Lytro Light Field Camera: technology, impressions, and more

The Lytro Light Field Camera throws out everything you know about traditional camera design. The oddly-shaped camera is the first to use Light Field Technology, which measures not only the intensity and color but also the direction of light, letting you refocus pictures after the fact. The current camera may not replace anyone's DSLR or even point-and-shoot, but the possibilities it promises are tremendous.

Major Updates

  • Update
    11 almost 2 years ago 21

    Lytro adds 3D-like perspective shifting and filters to its light field images

    One thing we loved about Lytro from the beginning is that the camera should get better over time — the company has always claimed it's collecting more data than it's using, and over the last six months has been rolling out software updates that add more features to your camera, and even to your existing images. The company announced two new features today, as it gears up for the holiday season: perspective shift and filters.

    When we saw perspective shift for the first time (a feature we had...

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    All your existing pictures have new features
  • Update
    10 almost 2 years ago 14

    Lytro adds manual controls as its camera hits stores worldwide

    The futuristic light-field Lytro camera is finally hitting store shelves today, and to mark the occasion the camera's getting a big update as well. So the company's added the ability to control shutter speed and ISO into the equation, plus the ability to lock exposure and toggle a Neutral Density filter. When we spoke with Eric Cheng, Lytro's director of photography, he told us the biggest request he's gotten from users is for more control so more experienced shooters can get the exact shot...

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    It can do more than just refocus
  • Update
    9 almost 2 years ago 13

    Lytro inks retail deals with Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and international distributors

    Lytro, the Mountain View-based company that produces the eponymous light field camera, has signed distribution agreements with a number retailers, both in the US and internationally. From October 9th, US customers will be able to purchase the device online from Amazon, Target, and Best Buy, supplementing Lytro's existing online store — it will also be available in Target's CityTarget brick-and-mortar stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Westwood, Seattle, and Chicago from November.

    I...

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    Amazon, Target, and Best Buy to sell Lytro online
  • Update
    8 about 2 years ago 52

    Lytro light-field photography finally makes its way to Windows via new app

    Lytro's light field camera is certainly one of the more creative photograph tools we've seen in recent years, but so far Mac users have been the only ones able to process its unique photos. That all changes today — Lytro just released desktop software for Windows so Microsoft users can now download and process images from the camera. Due to Lytro's proprietary file format which lets users shift focus after the image has been taken, standard photo-processing software is useless — having a...

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    Lytro now has a whole new market to go after
  • Update
    7 about 2 years ago 16

    Lytro CEO Ren Ng steps down, assumes Executive Chairman role

    Ren Ng, creator and CEO of light field camera maker Lytro, has announced that he will be stepping down and taking on a new role as the company's Executive Chairman. Detailed in a blog post on the company's website, Ng says he will shift his focus from day-to-day operations to a more product development and strategy-centric position. While the company has not named a permanent replacement, the company's current Executive Chairman Charles Chi will be taking the helm as interim CEO. While no...

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    I am very excited to have the opportunity to focus on these areas where I am most passionate.
  • Update
    6 about 2 years ago 5

    Lytro interactive pictures now part of Twitter's 'expanded tweets'

    We recently covered Twitter's roll out of what it calls "expanded tweets," and now you can add Lytro's interactive images to the list of supported embedded content. This means that images taken with the light field camera can have their focal point, or depth of field, adjusted right from your Twitter stream rather than following a link out to Lytro's photo sharing site. Be patient, though, because this feature "begins rolling out today," so it might take a bit of time for it to take effect...

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    add dimension to your tweets
  • Update
    5 over 2 years ago 5

    Lytro plenoptic camera now shipping to early adopters

    Looks like we're not the only ones to get a Lytro this month: according to company founder and CEO Ren Ng, the tubular light field camera is now shipping to the first batch of pre-order customers. If you were entranced by the groundbreaking shoot-first, focus-later camera in our review today and plan to order one now, we're sorry to tell you that you'll won't be getting it quite that soon yourself. Lytro tells us that production is underway and units will be shipping continually to customers...

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    Too late to be part of the first wave
  • Update
    4 over 2 years ago 189

    Lytro review

    There are a few easy ways to make a digital camera better: make the sensor bigger, improve the quality of the lens, speed up the processor. But those are incremental improvements on a basic technology that hasn’t changed much in a long time. Lytro scrapped all that and built the self-titled Lytro camera, a digital camera that neither looks nor operates like any camera you’ve ever seen: it measures megarays instead of megapixels, captures light fields instead of light, and lets you focus your...

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    This little tube could spark a revolution in photography
  • Update
    3 over 2 years ago 13

    Lytro Light Field Camera teardown finds Bluetooth & Wi-Fi chip hidden inside

    The Lytro Light Field Camera has made its way through the FCC testing process, and during its disassembly revealed a surprise along the way — the camera has a Marvell Avastar 88 W8787 SoC capable of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity inside. We'd not heard anything about wireless options from Lytro before now, but the chip's inclusion opens up a number of possibilities, including wireless transfer of photos or remote control of the camera from your smartphone or PC. It's possible that Lytro...

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    Could smartphone control get around the tiny screen?
  • Update
    2 over 2 years ago 81

    Steve Jobs was interested in Lytro's plenoptic camera, company confirms

    There's a lot of buzz today about how Lytro's shoot-first, focus-afterwards camera technology could appear in a new Apple iPhone, and while there hasn't been any confirmation of that idea, a new nonfiction book, Inside Apple, revealed that Steve Jobs did indeed meet with Lytro CEO Ren Ng and discuss how the two companies could work together in the future. Here's the relevant excerpt:

    The company's CEO, Ren Ng, a brilliant computer scientist with a PhD from Stanford, immediately called Jobs,...

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    Could Apple shrink a plenoptic lens to iPhone proportions?
  • Update
    1 over 2 years ago 30

    Lytro's Eric Cheng on a video Lytro: 'there's no reason we can't'

    Alright, the Lytro light field camera technology is pretty impressive and emergent all by itself (it will be shipping in about a month), but I can't help wondering what's next: what about video? Eric Cheng, the Director of Photography at Lytro, was surprisingly forthcoming. Without promising any products in the pipeline, he described the exact technical requirements, and the exact technical feasibility. What's really interesting, and was helpful in me actually understanding how Lytro works,...

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    Lytro is like a 3D rendering engine in reverse
  • Original Story
    almost 3 years ago 77

    Lytro plenoptic light-field camera pre-orders begin at $399, devices ship in 2012 (video)

    What if you had a camera whose images could be re-focused minutes, days or years after the shot, or viewed in 3D? That's what a company called Lytro promises you'll get in these tiny little boxes for just $399. This is a Lytro light field camera, and its anodized aluminum and silicone skin hides an engineering feat -- a proprietary sensor that the firm claims can capture 11 million rays of light instantly. That's paired to an 8x zoom lens with an f/2 aperture and eleven elements, plus a glass...

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    This could revolutionize photography
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