Feeds
75%
Lytro light field camera

Lytro light field camera

Shoot first, focus later

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Review Since before the days of Fox Talbot, cameras have worked like the human eye. A lens focuses an image on a plane, be it a retina, silver halide or electronic sensors. The Lytro is different

Lytro light field camera

Lytro: the box camera for the 21st century

Instead of capturing a single image it captures the rays of light, working out what’s pointing where to build a model of the different focal points. The plane can effectively be moved backwards and forwards in the image in software. This allows you to take one picture and focus later. Lytro calls this a “living picture”. Although it begs the question that if you take away the need to focus does that lead to you becoming a worse photographer?

The important difference is that instead of all the light rays converging on a single point there are multiple points of focus on the sensor. They call the area which is captured a “light field” and the sensor a light field image sensor. It captures not just the intensity of the light coming from a point but the direction and the changes of intensity along the path. This of course means a lot more data and processing than with a conventional image.

Lytro light field camera

Simple controls and operation

The Lytro camera captures 11 million light rays which has some distinct advantages. While in traditional photography a smaller aperture gives better depth of field, a larger one allows more light in and works better when less light is available. However, a large aperture means lenses have to be better to avoid distortion around the edges.

Lytro argues that digital sensors have now overtaken the quality of lenses as well as the screens and printers we use to display pictures. The redundancy in the sensor resolution can be harnessed by the light field technology to overcome the limitations of focusing. The upshot of this is that although you have a very expensive camera with a very high resolution sensor the actual images, at each level of focus are pretty point and shoot.

Lytro light field camera

For on-line rather than on-paper viewing

It’s not yet high enough resolution for you to just take a picture and then expect it to be printable at any level of focus and, of course, the living picture cannot be printed. Instead, Lytro hosts it on its website and provides you with embed links. In the main, Lytro seems to expect you to post the living pictures on Facebook.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Soft touch

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.