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Author Topic: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?  (Read 5341 times)

jbwise01

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Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« on: January 24, 2012, 11:00:34 AM »
So.. came across the Lytro "Light Field Camera"

This is an extremely interesting concept... and for those unfamiliar with lightfield cameras and what they bring to the table let me quicly explain:

First:
-Lightfield camera capture all the “light information” of a scene, what Lytro calls “Living Pictures”
-The current consumer version of these cameras produce only 1mp images
-There is no focal point system
-The most important and amazing part… you have the capability to focus AFTER you take the picture.

That’s right.. there’s no “oh a accidently focused on that the background” with this type of camera…

Here’s the science behind it for those interested.

https://www.lytro.com/science_inside

SO I personally think that this is a game-changing concept…

This has the potential to literally changes the way you shoot photos.

Now.. I know that tack sharp photos are the goal of all photographers.. and I don’t quite understand all the science behind light field cameras, but one thing is for certain.. if this tech evolved into an 18 MP camera with the ability to make every image tack sharp by picking the perfect focus point after the fact, well this would change photography in a big way.

I would love to here the opinions of some of the more informed Photographers out there.. what do you think?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 11:22:53 AM by jbwise01 »

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Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« on: January 24, 2012, 11:00:34 AM »

chrisdeckard

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 11:42:01 AM »
When the technology was first talked about last year, I immediately thought that we'd never see it in a consumer grade camera for a few years.  I was pretty shocked when the prices came out that they were so cheap.  I figured we would see a $10k-$20k camera as the first thing.  They claim that 1MP is enough information, but I doubt that if you were to go and actually make prints of these things.  Perfect for Facebook maybe, but not for hanging on your wall.

Of course, the video advertisement I saw was about a drunken party, so I think we know their initial target audience.  :-)

It'll be interesting to see what comes of these things, and if they develop a professional grade version of the technology.

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tt

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 12:32:24 PM »
Would have thought the security market would have snapped this up. For tracking people in crowds, and being able to scan around with focus...
It seems the uses in video would be even more interesting. Being able to make focus pull shots for example in post.

treyconnally

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 01:22:02 PM »
I'm glad to see someone post something about these things.

Honestly, I don't think they'll become any sort of replacement for ANY camera.  Imagine trying to edit the photos the way that you prefer... Of course they will come up with a way to do so, but as of right now it just seems so out there....

As far as how far they will go as a business- I think they will have some longevity. 
Quote
The company’s CEO, Ren Ng, a brilliant computer scientist with a PhD from Stanford, immediately called Jobs, who picked up the phone and quickly said, “if you’re free this afternoon maybe we would could get together.” Ng, who is thirty-two, hurried to Palo Alto, showed Jobs a demo of Lytro’s technology, discussed cameras and product design with him, and, at Jobs’s request, agreed to send him an email outlining three things he’d like Lytro to do with Apple.
*Source MacRumors: http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/23/steve-jobs-met-with-light-field-camera-lytro-companys-ceo/*

Knowing of their meeting, and knowing Apple's guaranteed loyalty to carry out everything Steve Jobs had for them down the road, I figure that there is almost no question that Apple will hop on board with Lytro, and that Lytro themselves will come to accomplish many interesting things in the photography world.

::end opinion::  :)

akiskev

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 07:47:55 PM »
With this technology can you have all points of the photo focused? It will save us from focus stacking, especially for macro work
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Axilrod

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 10:07:11 PM »
Yeah this was posted like a year ago, you can adjust focus on some sample pictures here: https://www.lytro.com/living-pictures/2327
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 10:11:59 PM »
With this technology can you have all points of the photo focused? It will save us from focus stacking, especially for macro work

Yes, at the expense of resolution. The camera uses a 14 MP sensor (or so I infer - the specs don't say, and in fact the Lytro literature downplays/sidesteps the issue of resolution altogether).  What you end up with is around a 1 MP image from that 14 MP sensor, because of the design. Google plenoptic camera for more details.
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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 10:11:59 PM »

archangelrichard

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 12:30:40 AM »
I wish people would research the previous posts before meking new and duplicate ones.

NO, there is no such thing as a light field camera. At this point this is hype for explaining how the Lytro works.

In r5eality, just as your video (say 720p) shot on a 18 MP sensor uses only some of the pixels; the lytro has a matrix of very slightly longer / smaller microlenses in front of the sensor so when it saves an image eacyh pixel is not at the same focus as it's neighbor, you have to divide through the matrix to get all at a single focus. I have heard tech talk of 592 pixels at any given focus times anywhere from 7 to 17 (depending on who you listen to, the average is 11) different set focuses.

There is supposed to be Macintosh (only) software that will save out any single individual focus (resulting in a 592 x 786 pixel image) and posting to facebook from that program OR you send the matrix up to Lytro's site where their mainframe software will display the whole matrix as a single image then using some form of html, it finds what the focus is in a certain area of the image and lets you  choose which focus you want as by clicking on it and it resets that to the displayed focus

Missing is the ability to combine the best / sharpest focuses into one sharp image; the focuses are independent and not continuous - you have to pick one level of focus at a time and do so from their site

NO you can not build a "light field" camera, at least not with any technology we have (imagine (the lens would interfere with the lens of the next pixel which would interfere with the lens of the next picture ... 3 d objects getting in the way of other 3D objects ... reality has a bad way of biting you in the rear)

What you do have is a neat toy for teenage girls to post pictures to facebook -- for which there is a market currently being filled by PHONE Cameras - that is what this competes with

NO this isn't a technology that can be transferred to any other camera system because it isn't really what it says it is; it is not a light field camera or a light field technology NO it's not the next big thing, it isn't really a thing at all

NOTE: The original articles came out quite a bit ago, they announced this formally in December (with product photos, which they hadn't shown until then) with expected quantities to hit stores in the March - April timeframe.

Ellen Schmidtee

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 05:37:20 AM »
Honestly, I don't think they'll become any sort of replacement for ANY camera.  Imagine trying to edit the photos the way that you prefer... Of course they will come up with a way to do so, but as of right now it just seems so out there....

I would think one way would be to ...

With this technology can you have all points of the photo focused? It will save us from focus stacking, especially for macro work

I played with the demo the company had at the time, and there was an object close to the camera that couldn't be brought into focus. Apparently their product has a minimal focusing distance, so focus stacking for macro would require a different lens(es).

poias

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 02:10:55 PM »
Why not take a side-by-side stereo capture and let your EYES do the "focus". The "focus" will actually be in natural 3D rather than unnatural "blur". Just a thought!

ScottyP

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2012, 01:49:31 AM »
The thing I was most curious about was its potential as a macro lens.  I don't really need a camera that can pick out a focal point; regular cameras do that.  I thought the biggest thing it could do would be if it could shoot macro and then let you pick out the focal point. 

I have reviewed all the sample shots on their website, and looks like a no-go for ladybugs, fly eyes, or flower stamens.  Not, apparently, an idiot-proof macro camera, alas.  We idiots must continue waiting.
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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2012, 04:48:38 AM »

SO I personally think that this is a game-changing concept…

This has the potential to literally changes the way you shoot photos.

Now.. I know that tack sharp photos are the goal of all photographers.. and I don’t quite understand all the science behind light field cameras, but one thing is for certain.. if this tech evolved into an 18 MP camera with the ability to make every image tack sharp by picking the perfect focus point after the fact, well this would change photography in a big way.

I would love to here the opinions of some of the more informed Photographers out there.. what do you think?

I find it interesting that most of the discussion has focussed on the technology, as opposed to the artistic/creative side.

While the limited nature of the technology (at the moment) is relevant, I think it is interesting to look at how there might be an impact on the creative process of photography.

Traditionally, the photographer chooses which elements of the composition should be in focus.  With the Lytro, that element of the process can be transferred to the viewer.
Normally, we think of the technique of using shallow depth of field as a way in which to remove unwanted details from a composition - by blurring them away.  By doing this, the photographer focuses the attention of the viewer where the photographer wants it. - In essence, the interpretation is static.  By transferring the ability to change the focal point to the viewer, one could argue that part of the creative process is moved from the photographer to the viewer of the image.  The viewer now takes control of that part of the interpretation of the composition.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 07:03:30 AM »
While the limited nature of the technology (at the moment) is relevant, I think it is interesting to look at how there might be an impact on the creative process of photography.

Traditionally, the photographer chooses which elements of the composition should be in focus.  With the Lytro, that element of the process can be transferred to the viewer.
Normally, we think of the technique of using shallow depth of field as a way in which to remove unwanted details from a composition - by blurring them away.  By doing this, the photographer focuses the attention of the viewer where the photographer wants it. - In essence, the interpretation is static.  By transferring the ability to change the focal point to the viewer, one could argue that part of the creative process is moved from the photographer to the viewer of the image.  The viewer now takes control of that part of the interpretation of the composition.

Makes perfect sense, but I'm not sure of the utiity of that transfer.  To take it to an extreme, it's like putting a box of crayons next to each painting in an art museum.

Time will tell, but I think it's a fad.  Viewers will 'drive around' the DoF of a few pictures, a few times, before the novelty fades and boredom sets in...
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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 07:03:30 AM »

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2012, 07:18:41 AM »
To me the technology looks interesting. Maybe not at once but certainly when being combined with other (future) technology. Do not forget how short ago Kodak 64 was al that really mattered. New technology could easily create virtual 3D representations instead of flat old fashioned pictures. 20 years ago I made 3D shots that could be printed on that special plastic lens paper still being used for 3D and moving cards. After some time it disappeared again. But now 3D is back. Not that long ago real aircraft were used to act in movies. Now a lot is pure virtual and you can't see the difference. Just give it some time and see what will happen. I do not believe photography will end with only more MP noiseless flat images. If that would be true one of my next cameras could be the last I buy when the max MP and low noise level is reached.

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Re: Lightfield Cameras - The Next Big Thing?
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2012, 07:18:41 AM »