 2012)

You are right. Microsoft -- Now that says FUN!

3 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 25, 2012)

It's not like anyone is twisting any arms for a "must-have". Let the masses buy it, pay for the development and produce more usable versions. I don't imagine real photographers wanting it in this stage, but the concept is far too good to be dismissed. It will find its use in many fields, just like Polaroid instant photos did.
If you remember what things we didn't even imagine just a few short years ago which we normally use today, you'll see what I mean. Gigabytes-on-sticks, Terabytes in cigarette-sized packages, wireless memory cards, GPS-located pics... So, Lytro two years from now, who knows?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ljmac
By ljmac (Jan 25, 2012)

Can you define how Apple would "ruin it, corrupt it, make a mockery out of it"? I'll bet you can't, because you're just a blind Apple hater. In reality, no other company has done more to make technology usable for the masses - I guess you're one of those people who think tech should only be accessible to geeks.

I mean, it's not as if Apple using this technology will spell the death of DSLRs or whatever - that is entirely up to the market. I use a DSLR myself (and don't use an iPhone), but I don't resent those who choose otherwise. Why should I? Why shouldn't people be free to use what suits them? Apple can't force you not to use what suits you either.

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Jan 25, 2012)

They would "ruin it" by (a) sealing up the battery so you can't change it yourself, a design feature which should be against the law by the way (b) making it to where you can ONLY use iTunes to access it (c) having it write in some proprietary format instead of JPEG (d) dumb down your ability to customize it and then (e) inspire people to claim that, before this product, cameras didn't even exist. To me, all Apple does is dumb down products for the masses who, frankly, should take some personal responsibility to try & LEARN some things, it doesn't mean you need to be a geek, but enough "I can't figure it out" whining already.

People are free to use what the want, but I'm free to comment on what I think of it. Using an iPhone & a Hipstomatic app is not REAL photography (it's "snapshooting" & that's fine) & it's ridiculous when one does so & claims it to be no different than someone using a REAL cameara like a d-SLR or a mirrorless. The tool isn't the focus, true, but it DOES matter.

5 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Jan 25, 2012)

PS--now that I think about it, I think many of the things I listed (proprietary format etc) are aspects that the Lytro actually has. So I would suggest that it's no wonder Steve Jobs was interested, sounds as if Lytro has been trying to go down this "closed community" path of Apple's & so it's natural he was interested, they both (apparently) think alike.

I have no problem with innovation & alternatives on the market per se, I just get tired of all this Apple-Apple-Apple-Apple-Apple idolatry going on out there. I swear they could come out with an "iToilet" which has a sealed up water tank so you can't "jiggle the handle" yourself, you MUST use THEIR toilet paper & have to install iTunes to purchase it--yet because it would be prettier, people would call it "innovative" & swear that prior to the iToilet we were using out-houses or deserted stretches of woods for basic bathroom visits. My GOD it gets SO old.

3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 25, 2012)

Oh, yeah, they just ruined the mp3 player, the smart phone, the tablet, the laptop, and the desktop, didn't they! LOL. Yeah, that's why the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Macbook, and iMacs are such poor sellers! LOL.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Jan 25, 2012)

I can't believe I'm coming to the defense of Apple...

Smart phones are a mix of phone and PDA, and I don't remember any PDAs that had user changeable batteries. Neither of my iPaqs did, nor my old Palm. Nor do tablets, whether Samsung, Apple, or HP. You have a large, thin, flat device, you need a large, thin, flat battery. Handling a battery like that is difficult, and making a large, flat device that opens up to give you access to that battery is even more difficult. You end up with a device that is larger, heavier, more fragile, and less reliable.

Oh, and there have even been cameras with permanent batteries. Remember the old Kodak disc cameras (that's a film "disc", not digital)? 10 year lithium battery, when it went dead, you bought a new camera.

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Jan 25, 2012)

That their products sell doesn't mean they're better. McDonald's sells more burgers than N & Out Burger, but that doesn't mean they're better.

2 upvotes
Nikono
By Nikono (Jan 26, 2012)

Did you ever consider this, Apple wont have you near them.

Horses for courses mate.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Jan 26, 2012)

I don't care whether the fruit company would have me near them or not.

0 upvotes
ljmac
By ljmac (Feb 9, 2012)

larrytuaz: Apple has been successful by making products work the way people want them to. There's just so much stuff to deal with these days - why should we be forced to work in ways we don't want to? If you want to do that, that's fine, but why hate on those who just want things to work, so they can get on with their lives?

0 upvotes
Geniet
By Geniet (Jan 25, 2012)

Perhaps incorporating the Lytro technology into Apple Macs, iPads, iPhones and iPods would be something for Apple to consider.

According to James Altucher (MarketWatch) Apple can be valued at $2 trillion, and that is before todays press release.

For many an iPhone will replaces the camera and video device and also allows to be used as a communication device.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 24, 2012)

This technology sounds awesome till you find out how it works. Give up IQ for Refocus function.

Anyone notice that all the samples have something 2" from the front lens element? I guess if a bug gets on your lens, you can refocus to find out what kind of bug it was.

2 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Jan 24, 2012)

with the gimmick design, no one is going to take it seriously

1 upvote
Nikono
By Nikono (Jan 26, 2012)

Jogger, photography is not for serious people

0 upvotes
love_them_all
By love_them_all (Jan 24, 2012)

Good job, finally got somebody with deep pockets to buy into Lytro, which seems to be their ultimate goal anyway. Apple fans are good fit for the demographic.

5 upvotes
edgar83
By edgar83 (Jan 24, 2012)

Another interesting use of lytro technology could be to expand the DoF of a normal photograph, maybe loosing some resolution, just like some fuji cameras that expands dynamic range in change of resolution.

that wouldn't be just a toy...

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 24, 2012)

focus bracketing? Landscape photographer have been doing this since the film days.

0 upvotes
kb2zuz
By kb2zuz (Jan 25, 2012)

Problem is the way light-field photography works, it causes a drastic reduction in resolution... a 16MP camera produces a 0.09MP image. For expanding DOF, light-field isn't the best option. It's a technology looking for an application, and Apple's good identifying problems and adapting solutions. I think apple would be interested just so they have it in their pocket incase they come across a problem that it would fix.

3 upvotes
Galaxie 500
By Galaxie 500 (Jan 25, 2012)

That's the part I can't figure out. I mean, if I take a slightly out of focus 16MP image, and, using ordinary, non-magical-and-revolutionary software, downsize it to .09MP or whatever, haven't I achieved pretty much the same thing? Doesn't the loss of detail alone kind of nullify any advantages the tech might have?

2 upvotes
Miguel J Princz
By Miguel J Princz (Jan 24, 2012)

I would offer the invention to Pentax, for once and all, it would solve the diverse focusing issues we had and still have...

1 upvote
kb2zuz
By kb2zuz (Jan 25, 2012)

Yes. But it will give you a low resolution issue. Let's take your 16MP K-5 and make it 0.09MP so that you can refocus it. Or better yet let's take the 40MP $10,000 645 and turn it into a 0.25MP camera.

0 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (Jan 24, 2012)

Lytro is of such limited value. The only thing it does is get rid of focusing by cutting down the resolution by a massive 10x.

Not sure how that would benefit Apple. Maybe get toddlers to take photos??

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Jan 24, 2012)

Nice. Apple is worth $400 billion. Clearly this technology is not ready for primetime yet but with Apple's investment, it might make P&S more fun.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
1 upvote
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Jan 24, 2012)

But why not develop it with the goal of enhancing regular photography? Why limit it to just being a toy? The ability to refocus can be a huge advantage in regular photography, even if the range of variation from the original focus point is limited.

The prospect of fixing focus misses in post processing is pretty sweet. Even if you can only make a small adjustment, that would still help to greatly increase the number of keepers.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 25, 2012)

The camera splits the sensor up into several squares (maybe 20-50 units) When you take a picture, it is able to capture images with different focus with special micro lenses. You end up with what a House fly sees. Each unit (less than 1MP in resolution) is then shown to you when you "adjust" the focus. Im sure you can rig the 5D MK II to do something like this, and you will end up with a $2600 cel phone camera that you can "adjust" the focus on.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 24, 2012)

Lytro could be the new apple quicktake digital camera! About darn time!

2 upvotes
Total comments: 103