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Lytro adds 'perspective shift' and 'living filters' to light field captures

By dpreview staff on Nov 16, 2012 at 00:32 GMT

Lytro has announced two extra features for users of its Light Field Cameras - perspective shift and living filters. Perspective shift allows the viewer to re-render the light field as if captured from a slightly different position - moving this viewing position around shows off the depth information captured by the camera. Meanwhile the 'living filters' are depth-aware versions of the processing filter modes that have become near-ubiquitous in cameras in recent years. And, because the Light Field Cameras download all the light field data to your computer, these effects will be available with all existing captures.


Press Release:

Lytro Unveils Perspective Shift and Living Filters for New Ways to Experience Living Pictures

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lytro Inc., creator of the world’s first consumer light field camera, announced today it will unveil a new light field technology capability for the Lytro camera with Perspective Shift as well as new creative tools with Living Filters. These features will be available to customers starting December 4th via a free Lytro Desktop software update.

“By capturing the light field, the Lytro camera lets photographers achieve things that were never before possible. The first groundbreaking capability was focusing pictures after they were taken and now we are excited to offer Perspective Shift, which brings living pictures to life in an entirely new way”

Perspective Shift lets Lytro photographers interactively change the point of view in a picture after it has been taken. On a computer or mobile device, viewers can move the living picture in any direction – left, right, up, down and all around. When pictures are shared to the web, Facebook and Twitter, friends can experience Perspective Shift without needing any special software. Perspective Shift also works retroactively on any light field pictures previously taken with a Lytro camera.

“By capturing the light field, the Lytro camera lets photographers achieve things that were never before possible. The first groundbreaking capability was focusing pictures after they were taken and now we are excited to offer Perspective Shift, which brings living pictures to life in an entirely new way,” said Ren Ng, founder and executive chairman of Lytro.

“The new Perspective Shift from Lytro is fun and artistic! I've had a wonderful time running around with my Lytro camera to grab little scenes and bend them into this new way of seeing living photos. The idea that you can take any little scene and make it like interactive Matrix-bullet-time is really cool," said Trey Ratcliff, renowned landscape photographer and Lytro pro-shooter team member.

In addition to Perspective Shift, Lytro announced a new way to enhance light field pictures with Living Filters. With a single click, Lytro photographers will be able to apply one of nine interactive filters to their pictures and change the look of the picture based on light field depth. Unlike traditional digital photo filters, Living Filters create additional effects as viewers interact with a picture. Living Filters is a free update to Lytro Desktop and works on all Lytro light field pictures, including retroactively.

New Living Filters:

  • Carnival: Twist and distort your picture as you refocus and change perspective as if you’re in a funhouse of mirrors.
  • Crayon: Add a touch of color to a monochrome version of your picture. Click to focus and add color into your scene, or change your perspective and add color back into your scene as you explore.
  • Glass: Put a sheet of virtual glass into your scene. Everything in front of where you click will be unchanged, and everything behind will appear to be behind a piece of frosted glass.
  • Line Art: Reduce your scene to a grayscale outline, seeing more detailed lines where you refocus.
  • Mosaic: Create a tiled mosaic in the out-of-focus parts of your scene as you click or change your perspective.
  • Blur+: Significantly enhance the amount of blur in the out-of-focus parts of your scene.
  • Pop: Make parts of your scene pop out with extra detail and vibrancy when those areas are clicked.
  • Film Noir: Add a moody and stylized black and white look to your pictures, with a little bit of extra detail and color where you click.
  • 8-Track: Bring back the ‘70s with this filter that adds an aged, vignetted look to your pictures. Click to un-age parts of your scene and see them come back to life, disco suit not required.

“Having the ability to play with tiles of your living pictures while you refocus with Mosaic or to give an evening shot more drama with Film Noir will let Lytro camera owners and their friends and family have even more fun with the light field and the living pictures it creates,” said Eric Cheng, director of photography at Lytro.

To view Lytro pictures and get more information on Perspective Shift and Living Filters, visit these picture galleries:

Perspective Shift Gallery: http://pictures.lytro.com

Living Filters Gallery: https://pictures.lytro.com/lytroweb/stories/83282

The Lytro camera Learn Page: https://www.lytro.com/learn

For an overview of Perspective Shift, check out this video:

Perspective Shift Video: http://youtu.be/qHso9uLc8Dg

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Discuss in the forums
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Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 93
LaFonte
By LaFonte (Nov 20, 2012)

Lytro never really explained (and I am afraid they never really figured out) who is the target audience for their camera.
Kids would use Lytro instead of cell phones?
Amateur photographers?
People who have no idea about photography?

I can't find any of the commercial group who would get anything more from Lytro than from the cellphones, cameras that already exist.

In fact the only group where I would understand this is some scientific microphotography where a millimeter makes difference in OOF image - but the Lytro is definitely not build for them.

I had seen plenty of technology that claims to solve problem that bothers nobody.

2 upvotes
neekoh_dp
By neekoh_dp (Nov 20, 2012)

Even if I might not fully get the product, I'm applauding Lytro for their bold approach to bringing new technology innovation to market. The grasshopper, dragonfly and eye shots show in my opinion the best potential of the camera. When you drag the mouse on the viewer you get to see the perspective shift with essentially everything in focus. Otherwise this camera goes for a gimmick for me at this point, but at macro distances it seems it could actually be fun and useful.

1 upvote
solarsky
By solarsky (Nov 19, 2012)

How about combing the Lytro with a Foveon sensor? It'd be more awesomer!

1 upvote
TotallyFred
By TotallyFred (Nov 18, 2012)

I think that the 3D aspect of it is the most compelling aspect for now -- at least it can be grasped by many and has more immediate applications the public/viewers could want to use.

The effect seems limited however.

It would be interesting to understand more about the "shifting" capability. Is it really shifting or rotating or a shift/rotate ?

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Nov 18, 2012)

It's a real shift, just a very small one. A bit under 3/4 the width of the lens. More properly, 3/4 the width of the entrance pupil of the lens. That means, for a constant aperture lens, the amount of shift you can have decreases as you zoom wider. The pupil of the Lytro ranges from 3.8mm at its 43mm normal setting (that's as wide as it gets. The lytro idea breaks down totally on wide angle lenses) to 30mm at its longest telephoto setting.

So, you can have a stereo base of 3mm for normal, 23mm for the longest tele shot. By comparison, the stereobase of human vision is about 65mm, the intrapupil distance of our eyes. So, for actual 3D, the Lytro only works at close up or macro distances. At the normal setting, you get the best 3D at a distance of about 90mm (a bit under 4 inches). In the extreme tele setting, you can go all the way out to 700mm (2.5 feet). Perfect for flowers, or pictures of your food.

Want to take a picture of humans? Get a Fuji W3.

2 upvotes
LeonTheremin
By LeonTheremin (Nov 19, 2012)

Mine is 60mm. The eye doctor measures it when I get new glasses. Do you think that someone with a bigger or smaller head than me has a different perception of depth than I do? That would be such a trip.

0 upvotes
LaFonte
By LaFonte (Nov 20, 2012)

3D cameras don't need to have 65mm base for a 3D effect. In fact very few do as they have much wider lengths than human eye , they can go with less than 30mm. If you put a wide lenses each with distance of 65mm the result will be unbearable - too much of separation.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Nov 21, 2012)

It's not the focal length of the lenses, but the working distance that's the issue. Lenses closer than a human interpupillary distance only produce an adequate 3d image at distances closer than a human "safe distance", as understood by us old codgers.

That's why you see the short stereobase cameras targeting the young, with "in your face" social media style. Also why you have a camera called a "bloggie", LOL. Which, incidentally, gets around some of its stereobase limitations with onboard stereobase expansion software, which is the main reason it's 3d often looks a bit unconvincing.

1 upvote
Pentax_Prime
By Pentax_Prime (Nov 17, 2012)

I've always wondered - how exactly does Lytro go about getting front-page space on DPR time after time after time? ...

5 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Nov 21, 2012)

They send them press releases. DpReview is always short of news items and runs darn near anything that isn't outright spam.

1 upvote
wakaba
By wakaba (Nov 17, 2012)

So here we have a camera that is really bad at taking pictures and uploads your picture, denies ownership and only lets you see trough a browser window.

What will happen to your pictures in 5 years? Kodak went bust...Flash is getting phased out...Firefox will change...

Raw and JPEG win. For the price of a Litro a very decent SLR can be had.

No go unless your a noveltyseeker drone.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Nov 18, 2012)

Somebody else drew an analogy to Nimslo as an innovator elsewhere in this thread. So, I'd say the business will go the same way. After Nimslo went under, a few small labs tried to keep up with the processing, but the camera soon became basically an expensive paperweight.

When Lytro goes bust, unless some really ambitious folks try to duplicate what they did with their site or a tablet/smartphone app, the camera becomes a colorful brick.

1 upvote
LaFonte
By LaFonte (Nov 20, 2012)

I don't think people will be desperately seeking lytro viewers in 5 years, the lytro will simply endup on the bottom drawer or in the box in basement with all the other fantastic products that gave us some fun for a brief time then became obsolete.

0 upvotes
AV Janus
By AV Janus (Nov 17, 2012)

I agree.
A lot of people are sneering only out of their lack of creativity. Not knowing how to implement the new file and their capabilities into their own work.

Once some iPad App supports these files in a gallery by tracking your head gestures or just by monitoring the shakes of the iPad it will take off!
That alone would make your pics look alive ! :-)

It might not be for "pro" work. But current "pro" requirement is not 3d and is mostly old boring 2D magazine type of work being done for decades.
Things are changing... And lots of megapixels won't be the main deciding factor.

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Nov 17, 2012)

Everyone sneers, but in a few years Lytro will have sold this to Canikon and it will be a standard feature of the D9000 and everyone here will love it just as they eventually loved autofocus....

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ianp5a
By ianp5a (Nov 17, 2012)

Autofocus? humbug!

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Nov 18, 2012)

It will never be standard on a DSLR. Read Dr. Ng's dissertation to understand why. The plenoptic lens array has to be set up to decimate a particular maximum aperture down to a particular minimum aperture. For the thesis camera, he went from f4 down to f22, and that took about a 13:1 decimation. The production camera does only 4:1 on an f2 lens, so that you still have some image left (about 1mp) after decimating a 16mp sensor.

Canon DSLRS cover the range from f1.2 to f32. That needs, according to Dr. Ng, 50:1 decimation. Put the plenoptic array in front of a 250mp sensor from the far future, and you get 0.1mp out.

Basically, the technology is not suitable for DSLRs. His own dissertation explains why.

2 upvotes
SungiBr
By SungiBr (Nov 17, 2012)

Since the release of the Lytro Camera, the creator stated that the device could capture "real3D" images and have the native capability of produce holographic files(whatever it will be reallity or not).
It's interesting to follow the advances of this little product, because, IMHO, it's by far, the most significant groundbreaking on photography sice the dawn of the digital.

2 upvotes
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Nov 16, 2012)

Even if you have no interest in buying a Lytro camera you have to be impressed by the technological breaktrough that it represents, as well as how fast it went from the laboratory to an actual commercial product.

It's also a good indicator of the stupidity and arrogance of many of our posters, who smirk and insist on airing their ignorance whenever Lytro is discussed.

It reminds me of the many inane comments about other early digital camera innovations which these like minded "geniuses" dismissed.

It is often associated with the attitude that "If I have no interest in it (fill in whatever) then it is of no interest to anyone else and it is just plain dumb".

I can imagine a not too distant future where Light Field technology is used to make films and the director and editor will be able to change the DOF as well as some of the perspective after the film is shot.

Enjoy,

Dan

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Pedrocas
By Pedrocas (Nov 17, 2012)

Hi Dan .. I see you take a fairly strong point about those who choose to speak their mind against the product. But in all your comments, which come across as fairly narcissistic btw I will say, to date LYTRO has developed a differentiated position in the market but has failed to educate or bridge a gap in the differences. It's quite different and does perform at lower capability to the standard most professional photographers use in their day to day photographic needs. To this point you must also understand they have released a remarkable product for other purposes with a strong social media angle and they are effectively managing to a 'willingness to pay' of their target segment which is not really interested in high end photography to fund their r&d.
As long as you and others in the segment have no interest in high quality photos, but to take instagram like images of food, drinks and where you hang out then they will not innovate in the lens capability.
P.

0 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (Nov 17, 2012)

Dan's right about not liking those sneer posts from those who cannot imagine anything outside their needs.
This system still has a way to go to gain a broader acceptance though. Otherwise it could fail eventually. Does anyone remember Nimslo cameras from the 80s?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Nov 18, 2012)

I still have a Nimslo. It's very pretty on a shelf. There was still enough market after they folded, and the technology was simple enough that people rolled their own processing software (like Lentils) and other 3 and 4 shot lenticular cameras.(i3D, Nashika) that the market kept struggling along for 25 years. Heck, Fuji even has a lenticular printing service for their W3 stereo cameras.

Lytro will fail more spectacularly. The algorithms are much more complex, the audience smaller. There's less potential for post-shot money, no prints, and pay-to-host on a cobbled up Lytro gallery site won't fly. When they die, they're staying dead.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Nov 16, 2012)

This is just great! Now, if only Lytro would volunteer for us to invent ceiling wax. We need that, too, and we need it rather desperately.

2 upvotes
AndreyT
By AndreyT (Nov 16, 2012)

The amplitude of the perspective shift is limited by the lens diameter. You can't shift your point of view by more than that. This is not much, but in any case it is indeed very impressive.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Nov 18, 2012)

You're close. The shift is limited by the diameter of the entrance pupil, the aperture as seen from the front of the lens. Look at the front view in dpReview's review. They show it with the lens zoomed out. The entrance pupil is that little 3.8mm spot in the center of the front lens.

At the normal setting,where our most want the perspective shift, it's limited to about 3mm.

0 upvotes
AV Janus
By AV Janus (Nov 16, 2012)

I wonder if that is the angle limitation of the perspective movement?

It would be even more cool if they vere to ling 4 cameras into a bigger cube and then do a stitch them and make an even more profound 3D effect.

I can see them doing this.

Who knows maybe in 4years will have perspective shift video that could be played and perspective made to follow your head movements ore even you around the room. :-)

0 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Nov 16, 2012)

Lytro is a joke. A cellphone takes better pictures. Just watch the DigitalREV review on youtube, it's a cracker :)

2 upvotes
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Nov 16, 2012)

It's a joke only to someone who is ignorant and does not even know it.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Nov 18, 2012)

Please provide a link to an image gallery taken with lytro. If those images will look better than some taken with a pre-2007 mobile phone, I retract my words. True, I have not used the device, since I did not see it in any store in my area, but I have taken my time to study the various image galleries on the net, along with a complete review of it, on the Digitalrev TV channel. And I mantain my original statement, as an engineer and photography&tech enthusiast: It is a marketing gimmick, a toy camera, a joke.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
pentx4life
By pentx4life (Nov 16, 2012)

This camera allows to create real3D footage without having two lenses:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3337099#forum-post-50298659

1 upvote
huyzer
By huyzer (Nov 17, 2012)

Thanks for bringing that to attention.

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Nov 16, 2012)

I think it is neat that they can do all these filters based on the depth information.

I still think they should also make an ordinary camera based on the light field camera shape because it is very discreet.

0 upvotes
Sirandar
By Sirandar (Nov 16, 2012)

Has promise and the perspective shift is real.... but the actual shift is quite limited

0 upvotes
pentx4life
By pentx4life (Nov 16, 2012)

shure, it is limited. but it allows you to create a true 3D - image. And that is definetely some mindblowing possibility, to have one lens, one sensor, and one point of view and you can still create real 3D footage out of it.

If you have a 3D monitor, or are able to do the ''cross-eyed-view'' check this out. I prepared an example of this in the following post:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3337099#forum-post-50298659
Regards

3 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Nov 16, 2012)

pentx4life:
Now I'm impressed. That's the best 3d effect I've ever seen. Lytro's future might lie in 3d video as HD only need 2mp per frame.

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Nov 16, 2012)

So funny watching all the old men enthusiast brick wall testers in here get their adult diapers in a wad when someone comes out with a product like this that's obviously not made for them. "What, your not taking pictures the same way it's always been done! This is blasphemy!"

Eat your apple sauce, this isn't made for you. And here's a shocker, you don't make up the target demographic for anything except maybe medicine and adult scooters, and especially most camera products. College and high school kids that aren't camera nerds far outnumber you. This is for them. They can have fun with this and anything new to the camera market isn't a threat, it's an asset. You don't have to buy it for it to succeed. You will be long gone by the time this is mainstream.

4 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 16, 2012)

Have you bought a Lytro? What do you do with it? Did you also buy a 3D camera and a Segway?

Or do you, too, prefer apple sauce?

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Nov 16, 2012)

You are right, this isn't made for us. This is made for people like you, who will spend your money on any shiny new toy that comes your way. Then, when you're older, the only thing you will have is national debt, that will crash you and your dreams. And I will be sitting in my adult diapers, laughing my ass off.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Nov 16, 2012)

Ooooh Cane you're so butch.

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Nov 16, 2012)

So onlooker, what are you really mad about, other than neighborhood kids on your lawn? Is it consumerism, and you should be judge and jury on what is an acceptable product to buy or sell, or is it the actual product. You sound like an old man returning soup at a deli. And no you won't be around to laugh at all the people that have gone broke because they bought a fun little toy in their twenties. You'll be....well, let's just say rolling over. And no, talk to Obama about the national debt. There's nothing I can do that would make a dent at this point.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Nov 16, 2012)

I don't think it has to do with age, but more with brains.

0 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Nov 17, 2012)

Cane, did you buy a Lytro or not? Seems the answer is "no, are you kidding?".

0 upvotes
huyzer
By huyzer (Nov 17, 2012)

Gah, why such hatred and disrespect? Sure, you don't agree with their opinion, but is there a need to bring to bear their mortality? That's just wrong.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Nov 18, 2012)

Cane, you wrote more than the people you say are upset, and you wrote it in "upset style" with run-on sentences and 30 word sentence fragments. You also used upset language, heavily laced with insults.

So, why are you so upset?

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 16, 2012)

Has anyone personally bought a Lytro and used it extensively? One poster says his company bought one, but not whether it put it to commercial use. Another says he bought one and returned it. 3D photos and video are another "innovation" that bigger companies tried to promote, without it ever catching on, really. "Pop-out" images lose their novelty and glasses are a nuisance. Can plenoptic cameras be any more appealing or enduring?

Again, putting aside the technical aspect, how many people own and use a Lytro prodigiously? Exactly what for? To defocus undesirables from group photos?

0 upvotes
AV Janus
By AV Janus (Nov 16, 2012)

I must say DOF is very small on those photographs.
What is the 35mm equivalence of hte "sensor" in that Lytro gadget?

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Nov 18, 2012)

It's a 1/2.7 inch sensor, 5.7x crop factor relative to 35mm. The DOF on the photos comes from shooting at the longer focal lengths in highly contrived compositions.

0 upvotes
abolit
By abolit (Nov 16, 2012)

I'm sorry, but who needs this?

4 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (Nov 16, 2012)

Not done any market research?

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Nov 16, 2012)

The concept of the Lytro helps the "I can't get a focused shot at F/2 but I really want Shallow!"
How about we venture back a little and stick with "F/8 and be there" there ya go, there's your focus, not just with depth of filed but your subject and message too!

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Nov 16, 2012)

God forbid we try something new in photography. Why is this entire profession filled with old people that only want things done one way? How about we don't have to do everything the way our grandparents did and open our old, set in our ways, stogie minds a little?

0 upvotes
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Nov 16, 2012)

It's still too low resolution for serious use, but at least they're working on the software to provide new viewing techniques, albeit limited to using the data available. The grasshopper shows this could be fun for macro shots if they provide an "everything in focus" option. When we can have a one or two megapixel version it could become very cool...

0 upvotes
rmbackus
By rmbackus (Nov 16, 2012)

Lytro missed the opportunity to radical change the camera ergonomics as well.
For decades we have peered with one eye through pinholes, while folding and crushing our nose. Pity they choose for this rectangular block.

0 upvotes
OpticsEngineer
By OpticsEngineer (Nov 16, 2012)

The most common comment I hear when the other engineers see the Lytro is "Wow, they didn't apply any ergonomics principles at all." Small screen, hard to hold, pushing the shutter always makes the camera tilt when the picture is taken. But the square shape does clamp down nicely on a flat surface. Not sure what we are supposed to do when the rechargable battery inside dies after a few years. It does not seem to be accessible to change.

1 upvote
ianp5a
By ianp5a (Nov 16, 2012)

Harrison Ford did exactly this in the film 'Blade Runner' in 1982. See it 2:00 minutes in:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-7iJPwrsw0

Now they just need to build the technology into a mobile phone.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (Nov 16, 2012)

Nice! Now next time I see a movie and want to complain that cameras or computers don't work that way, I'll remember to stop and wonder _how they could_.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Nov 16, 2012)

Do This:

Try to click the farthest and the nearest zone as fast as you can (like a double click)

The whole picture will be in focus, background and foreground.

Now shake the cursor round and round over the image and see what happens...

.

2 upvotes
pentx4life
By pentx4life (Nov 16, 2012)

The 'perspective shift' might be very interesting to create a 3D - one sensor, one lens camera, as it is basically possible to create a real3D-image out of these two. I tried that with my 3D monitor, and it works perfect.

0 upvotes
DidiBaev
By DidiBaev (Nov 16, 2012)

Garbage toy:(

4 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Nov 16, 2012)

LYTRO-IQ so bad it makes me wondering who'd put such garbage on the shelves...

3 upvotes
Just a Photographer
By Just a Photographer (Nov 16, 2012)

Lytro - The biggest BS device on earth.

- You take a wide angle lens with a big aperture and put it in a rectangular box
- Take a picture with evertything being sharp in background.
- Take out the fun of photography and leave it over to the device.
- Do some postprocessing internal photoshop to shift focus
- Sell it as a magical device....

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Rothron
By Rothron (Nov 16, 2012)

While I agree that the Lytro camera is an overhyped hipster toy, it doesn't at all work like you've described.

The sensor has an array of microlenses that lets the camera register not only the light intensity but also it's direction. The image from the sensor is very different from the finished result. The extra per pixel information is what makes the different effects possible. The term to google is "plenoptic".

5 upvotes
Ryan Williams
By Ryan Williams (Nov 16, 2012)

Yeah, let's make no mistake about this: Lytro makes use of very clever and very real technology. Unfortunately, due to so many compromises being made to make it appeal to their target market which seems to be casual compact photographers, it's just not a very compelling end result.

I do think Lytro-esque devices will be very interesting in the future, but right now they're starting from the beginning like digital cameras did many (but not that many) years ago. Give 'em time.

0 upvotes
Mike5076
By Mike5076 (Nov 16, 2012)

Yea, kind of reminds me of a great big brick of thing my boss made me take around with me just so I could make a lousy phone call, man it weighed 3lbs, the service cost a bloody fortune, couldn't connect 80% of the time.

Man I was right told everyone it would never catch on. Oh wait we now call it a cell phone. Well so what - before that we had that stupid device called a Newton - man I knew that one would never catch on... Oh wait they put those to stupid things together and now we call them smart phones. Well so what - before that I had a little camera - fit my pocket took lousy pictures - oh wait now they put 8mp cameras in those stupid smart phones. Well so what - before that..... Get the picture?

4 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 16, 2012)

Mike5076, have you bought your Lytro yet? Why not? It weighs a lot less than 3lbs. Be a trend-setter. Show the world what wonders it is missing.

4 upvotes
Mike5076
By Mike5076 (Nov 18, 2012)

Hey, I wouldn't have gotten the darn brick but my boss made me carry it - now I have Galaxy S III - and no I don't use it to take pics.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Nov 16, 2012)

maybe when the technology mature I will get it. I still have some high hope it can be improved.

0 upvotes
mcam
By mcam (Nov 16, 2012)

Lytro, as it stands right now, doesn't seem too interesting to me. However, if the technology can be used on 360 degree shots, it may open up some interesting opportunities, I think...

0 upvotes
Stephan Def
By Stephan Def (Nov 16, 2012)

I checked the pictures, and looked at the Video. The technology is not very well explained, normally you would try to show some serious real world application and explain the benefit of it, I did not see any of that, thus it just looks like a cool gimmick at this point.

0 upvotes
OpticsEngineer
By OpticsEngineer (Nov 16, 2012)

I had my company buy a Lytro to evaluate for metrology uses. So I have used one quite a bit. For the first two months I agreed with all the comments about too low a resolution, just a toy. But then I had a strange experience. After reviewing my test shots, I went to the Lytro website and played with varying the focus on some of the winning photos in their contest. That was fun. I spent about an hour on that. Then I came over to Dpreview and looked at normal photos I knew were well composed and good. But somehow, all of a sudden, they all seemed dull. Flat. Lifeless. All you could do was look at them.

It is quite challenge to create a photograph where you plan ways the user can interact with it. It opens up entirely new ways to be creative.

On the technical side, I can share that when you zoom in, the range of refocusability becomes much less. The Lytro is best used zoomed out. Then you have about 9 diopters range of refocusability within a single photo.

9 upvotes
Michael She
By Michael She (Nov 16, 2012)

Nice way of getting a free toy.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 16, 2012)

OpticsEngineer: so later you went out and bought your own Lytro? Did your company figure a way to make money from Lytro pictures? If retailers circulate ads with "interactive" illustrations, will added sales recoup the costs? As for pure creativity, isn't it more interactive and tactile to use pencil and paper to draw or write?

1 upvote
FromHereOnIn
By FromHereOnIn (Nov 16, 2012)

Now you can keep focus on the money that is leaving your wallet and walking down the street while re-living the moment from different angles.

3 upvotes
VadymA
By VadymA (Nov 16, 2012)

The description is quite misleading as in reality you can only shift the background by a couple of millimetres; so it's not very useful at all. And with the focus shift, is there any way to see everything in focus on the picture? I find the out-of-focus area on Lytro samples rather flat and unpleasing (no fall off at all) and noticed that I would rather prefer everything in focus, especially on their macro shots. I could not find how to do that, so another disappointment.

In general, they might be just slightly ahead of time with this invention. I am guessing this technology could be much more suitable for 3D screens...

2 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Nov 16, 2012)

Lytro has demonstrated all in focus and stated it will be added at some point to their software. This could really be useful for pseudo macro shots.

1 upvote
Empanada
By Empanada (Nov 16, 2012)

Technology wise certainly is impressive, but sadly it isn't aimed at those of us that are more serious about photography. Though I see how it would be a most welcome feature in P&S cameras and/or smartphones (i.e. no more out-of-focus shots for the casual shooter).

0 upvotes
Mike5076
By Mike5076 (Nov 16, 2012)

Yea - I never thought a serious photographer ever used anything smaller than by 4x5 - I mean really the image quality isn't even there in what the hobbyist call a medium format camera - I mean really if you can't shoot 4x5 just stay on the porch.

Oh yea there was than one guy stieglitz I think or something like it - he might have taken some interest pictures but at least there were still in black and white. I mean really no serious photographer ever shoots color. Oh yea there is that magazine called National Geographic

2 upvotes
Empanada
By Empanada (Nov 16, 2012)

I know better than to feed a troll, but since english is not my native language I will take the time to clarify my opinion in case that I have used a bad choice of words.

The Lytro is a technological marvel with a truly interesting concept, but the design choices IMO implies that is not squarly aimed at the more traditional photographer (I'll avoid using the word "serious"). It's lack of control over camera operation (granted, there is no AF system to adjust) and odd choice for image import/edit speaks to me of product system that doesn't offer the flexibility that most photographers would seek in a tool to express their creativity.

About my second regard, I have seen enough relatives and friends lamenting how the shot of that "moment in my lifetime" came out wrong because of the camera focusing elsewhere. And it is safe to say that a PS shooter really just want a camera that gets the shot right, so to be able to refocus your shot in post would be a gift from heaven.

3 upvotes
Mike5076
By Mike5076 (Nov 18, 2012)

I didn't mean to "troll" you and there were certainly more derisive posts that I could have linked the point.

Many years ago, I worked in high end camera store in a ritzy part of the world and so many Leica owners would look down their nose at a Rollie twin lens - yet the former couldn't frame a shot to save their lives. Even some of the guys in the shop would scoff at people who shot color slide film and really snigger at color negative film. A couple of them couldn't get an exposure right w/ a seconic.

From Ansel Adams (yes I have a double signed print and personally met him) to Steven Speilberg - I look at it as art and that is in the eye of beholder

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Nov 16, 2012)

I'm with you guys. This is a very, very, very cool toy.
But still a toy.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Alex da Veiga
By Alex da Veiga (Nov 16, 2012)

400 bucks for a toy... Shut up and take my money!

2 upvotes
Paradigm Grower
By Paradigm Grower (Nov 16, 2012)

Judging by the time it takes to load anything, they seem to be generating a lot of interest. Either that, or the applet is just lame - literally in this case.

1 upvote
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Nov 16, 2012)

There's just a lot of data for this 'technique', even if the resolution is small :-/

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Nov 16, 2012)

Next up will be this amazing new feature called motion picture. It will be able to capture up to 30 frames in one second. That is not all, a device called microphone will capture audio and embed it in the motion picture. We have yet to name this fancy new tech but we are going to provide smokable green herbs to our marketing department and we should have a press release in 2 years time. We are still researching rainbows to come up with new colors for this device.

7 upvotes
Mike5076
By Mike5076 (Nov 16, 2012)

Love it.

I wonder if the lytro has a global shutter :) what if.. instead of some micro small sensor and small box, we upped the ante a bit. What would the capabilities of a $4,000 lytro camera be? We spend 50k on 4k video now, I suspect it would some monga cpu horsepower, but now that would be interesting - Full frame or larger sensor (greater than a few mm perspective shift) so what if it is in a big box - my fully loaded Arri isn't a terrible small device.

2 upvotes
ChristianRFriborg
By ChristianRFriborg (Nov 16, 2012)

An overpriced "camera" that is more like a toy than an actual gear.

2 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Nov 16, 2012)

"Living pictures"? Any time you see marketing speak go hyperbolic, you know the company's not doing well.

4 upvotes
Andrew Booth
By Andrew Booth (Nov 16, 2012)

A feature no-one needs, paid for with poor picture quality.

This will always have 10x lower resolution than a normal camera. Not good.

3 upvotes
the reason
By the reason (Nov 16, 2012)

how much mega pixels do you need to post on facebook?

2 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Nov 16, 2012)

Used with a 41MP sensor like the Nokia that would result in pretty good web pictures.

0 upvotes
jedinstvo
By jedinstvo (Nov 16, 2012)

I ordered a Lytro as soon as I got their pre-release advertising. I got one of the first ones shipped. After using it for two weeks I asked if I could return it. They were very gracious and gave me a full refund. It is a very cool package, quite nice. What I call "the gimmick" is not so interesting to me, but I'm sure in the future it will be interesting. I couldn't believe the poor image quality. What are these people thinking? It's not even good enough for posting on Facebook, atmo. But the camera is fun to shoot with. The best part of all is the magnetic lens cap. Why hasn't that been done before?

0 upvotes
guatitamasluz
By guatitamasluz (Nov 16, 2012)

Well, folks we should think about it some 10 to 20 years from now. Remember the humble beginnings of digital photgraphy? Some 30 years ago? Don't miss that one! We cannot judge the whole concept merely by its state today. We got to judge it by its potential. I strongy support it. Further down the road we will see. Pedro

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Mike5076
By Mike5076 (Nov 16, 2012)

If you can't tell by me previous posts I agree completely. Love to see where this goes. Get some bigger sensors, bigger horsepower, link up several in 360, and then project in 360 in my hologram room???? 30 frames/sec and take a walk anywhere in the world

Might take more than a few weeks to pull of the technology, but I believe at this point it isn't a physics problem, only an engineering one and heck dog those engineers are pretty smart.

What would you pay for a 5 minute walk in a hologram room where you could set the place anywhere in the world? $10 to preview a walk along the great wall of china, swipe your credit card and then walk along buckingham palace?

1 upvote
Total comments: 93