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.
|DSC_9643 by NOWHITELENS|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Thailand Sunrise by ozziebadger|
from Ships and Boats
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear ain't fly? You gotta hit us up and read our treat yo' self guide.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.