PetaPixel

Lytro Is Developing a Camera That May Change Photography as We Know It

A company called Lytro has just launched with $50 million in funding and, unlike Color, the technology is pretty mind-blowing. It’s designing a camera that may be the next giant leap in the evolution of photography — a consumer camera that shoots photos that can be refocused at any time. Instead of capturing a single plane of light like traditional cameras do, Lytro’s light-field camera will use a special sensor to capture the color, intensity, and vector direction of the rays of light (data that’s lost with traditional cameras).

[...] the camera captures all the information it possibly can about the field of light in front of it. You then get a digital photo that is adjustable in an almost infinite number of ways. You can focus anywhere in the picture, change the light levels — and presuming you’re using a device with a 3-D ready screen — even create a picture you can tilt and shift in three dimensions. [#]

Try clicking the sample photograph above. You’ll find that you can choose exactly where the focus point in the photo is as you’re viewing it! The company plans to unveil their camera sometime this year, with the goal of having the camera’s price be somewhere between $1 and $10,000…


Here are some more sample photographs:

Lytro (via TechCrunch)


Update: Check out this short promo video the company made:


 
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  • http://twitter.com/SuicideMonkeyz Filipa Domingues

    crazy shit!

  • http://twitter.com/SuicideMonkeyz Filipa Domingues

    crazy shit!

  • Romichde

    You must be a very unhappy person… Are you ever positive about anything?

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  • Aasas

    so show me the cam….otherwise it’s fake

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spoozum-Spoozumium/1372974912 Spoozum Spoozumium

    What if you created a camera with 2 lenses. One lens take pictures that is sharp clear all over, but uses as sharpening filter (= bad quality). The second lens is used to create a short movie. It starts to focus near, and then change the focus to far away. If it is a 30fps, 5 frames can be done in 0.17 seconds. Then the software add blur to areas that shall not be in focus from information taken from the movie. So… would adding blur in the right amount at different parts be a technic that is counted as a “real photo”? Is this camera in some way adding blur afterwards?

  • Thomas

    Adam has a good point. Have you tried to read the content of Adam’s complaint, before you just dismissed it as negative? Is it not true that there is a lot of gimmicks coming out of photography producers? (smile detection for instance).

    There is just as much truth in negative as in positive comments. We don’t have to be all happy-clappy about every news that comes out.

  • Thomas

    The challenge with this new technology is not the details of how it works. It’s about interaction.

    A subset of viewers of photography will not interact with these images. The will see and perceive the image as the default setting of the image. That will be the story of this image for them. In the beginning, most people will be in this category (people are not used to interacting with photography).

    With this innovation, users can change focus themselves, but interaction is required. A minority of users will be able to interpret this image differently by clicking around in it. They will perceive an enhanced experience and a multitude of stories that can be embedded in a single image.

    Personally, I do not believe interactive photography will catch on immediately. People are lazy, and will take the images presented.

  • Teatiller

    Wow. this will be great for the indecisive person who agonizes over what to photograph. Now you can just be like “F*** it,” point, shoot, decide what is interesting later. No more fuss about focus. And we don;t even need to mention the boon this will be (like every advancement in technology) to the over saturated porn industry.

  • Anonymous

    What does the camera look like?? Show us the camera please! If it is very big and heavy, no matter the technology, it will not sell well.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.perkes Dave Perkes

    The Lytro Camera probably wont appeal to the general point an shooter as they dont inderstand what DOF is anyway.
    “interesting idea but it wont catch on as its too slow!”
    A similar comment was said to me by a photographer friend in a late 90s after his first hire of a NIkon D1 on a shoot. 

    Who knows? what the future holds; perhaps a  camera that see through
    clothing which could revloutonise street photography. OK this is already
    happening in UK Airports! I must get some lead lined Xray proof
    underwear before I go!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.perkes Dave Perkes

    The Lytro Camera probably wont appeal to the general point an shooter as they dont inderstand what DOF is anyway.
    “interesting idea but it wont catch on as its too slow!”
    A similar comment was said to me by a photographer friend in a late 90s after his first hire of a NIkon D1 on a shoot. 

    Who knows? what the future holds; perhaps a  camera that see through
    clothing which could revloutonise street photography. OK this is already
    happening in UK Airports! I must get some lead lined Xray proof
    underwear before I go!

  • Colin57

    I’m a bit surprised at all the negativity. Every new idea meets with some resistance, and in general there is some measure of truth in the criticism. e.g.- vinyl records do sound better than CD’s, if you have good gear and good LP’s. So a good photographer will still produce better shots today, with film and only one chance at getting every variable correct, than will a hack amateur with a $1000 DSLR. A pro with digital has options he didn’t have with film; same for this Lytro format – more options but it won’t make you smarter.

  • JimmyLikesKorn

    If the camera does what it says it can wouldn’t Adobe’s HDR concept be completely worthless now?

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  • http://twitter.com/BigglesB Biggles Bristol

    This is actually seriously cool.  If you can do all of the focusing etc in software, then this’d be excellent for computer vision and robotics.  You may need some pretty hefty processing power to handle video on the fly, but this is actually pretty revolutionary.

  • Laird

    Frank, you have absolutely no idea what this camera does, so why are you bothering to complain about it?

  • Lairdp

    HDR is a completely different idea from a Plenoptic camera.

    In HDR, a traditional camera takes a rapid series of photos of the same scene using different exposures, then forms a composite image by picking the best exposure for each area. This allows you to produce a properly exposed photo with wildly different illumination in the same photo. For example, you can take a photo of a person looking at a sunset, where normally you would have proper exposure for the sunset with the person all black, or proper exposure of the person with the sunset washed out. The HDR software combines the properly exposed person and sunset into one great photo.

    A Plenoptic camera, on the other hand, captures all light coming into the camera in all directions, capturing the “light field” so that you can later determine what you want to focus on, what depth of field, etc. It’s a bit hard to explain, but the article on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plenoptic_camera) is a good place to start. There are several Plenoptica cameras produced by researchers, and two companies (Raytrix and Lytro) selling them. Raytrix sells industrial cameras. Lytro is getting a lot of attention because they’re about to start selling consumer cameras.

  • Eggrocket

    well … we’ll see

  • Tackerdown

    maybe an opinion from a non photographer. when i look at a good shot its not just the focal point its everything the lighting the angle seeing what the photographer wants you to see, how is just changing the the focal point going to cheapen what they wanted you to see.whats wrong with maybe finding another great shot out of one pic. on a party stile level when your just taking pics of friends and family how many times do you see something in the background that you wish you could have taken but you would have missed it anyhow because thats not what you were looking at. This isn’t going to make photographers out of every Joe but I’m sure it will give a true photographer allot more fun options.   

  • Tackerdown

    just a pic i took any criticism would be appreciated. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2GRH3LDEKRE72SECDP24YFF2A Maple

    of friends and family how many times do you see something in the
    background that you wish you could have taken but you would have missed
    it anyhow because thats not what you were looking at. This isn’t going
    to make photographers out of every Joe but I’m sure it will give a true
    photographer allot more fun options.
    http://www.mcbub.com/category/cheap-LED-Gadgets-746/

  • Butchlafonte

    That leaves the hardest and most important aspect to the photographer, composition.
    Butch LaFonte

  • Shep

    You could easily replicate this with software, the company said themselves they shoot with a wide aperture to capture everything. I could do the same thing on my DSLR and then use software to create defocused areas on the image. All it would take is some programmer to make similar software/server and anyone can create “living images” with any camera as long as they shoot with a wide aperture. Of course if you don’t own a dlsr, know how to use software, and rely on consumer products then this might be cool for you.

  • Rave Gate

    How will I focus the photos I take the way I want now People can edit the way I set the shot up. The feel of the photos will be different.