Dpreview had a chance to have a closer look at the Lytro light field camera during an event an the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. The Lytro camera is getting close to production stage and the first cameras are to ship next month. Initially the camera will only be available on lytro.com but the team is in talks with various retailers to expand their sales channels. Retail price for the blue and grey versions which come with 8GB internal memory will be $399. The red 16GB model is $499.
The technology is based on capturing information not just about the colour and brightness of the light entering the camera, but also the direction it has arrived from. This information can then be re-interpreted as if the camera had been focused at different depths into the scene, giving an image that the viewer can re-focus and 'explore.'
According to Jason Bradley, professional photographer and one of the system's beta testers, this first incarnation of the light field camera is all about 'having fun with a new toy'. Eric Cheng, Lytro's Director of Photography adds that the camera is targeted at gadget lovers and early adopters but also at photographers who simply appreciate the possibility of taking a quick snapshot without having to worry too much about your focus points.
Eric says the camera's user interface is at this stage not quite final yet but pretty close. Image quality is also still being optimized before the first units become available. In use the interface is very minimal, with only a shutter button and a zoom slider on top of the camera. A couple of other functions and the image review can be controlled via the responsive touch-screen. It's definitely an interesting exercise to try to throw some image elements out of focus and then 'refocus' them in review mode. That said, the screen on the camera is a little too small and low resolution to fully appreciate the effect. On the computer screen the process becomes more fun.
The model we've been using today has an experimental 'Advanced Light Field Mode' that wasn't in the previous examples we've seen. Cheng makes clear that its behavior isn't 'final' and it may not appear in this form in the cameras that customers recieve. We hope it does, as it's an interesting addition to the camera's capabilities.
In standard mode, the camera's lens is set to the equivalent of the hyperfocal distance in conventional photography (the closest point of focus that renders objects at infinity as acceptably sharp). For instance, at wideangle, it captures a depth of field of approximately 4 inches to infinity, and the final image allows re-focusing at all points in between. The Advanced Light Field mode, (as it currently exists) prompts the camera to phyically refocus its lens closer than this, centering the depth of field in your shot around your specified focus point. When this image is refocused on the camera screen or on your computer, the focus can be shifted around that specified point, but not out to infinity. For example if you focus on a subject's eyes, you will, depending on the focal length, be able to shift the focus between their ears and nose.
Our first impressions are that the Light Field Camera is an interesting device, probably not for people committed to conventional photography, but both fun and creative (Lytro has been saying for a while that it is initially focusing on mainstream consumers). However, the Advanced Light Field mode does start to hint at the direction the company might take. As an optional mode, we think photographers will appreciate the additional creative control it offers.
Jan 18, 2012
Jan 13, 2012
Jan 12, 2012
Jan 13, 2015
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more
Join DPReview editors Rishi Sanyal and Carey Rose on Facebook Live as they share their experience and answer your questions about the new Sony a9, Wednesday at 9:30 AM Pacific time. Click here for additional details and time zones
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.
Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event beginning in 2018, and expand its focus to additional areas of imaging technology. Read more
No mic socket? No problem. In this video, Daniel Peters at Photo Gear News shows you how to make a lapel microphone using just a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.
How does the iPhone 7 Plus stack up against the Arri Alexa cinema camera? Watch this short video to find out.
Canon Australia's video series "The Lab" is designed to make photographers experiment and think outside the box. In the latest video a group of photographers create images based on their sense of taste.
The GH5 is expected to get a firmware update this summer to support 400Mbps internal recording. NewsShooter explores what memory cards you'll need to make it work.
Microsoft's new Surface Pro offers Intel's latest processor generation and improved battery life.
Riding a mountain bike downhill is dangerous enough in daylight, but potentially lethal at night. Which is where drones come in.
Rumors abound that Canon (and maybe Nikon) may produce a mirrorless camera based using their existing DSLR mount. Does this guarantee immediate great lens choice or a perpetually second-rate experience? Read more
According to rumors, the next camera from Nest will be able to capture 4K video, though that resolution will be only used for 'virtual' pan and tilt functions.
Boundary's Prima 'fully modular' backpack is expandable to 30L and has a removable camera case and tablet sleeve. Early Kickstarter backers can get one for $189.
Stanley Greene captured 'brutally honest' photographs in the war zones of the Middle East, Chechnya and Georgia. He was also one of the few African-American photographers working internationally.
Owners of Leica M cameras that suffer from peeling CCDs will be able to claim a free repair in the future so long as the camera was purchased within five years of the fault becoming apparent, the company has announced. Read more
The Carl Zeiss Jena BIOTAR 75mm F1.5 Red T lens is very rare and priced accordingly. It can be yours today for the low, low price of $15,000.
The MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed a drone that does not require any human control for recording tracking shots. Read more
In this terrifying video, Iraqi journalist Ammar Alwaely narrowly misses a sniper's bullet, which takes out his chest-mounted GoPro. Warning: strong language. Watch the video
A new report expects action camera growth to increase about 15% by 2021, with Ultra HD cameras driving demand. Read more
Profiles for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom have been released for Irix's ultra-wide 11mm and 15mm primes. Like all profiles, these correct for distortion and vignetting.
An upcoming firmware update from DJI will cripple its drones unless they are 'activated' on the company's website. Live streaming will be turned off and flight radius/altitude will be limited.