The Size of Lytro’s Sensor Compared with Other Common Formats

Devin Coldewey of TechCrunch created this helpful diagram showing the relative sizes of various sensors, including the one found inside the Lytro light field camera (a camera that lets you focus after shots are taken). The FCC published photos of the Lytro camera’s guts last week, revealing that the sensor inside is roughly 6.5×4.5mm (smaller than our previous estimate). This means that it’s slightly larger than the iPhone sensor and slightly smaller than the one in most point-and-shoot cameras.

Another interesting finding is that the chip inside supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The company says that they’re working on wireless connectivity, but doesn’t have it enabled in the initial Lytro camera.

Lytro Teardown Shows Potential Wireless Capability, Smallish Sensor [TechCrunch]

  • Kyoshinikon

    I wonder the quality if they made even an Apsc sensor…

  • Lyn Rees

    So most things will be in focus anyway!

  • Through Painted Eyes

    Yeah, I don’t see this being a real “feature” until they’re able to use it with a larger sensor. The idea is great though.

  • Justin Javellana

    Small sensor equals rather deep depth of field. I’m guessing the way the “selective focus” in post is like how it works in those iPhone apps where you select a part you want to stand out and everything background goes blurred. Nothing revolutionary in my opinion if that’s how it works.

  • Daniel Austin Hoherd

    I agree.  A few days ago I canceled my order after seeing the size of the sensor, then digging more into their gallery samples and finding poor sharpness.

    They should just put the sensor from the D800 in it :)

  • Daniel Austin Hoherd

    That’s actually not at all how it works, and it is revolutionary.  The selective focus is made possible by an array of micro lenses that is over the sensor and thus it requires a whole new physical element in the camera.  Each pixel you see in the output image is the result of some math performed on a 2-d array of information that was recorded at the time you took the photo.

    There are numerous very interesting videos on youtube about how the technology works, including media included with the original project that Ng did at Stanford when they invented the technique. – more recent video that is interesting and shows the raw capture data is this one by at Adobe –

    That second link illustrates exactly why the sensor size and and megapixels still matter. The output image is an order of magnitude less megapixels than the sensor that is capturing the data because you use many many pixels in the middle to store the extra data used for refocusing.

  • Justin Javellana

     thanks for the info! :)

  • Justin Javellana

     thanks for the info! :)

  • Sean Hsiang Hsu

    It will be a formidable technology once they figured out how to make full-frame sized sensors and stick them into Nikon or Canon DSLRs. Until then, it’s a glorified point-and-shoot with novelty feature of movable focus, and nothing more.