Lytro Prototype Testers Calling the Camera a “Game Changer”

Lytro’s revolutionary consumer light field camera is rumored to be in production now, and photographers currently testing the super-secret prototypes are saying some pretty positive things about the camera.

Digital Trends spoke with two of them, and writes,

[…] both agree that the Lytro camera is a game changer. “Everybody years from now in some form will be using this type of technology when they shoot,” says [Jason] Bradley. “It’s the wave of the future, as corny as that sounds.”

[Richard Koci] Hernandez characterizes it as a piece of technology that has “lived up to the hype.” “This has the potential to set the industry on a different path. It’s like when digital photography was introduced, that was a big deal. The only other massive movement for the industry was when autofocus came in and changed everything.”

Both photographers liken Lytro to the advent of digital over analog photography, a sweeping new technology that represents a turning point. […] Most importantly for the average buyer, Lytro will essentially take yet another manual tool out of the game: Focus.

Here’s a photograph taken from the session shown above (click anywhere in it to refocus the image):

Bradley also reveals that the prototype camera is an “all-automatic point and shoot with a zoom and backside display for viewing”, though it’s unknown whether the production model will be the same.

From everything we heard, it seems that the camera is definitely geared towards ordinary consumers looking to take snapshots, rather than people who are more serious about photography as an art form.

Q&A with Lytro’s beta photographers: This camera is a ‘game changer’ [Digital Trends]

Image credit: Photograph by Eric Cheng

  • Chris


  • john moyer

    I’d like to see more Nature landscapes …

  • Pug

    Fake and gay.

  • Anonymous

    Good one, internet commenter hero!

  • sigh

    You know what’s awesome about this? Nothing more slack asses are going to go out and call themselves photographers…

  • Anonymous

    People dismiss things too quickly without really merit nowadays. 

    Why do I get the sensation that there could be an art gallery exhibition that is designed to be touched and refocused by the user as part of ‘interactive photography’ or something similar. 

  • Grzegorz Bobrowski

    Something fishy about all those LYTRO photos (this and those from before). It’s noe entirely refocusable, like if the images are cut into zones that catch human eye’s attention, but when You examine it thoroughly, it looks like not everything is focusable and refocusing is not fluid. Look’s like nicely done photoshop “align layers” + flash body.

    I’m hesitant yet curious about this ‘invention’. Le’ts see what they manage to produce.

  • domyo

    this is just what we need. another tool to help out fake photographers. 

  • Joe Blount

    I think it’s an interesting concept, but I doubt I will be adding one to my bag. 

  • JC

    This technology will hard to avoid. Entry level to pro, it’s going to influence the photography industry for the better and the worse. Best get ready.

  • RB

    Point and reprocess – this is another means of de-skilling the photographer.

  • Fairbuns

    This photographer welcomes any new technology to this point. It is not a threat. Nor a overhyped nouveaute. It is a way to have influence over your photo after you take it just like with photoshop. An artist will know where he wants to put the focus to tell his or her story. No threat. Just an extra.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    As one of the moron photographers slammed by comments here, I’m really looking forward to getting one of these.  Not because it will make my photos as good as those from really good photographers (Lytro won’t help me anticipate, compose, crop or process), but because I’ll finally be able to take a picture right when I press the freaking shutter button.

    No lags for focus means I’ll be able to take the mediocre pictures of what I’m aiming at, instead of mediocre pictures of what got left behind when the target moved on.

    As I say, I’m a terrible photographer, but I still love photographs.  And I’ve bought good ones from pros who told me how they rushed to just barely get the shot.  They’ve told me about enough missed shots to make me suspect that a few will be buying light field cameras.  And they’ll still laugh at my photos.

  • Robert Pena

    My question is how are these photos to be shared if it is meant for the average user? Obviously, you need some special viewer in order for the focus to change. It will be useless if people have to click to another website outside of facebook and flickr or any other photo sharing site. Also, why would you need a camera to do this? Seems like you can just build software to mimic the focus in an out for any photo.

  • Michael Zhang

    I think there’s likely going to be some easy way to set the focus and process the images into JPEGs if you don’t want to share it through a refocusable view.

  • Anonymous

    This is just what we need.  Another pretentious photographer.

  • Anonymous

    This is just what we need.  Another pretentious photographer.

  • Grzegorz Bobrowski

    (just a speculation)

    As I recall, those lycro’s are always on tripods. Maybe there is a lag when camera takes exposures while changing focus from near to infinity.

  • Michael Zhang

    The teaser videos that have been put out show the camera being used without a tripod too:

  • Cheesedoodlesforbreakfast333

    I’m not really sure why this technology gets so much hate.  Why does a good image need to  be difficult to achieve? Besides, it doesn’t eliminate the need for good lighting, networking skills, and the ability to run a small business.

    I think there are a lot of uses for this other than the consumer market anyway.  If I was a police department in a major metropolitan area, I would have dozens of these on pre-order.  Can you imagine how many headaches would be saved, and how much more effective Forensic photography would be with this technology behind it?

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    People who think that this technology will de-skill photographers are not “skilled” photographers themselves. Because even if you have the slightest knowledge about photography you’d know how much you have to work to be recognized as a good photography in the industry. It’s not about the equipment you use, no one gives a hunch about that. It’s all about the photos you produce, the content, the emotions, the decisive moment etc. etc.

    So stop being technophobes and bullies. You don’t seem to know any better than the people who will appreciate this camera.

  • Graham Case

    I’m with you. Very fishy.

    Also, if you only get two or three planes of focus, rather than infinite adjustability, it seems pretty limited to me. Maybe the images out of the camera are infinitely adjustable, but the web program that they are using to allow people to adjust them isn’t?

    Still, pictures or it didn’t happen :)

  • Travis

    wow, at first glance that pixelation turns heads….

  • Joshua Pierson

    Okay, maybe I’m alone, but in scanning the front page, I really thought that photog was testing out the tripod, if you catch my meaning.

  • Dennis Marciniak

    Tell me about it..

  • Lekan

    It is definitely infinitely focusable. The original research (with Lytro’s founder, Ren Ng, as a key researcher) can be found here:

  • anonymous

    why the hate?! this is very interesting
    technology. ok its very interesting technology sold to the wrong
    people as far as i can tell. this technology can do so much more than
    just refocusing if its implemented right, one might be able to
    extract highly detailed 3d date from images taken with this device or
    it might enable completely new types of editing based on the actual
    light field data (for example when photographing things with specular
    reflections on might be able to enhance or suppress those). it
    probably isn’t all that grate for general photography but its a truly
    new technology in a field that has been lacking innovation for years.
    also this might have a similar effect on private robotics projects as
    the kinect because it captures so much information about the spacial
    properties of its surrounding in a single frame.

  • Sebastián Soto

    Why the hate? Can’t the photography industry evolve, like it’s been doing for… forever?
    People pretending to be a professional ‘something’ has happened all the time, in all jobs, in all places. You can’t stop that. It’s the human nature.

    This, although I find it a little odd, can be applied in many ways, specially focused on the final customers, the ones that’ll buy your services.