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Thread started 19 Jan 2012 (Thursday) 04:20
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Is the new lytro camera a gimmick?

 
boerewors
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Jan 19, 2012 04:20 |  #1

I had been reading about this new lytro camera that can capture images without bothering about focusing and later during PP you can refocus the images.
Is this camera merely making multiple focus bracketed images and then layering them over one another so that as you click to change the focus during PP, all youre doing is merely revealing the layer with the most contrast (in focus) area where you clicked?
If that is the case then all it is, is a bit of software in a stick. With that said however, i really wish canon would introduce focus bracketing into their firmware.
I dont recall this camera having a flash and now i think i know why :)


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Thalagyrt
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Jan 19, 2012 04:50 |  #2

Short version: No, that's not what it is. They're doing some pretty nifty light hax.

Long version: http://www.lytro.com/s​cience_inside (external link)

Really long version: http://www.lytro.com/r​enng-thesis.pdf (external link)


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rick_reno
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Jan 19, 2012 10:24 |  #3

I don't believe it's a gimmick, it's new technology and pretty clever. We'll have to wait and see if it gains any traction.




  
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Ross ­ J
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Jan 19, 2012 10:57 as a reply to  @ rick_reno's post |  #4
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I don't want to make predictions about the Lytro specifically, but it's technology fits perfectly within media theories regarding digital imaging. The switch from film to sensor was a change from visual space to an acoustic space medium. This is an abstract concept, but it means that the destiny of the digital medium is not going to be tied to sequences or actual light itself. Focusing a camera lens is part of a mechanical sequence left over from film photography and digital will seek to overcome it. The Lytro technology has just eliminated the sequence which fits perfectly within the framework of an acoustic space medium. Bottom line: media theory was able to predict the Lytro camera technology before it even existed so this means it is probably relevant even if nobody knows exactly how relevant yet.

There will probably always be a use or want for mechanical lenses so Canon lenses should be valuable for a long time to come. However, the future of digital imaging will not be tied to mechanical sequences like lenses. Again, this is an abstract concept, but if media theories are correct then digital will eventually create images without using any light at all. It should eventually be possible to create images from acoustic space similar to how ships navigate by sonar.




  
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Martin ­ Dixon
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Jan 19, 2012 11:02 |  #5

I'm not sure you can hear colour.

Accoustic waves are very long and resolution could never match light images. I imagine acoustic imaging would be similar to thermal imaging - interesting but not what your human eye can see.


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Ross ­ J
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Jan 19, 2012 11:10 |  #6
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Martin Dixon wrote in post #13731942 (external link)
I'm not sure you can hear colour.

Accoustic waves are very long and resolution could never match light images. I imagine acoustic imaging would be similar to thermal imaging - interesting but not what your human eye can see.

10 years ago, if someone had said that it would be possible to focus an image after taking it then he would have been laughed at. But here we are today and it is possible. The way to approach media theory is to use it to tell us something that will happen before telling us exactly how it will happen.




  
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Feb 12, 2012 16:58 |  #7

Luckily for us photographers, even if

Ross J wrote in post #13731922 (external link)
the destiny of the digital medium is not going to be tied to sequences or actual light itself

, there will always be a demand for photographs that are tied to actual light, since photography, by definition, "derives from the Greek φωτός (phōtos), genitive of φῶς (phōs), "light" and γραφή (graphé) "representation by means of lines" or "drawing",together meaning "drawing with light". Or so says Wikipedia :)
Failing that, there's always the trend towards retro fashion, which means all of us 35mm, SLR folks will have a niche to work in.


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brose
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Feb 12, 2012 20:16 |  #8

Take a hole. Take a wall. You have the scene on the side of the hole opposite the wall in unmatched focus, resolution and colour. (http://www.abelardomor​ell.net …bsc_49/cameraob​sc_64.html (external link)). Put the scene on the wall through software, choosing the part of the scene you want to be the focus, and blur everything else using parameters of distance from your chosen focus/scene centre, average element size and brightness.

Yours already for a fistful of dollars in quality the Lytro will never achieve!

Neil




  
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Feb 12, 2012 20:35 |  #9

Kodak should buy Lytro. Just sayin.


Right now I think Lytro is a novelty. In 5 years however, when they find a way to achieve higher resolutions (when asked about resolution the owner/inventor danced around like a politician confronted about his voting record) I think it will be a much more serious piece of tech. It's a brilliant concept however.


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Feb 12, 2012 20:45 |  #10

Kodak would just kill it beneath a few hundred standard operating procedures.


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brose
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Feb 12, 2012 21:52 |  #11

Scatterbrained wrote in post #13875865 (external link)
It's a brilliant concept however.


The concept (panoptic) relies on having an infinite number of mircrolenses, all perfect, without any aberrations or distortions. If not, it relies on software trickery (as all the product samples do).

In short, it cannot do better than the physics-optics of the real world of light and materials, and so is doomed to software trickery, and pretty been there done that (as the samples demonstrate) trickery at that!

I've described above how the *concept* and the actuality is already basically in the age old concept and first explorations of photography itself. Nothing OMG futuristic in it in the least.

Neil




  
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Feb 12, 2012 23:18 |  #12

brose wrote in post #13876283 (external link)
The concept (panoptic) relies on having an infinite number of mircrolenses, all perfect, without any aberrations or distortions. If not, it relies on software trickery (as all the product samples do).

In short, it cannot do better than the physics-optics of the real world of light and materials, and so is doomed to software trickery, and pretty been there done that (as the samples demonstrate) trickery at that!

I've described above how the *concept* and the actuality is already basically in the age old concept and first explorations of photography itself. Nothing OMG futuristic in it in the least.

Neil

Then where's it been all this time?


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brose
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Feb 13, 2012 01:50 |  #13

elrey2375 wrote in post #13876684 (external link)
Then where's it been all this time?

I dunno! Where has anything been?!:confused:

Well this much I can say: it's been a prizewinning Stanford University PhD.

I'll get one as soon as I see a "light ray". Lytro captures 11 million of them, so shouldn't be hard to find 1? If you see one before I do please get back to me asap!

Neil




  
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Feb 13, 2012 02:00 |  #14

It's new tech, with some interesting potential, but right now I think it's more of an answer looking for a question than anything else.

These early models are being sold to try and help offset the costs of continued R&D and to help figure out what its real-world uses are going to be.


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Shadowblade
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Feb 13, 2012 02:04 |  #15

It has a lot of potential, but requires multi-gigapixel sensors and better microlens manufacturing technology to be realised.

At the moment, it's just a gimmick, but so were digital cameras 20 years ago.




  
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Is the new lytro camera a gimmick?
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