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So who's buying the Lytro?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by Promit, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    It's been available direct from Lytro for months and I haven't been tempted. I don't imagine seeing it in Target on on Amazon is going to do the trick for me. While it might be fun to play with, it's really just a one-trick pony, IMHO. I'm looking forward to innovative uses of this technology in other cameras, though.
  3. CUB

    CUB Guest

    The novelty value will probably sell quite a few at the beginning but, as soon as people realise how useless the camera is, not many more will be sold.

    A close friend of mine works in photo retail and has a particular ability with statistics. His view on novel cameras and lenses is that they get a sales boost at the outset because of their novelty. But he says that continuing sales critically depend on word of mouth recommendations.

    Apparently, in the case of Lytro, the initial batch sold did not generate many word of mouth recommendations from users. So in my friend's view, the sales figures for Lytro cameras will drop off fairly quickly.

    In my view, the Lytro technology is interesting but there needs to be a significant step-change in the camera's abilities before it can be termed useful.
  4. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2010
  5. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Kids stuff. If they would develop a microlens array that could be controlled in real time ... no you have something interesting.
  6. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I personally think the selective blur provided by the Lytro is more of a digital filter than an optical characteristic, given the relatively small sensor size (6.5 x 4.5mm, about the size of an iPhone sensor). Even if the lens is ƒ/2.0, the sensor is too small to get subject isolation without "faking it".

    As an example, the Pentax Q has a similar sized sensor and comes with a 47mm equivalent ƒ/1.9 lens which basically equates to the DOF of ƒ/12.5ish on full frame, which is to say approximately zero subject isolation at ƒ/1.9. Accordingly, Pentax has a "blur" setting on the PASM dial, which does a reasonably good job of blurring the background via the camera software. I believe that any subject isolation provided by Lytro will be provided using a similar technique.
  7. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nope. It is optical. The microlens array has different focal lengths so the objects at wide distances are in focus optically.

    If there were a nifty digital trick to it everyone would have it and there would be no more out of focus photos.

    Actually there is a computational method to remove/reduce out of focus but it requires multiple images. Axial deconvolution is the method - pretty slick when done right. Basically one maps the point spread function on both sides of the focal plane then 'deblur' accordingly just like is done in conventional 2-D deconvolutions except this is done in the axial (along the optical axis) direction. Combined methods are also possible for full 3D deconvolution.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Sanpaku

    Sanpaku Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    1080 x 1080 pixels.

    Not much point in always getting your subject in focus if you can't even see it at the size of your screen, much less a print.

    Its a neat toy, granted.
  10. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If is gets rid of all those out of focus camera phone photos that pollute my FB feed then I'm all for it. Don't be suprised if such tech makes its way into camera phones (if it has not already).
    • Like Like x 3
  11. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    agreed ... and like RobWatson said, I can see this technology better used on smartphones and you can have a suite that user can easily edit/share the photos. only time will tell, i guess.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I do believe that the sensor captures multiple focal lengths substantially instantaneously, but at each sensitive focal length the sensor size limits captured DOF. You just can't do much with the sensor size they selected, despite the ƒ/2.0 lens.

    Which is why I think that the provided images are goosed and not merely optical captures.
  13. CUB

    CUB Guest

    I think Lytro will be out of business long before they make anything that will sell at a profit. Sorry guys, nice try.
  14. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA

    Lmfao, my sentiments exactly.....*takes lytro, faces bathroom mirror, "gangster", click!*
  15. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    Isn't that what people said about computers and digital cameras? :) 
  16. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Apparently, your view is shared by Apple, which is why Apple tried to buy the company last year, according to a source close to the company, but they couldnt' agree on price. If I were the founder of Lytro, I'd have sold it to Apple in a heartbeat, in return for some Apple shares!

    I've said it many times before that I am intrigued by the technology, but they have to improve the end product and lower the price before I'd consider getting one...
  17. CUB

    CUB Guest

    If that's how you feel about the Lytro, why haven't you bought one? :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I like the concept, but the current implementation feels like a technology showcase, not a practical camera one can use. The software situation is also problematic.

  19. TDP

    TDP Guest

    um.....I like chocolate.
  20. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    That's the whole point of a light feld camera. They aren't photographs like traditional cameras. The camera captures light fields that are used to compute images.

    All the hate towards Lytro is reminiscent of the hate towards those new fangled digital cameras. You know, the ones that have killed film. The first digital cameras weren't anything to write home about either. Light field camers are very dependent on megapixels. 20MP might be good enough for traditional photography but it's just not enough for a light field camera. As technology advances, that will change. And that's the biggest problem with the Lytro right now, the low resolution of the final image. I wouldn't buy one for retail, but I was tempted for $200 on CL. I was about 15 mins too late though.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, light field cameras are the future. Merely changing the focus point is just one application. There is definitely enough promise there that they don't need to make a profit on this first model. They won't need to make a profit on the next model. The VCs will keep giving them money for years to come. It's just not a bunch of graduate students involved in this. We had a meeting with the lab that came up with the technology early on to see if there were ways we could collaborate. There are some big names in the field that are associated with it.
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