Before the launch of Lytro's new Illum camera, we spoke with Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal and Founder and Executive Chairman Ren Ng about the the new product, to find out what's been added and improved over the original Light Field Camera.
The press materials mention that the Illum is geared toward 'Creative Pioneers'. So who are these photographers?
Rosenthal: The number of pictures that have been taken and shared online in the last three years, I believe, eclipse all photos ever taken in the previous 172 years. So if you’re a serious photographer, you’ve lost some of the degree of freedom in terms of being able to visually differentiate your work.
And that’s really the market that we’re going after with Lytro Illum … It spans from pros to creative professionals to amateurs. The thing that they all have in common is they’re looking for a way to make their work stand out.
The high end of the photography market is about a 22-million-unit, $22 billion per year market. Within that, we think that somewhere within 5 to 15 percent fit this definition.
What's new about the sensor? It's listed at 40 megarays, but how would you explain that in terms that are more relatable to stills photographers?
Rosenthal: It's basically a 4x step up in terms of both number of pixels and underlying resolution, as well as sensor area size ... The sensor in the previous camera was 1/3", essentially a mobile sensor. This is a 1" sensor with an [underlying] 40-megapixel resolution.
It scales in multiple dimensions, so not only are we getting better 2D image quality, but we've also dramatically increased what we call the resolving power, which is essentially... The degree to which you can refocus in an image.
Ng: We’re the only people to make light field sensors, so this thing is totally custom ... This is definitely the only camera that has this thing.
This is a very versatile lens - a bright, constant aperture, lots of zoom, and 13 elements, which is relatively few for a design like this. How are you able to create something like this?
Rosenthal: We designed it in-house and worked with a Japanese partner to build it ... This plays directly into one of the cooler parts of light field, which is this ability to use the additional data that we capture to get breakthrough hardware performances. There’s no lens on the market that’s equivalent to this.
The reason is that, in the conventional sense, you would’t be able to deal with the aberration correction you’d need across that long a zoom and that wide an aperture. The typical way you’d deal with aberration correction is with glass elements - traditional optics. Since we capture all of the directional data within the light field, we’re able to do aberration correction in software and computation. It’s the first big example of us trading out physical components of the camera and replacing those with software and computation to give the market something you just couldn’t do conventionally.
When did you start working on this camera? Was it a part of the plan before the original light field camera? Or was this based on some of the feedback?
Ng: It was based certainly on some things we learned from engaging with the market and understanding where we wanted to center the emphasis [in terms of the target buyers] ... and then also from access to the supply chain that came from the success of the first product.
|Smile by Olymguy|
from Ultra Asian Indian Female Faces
|Space Shuttle Cockpit- by vbuhay|
from Aircraft Control Stick
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.
It will enable users to simulate the presence of the sun, moon and Milky Way and see how they interact with an area's topography.
Since its introduction in November last year Instagram's live streaming feature has been used by millions, but videos could not be archived for watching at a later stage. A new update has now added the capability.
CopyTrack's study also found that the second most-stolen image is a woman wearing painted jeans. That's apparently a thing.
Forget expensive lenses with fancy coatings and special lens elements – photographer Robin de Puy took these portraits using just a water drop for a lens.