Lytro camera: camera that allows for changes in focus after the image was acquired


by Andy Resnick
Tags: acquired, camera, focus, image, lytro
Andy Resnick
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#1
Mar1-12, 08:04 AM
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For those who don't know, a company (Lytro) just released a camera that allows for changes in focus *after* the image was acquired. Now that's it's been released as an actual product, I'm intensely curious to understand how it works.

Their website has a cutaway image, and the 'lightfield sensor' looks (or is described very similarly) as a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shack%E...vefront_sensor
http://www.mpia.de/AO/INSTRUMENTS/FP...ckHartmann.pdf

Oh- the CEO's dissertation is posted on their site... whoa. This is pretty cool.

http://eces.colorado.edu/~pavani/Plenoptic.pdf
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M Quack
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Mar1-12, 11:37 AM
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The idea is extremely cool. Don't hold your breath for hi-res pictures, though.

You need a 2D image sensor (CCD, CMOS or other) behind each lenslet. So if each small CCD is, say, 30x30 pixels, then the lenslet has to cover the area of 30x30 pixels in a conventional digital camera. A camera with a total of 9 MPixels would have an effective resolution of only 0.1MP. So an in-phone focus-everywhere-at-the-same-time lightfield camera is not quite ready for the market yet.

The possible specialist applications where the overall size of the camera does not matter so much, however, are rather sexy. Think large format or medium format backs for existing cameras.
Ryan_m_b
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Mar1-12, 01:06 PM
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I would LOVE this camera. I've been following its development for some time. Sadly it is not available outside of the US yet

Greg Bernhardt
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Mar1-12, 01:27 PM
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Lytro camera: camera that allows for changes in focus after the image was acquired


What is the price and where can I buy! :)
turbo
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Mar1-12, 01:46 PM
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Here are interactive images in which you can change focus simply by clicking on a part of the field.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401039,00.asp

Looks like $400-500, depending on how much internal memory you want. You can buy one here. https://www.lytro.com/camera
Greg Bernhardt
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Mar1-12, 01:49 PM
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Quote Quote by turbo View Post
Here are interactive images in which you can change focus simply by clicking on a part of the field.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401039,00.asp

Looks like $400-500, depending on how much internal memory you want.
Great link turbo! That is very slick! The camera looks clunky. This technology can't be rolled into a DSLR or point and shoot?
turbo
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Mar1-12, 01:51 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
Great link turbo! That is very slick! The camera looks clunky. This technology can't be rolled into a DSLR or point and shoot?
I think they need all that depth to layer the sensors to allow re-focusing. I haven't seen a cut-away yet, but that seems to be a reasonable explanation for the length of the camera.
Greg Bernhardt
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Mar1-12, 01:58 PM
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fyi, a retired staff member works for Lytro. I'll see if I can get him in here to give us the scoop :)
turbo
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Mar1-12, 02:15 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
fyi, a retired staff member works for Lytro. I'll see if I can get him in here to give us the scoop :)
That would be nice. BTW, scroll back up to post #5. I edited after or during your subsequent post, to add the Lytro page with the "buy now" buttons. Apparently, you buy directly from them. I tried the usual suspects (Amazon, etc) and they don't carry this gadget.
jtbell
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Mar1-12, 02:35 PM
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Yesterday's New York Times had a review of the Lytro:

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/...q=lytro&st=cse
turbo
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Mar1-12, 03:28 PM
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Quote Quote by jtbell View Post
Yesterday's New York Times had a review of the Lytro:

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/...q=lytro&st=cse
Thanks for the link. Very informative. About the size and shape of a stick of butter? That's pretty nice.
Mech_Engineer
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Mar1-12, 03:50 PM
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DPReview gave a nice video review of it. Generally its a pretty impressive technical achievement; but at only 1080x1080 the pictures sacrifice quite a bit in resolution, and I find its ergonomics to be lacking.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/02...view-and-Video
CaptFirePanda
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Mar1-12, 04:14 PM
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I think one of the real highlights of this camera is speed at which it captures images and the lack of moving parts. Also, I think there may be potential to have a limitless (or near-limitless) focus for these pictures.

Anyway, a very neat concept. In it's infancy there are certainyl some drawbacks (resolution, namely), but there is a lot of potential. I fear the need for them to make this stand out from the traditional camera did lead them to design what appears to be a brightly coloured wooden block.
Moonbear
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Mar1-12, 07:15 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
Great link turbo! That is very slick! The camera looks clunky. This technology can't be rolled into a DSLR or point and shoot?
I don't think it looks that clunky, at least not compared to a DSLR. The shape is needed because of the way the lenses need to work down the length of the camera. I bugged that retired staff member with a bunch of questions when it first hit the news last Fall. At least at the time, the limitation from my view is in the post processing software, but he assured me they're busy working on software to do what I want to do, which is to focus on more than one area of the photo at once, or get it all in focus, and to export as something other than jpeg. Right now, it's best if you do a lot of online photo sharing. It's really fun playing with the photos it takes.
turbo
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Mar1-12, 07:17 PM
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Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
I don't think it looks that clunky, at least not compared to a DSLR. The shape is needed because of the way the lenses need to work down the length of the camera. I bugged that retired staff member with a bunch of questions when it first hit the news last Fall. At least at the time, the limitation from my view is in the post processing software, but he assured me they're busy working on software to do what I want to do, which is to focus on more than one area of the photo at once, or get it all in focus, and to export as something other than jpeg. Right now, it's best if you do a lot of online photo sharing. It's really fun playing with the photos it takes.
Yay! Let's see what happens.
Ryan_m_b
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Mar2-12, 01:46 AM
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Quote Quote by Mech_Engineer View Post
I find its ergonomics to be lacking.
I thought that at first but I've since changed my mind (perhaps I'll change again if I ever get one in my hands). It's nice and compact so could easily fit in a bag or jacket pocket without worry and seems quick to be able to grab, point and shoot. The advantage of course being that it doesn't matter if your pic is out of focus.
M Quack
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Mar2-12, 06:50 AM
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The DPReview commentary is spot-on, in my opinion. Keep in mind that the first digital cameras 15 years ago had crappy resolitions like 1.2MP. This is a technology to watch, but it is not quite ready for the mass market yet. Can't wait to get in-browser support for dynamical refocussing on photo sites like Flickr.
Andy Resnick
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Mar2-12, 06:59 AM
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Something I can't figure out is if the processing will work with volume scatterers- rain, fog, inclusions in a glass object, (ahem) shower curtains... can it be used to remove atmospheric turbulence?


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