Since some time in December, I've been participating in Lytro's Professional Shooter Program. During this time, I've been fortunate enough to carry a Lytro Light Field Camera with me, at all times. My programmer obligations have kept me busy in February but I wanted to take some time to share with you my early experiences with the Lytro Light Field Camera.
The Layman's idea behind the light field camera is that the Lytro not only captures light in the manner of a typical digital sensor but also collects direction, intensity and other information. The Lytro camera very cleverly combines this information into the concept of a Living image --- an image that allows you to interact with it at a later time.
While the technology will, at some point support 3D imaging through parallax recombination and lord-only-knows whatever awesome capabilities, the current iteration of features are more geared to "snap, now - focus later" implementations.
Here is an example image, taken with a Lytro pre-release camera @ Barrancas Nat'l Cemetary
Here is an example image, taken with the Lytro at Orange Beach R/C Hobbies & Powersports
This technology is going to be the bomb..
Food for thought..
One day, Light Field Technology will be incorporated for video. High end DSLRs... even smartphones... No more shutter lag and with the right sensor, no more blur.
To the point..
Make no mistake. Light field technology, will indeed remake the digital imaging landscape. The offering, now available from Lytro.com is certainly an impressive freshman effort. The camera is well built with a very nice style. The battery lasts forever. The controls are clever. The software is well done, solid and easily understood. The screen quality leaves a bit to be desired. The image resolution isn't massive and low-light performance is somewhat limited. These few limitations are understandable, however -- at this price point.
If you are an early adopter and photography enthusiast, give these cameras a serious look. They mark signs of things to come! The full gallery of my initial shots can be seen on Lytro's site, here: