Feeds
75%
Lytro light field camera

Lytro light field camera

Shoot first, focus later

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Soft touch

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.