Lytro light field camera: shoot now, focus later!


XXI Century Explorer
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Feb 16, 2004
Focusing, zooming, adjusting aperture, etc. - these are all examples of essentially "post-processing" that your camera does to the light field after it enters the lens. But what if you could simply capture the light field the way it enters the lens, with as much information as possible (including directional information), and do all that "post-processing" at a later time on your computer?
Lytro, a start-up company based in California is committed to making this a reality! They offer the first light field camera ($399-$499), a true point-and-shoot!
Start up creates a 'no-focus' point and shoot camera
Camera lets people shoot first, focus later

It looks like something for unscripted recording. News teams would really benefit if they could take this out in the field and capture everything then go back and sort it out.
I am thinking this would be good for survailance cameras. I had seen this a few months ago on some news site somewhere and thought it would great to get a couple for that purpose. But right now it looks like it is just a still photo camera and not video, hopefully they can make something like this do video, or for it to be hooked to a computer and costantly take pics every second or so.
Hmm... Resolution: 11 Megarays: the number of light rays captured by the light field sensor

(Produces HD-quality interactive, living pictures)
It seems really cool and I'm still trying to wrap my head around its design and how its working.

If it requires every image to be "focused" as desired you have to review every shot. I dont know that this is much different from reviewing shots from a point and shoot camera ... and will their software be free to share /process the images?

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This reminds me the photo analysis scene from Blade Runner... :)

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Interesting. I'm curious as to the resolution of such a camera. Click on the following link to view interactive pictures. Lytro

This is really cool -- heck, I just want to know how they are doing it with web technology. Click in different spots, and completely change the focus and foreground. Very intriguing.
Remember that Lytro light field camera concept? Meet iPhone 15!

Lytro was a lipstick-shaped pocket camera capable of taking photos with focus that could be edited in post. Apple added that ability to Portrait mode photos on the iPhone 15 and other phones this week.

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro go one step further. If the camera system detects a person, cat, or dog in the shot, it will automatically capture depth data without using Portrait mode. This lets you adjust the depth effect or edit the subject focus after the fact without using a separate camera mode.

These all sound like features that Steve Jobs may have envisioned for the iPhone camera system. Jobs met with Lytro founder Ren Ng and received a demo of the Lytro camera before it launched. That’s according to Adam Lashinsky’s Inside Apple book from 2012.

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It’s not about zoom or pixel resolution. It’s about depth data. Cameras don’t normally capture that.
I am not sure what exactly they are doing, but Apple states this on the website:

“iPhone automatically captures depth information, so users can turn photos into stunning portraits later in the Photos app on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. For greater creative control, users can also adjust the focus point after the photo has been taken.”

I had never known about microlens array cameras before. Interesting to learn about what Lyto is doing.

As for Apple, I think they are capturing depth information by using two lenses
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As for Apple, I think they are capturing depth information by using two lenses
That’s very possible. There are two other potential options for depth capture: LiDAR, which the Pro models have and the TrueDepth technology that Apple uses for Face ID - but that one is normally used with the user facing camera.
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