LYTRO Camera – Can it remain in focus?

A Lytro camera basically is a Light Field Camera (LFC) which is quite different from conventional cameras in a way. Let’s leave aside the technical stuff, primarily a Lytro camera allows us to capture first and focus later. The technology that it uses is futuristic and also available to the consumers. (Lytro 8GB Light Field Camera – Graphite -$ 399 CAD)

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Specs

  • 11 ‘Megaray’* sensor
  • 8x 43-340mm equivalent, constant F2 lens (limited to 43-150mm range in Everyday mode)
  • 8GB or 16GB internal memory (depending on model)
  • 1.46″ (33mm) touch-screen ( I don’t see the point here)
  • Instant power-on.

So with a Lytro camera you can capture a moment without worrying about the focus. So does it guarantee a good picture regardless of how I take the picture? Yes and no.  Of course camera does try to eliminate the problem with blurry pictures. However, you also have to get the ISO and shutter speed right (of course the frame as well). To an extent the Lytro camera does what it promises. It lets the focusing part to the end user, quite impressive.  The demo below is kind of ironic and fascinating! Check it out for yourself. (Click on the picture to focus)

My thoughts on the Lytro Camera

  • Today in the world of digital cameras with auto focus features, advanced face recognition technologies, the causes for bad pictures are mostly the ISO and the shutter speed. Focus is very rarely the problem.
  • Lytro is not focused at photography enthusiasts (If it was, the price tag would be above $699. Trust me). So it is mainly for people who want to take photographs with less effort from their side. (An equivalent of making a 2 minute noodles, when you can prepare a 7 course meal. Of course it depends on their appetite)   
  •  It’s a fad in every sense; I tried browsing through the Lytro gallery. First I was very fascinated by it, as clicked the next arrow and then the next, I found myself bored. The law of diminishing utility definitely works for the Lytro pictures. Check out for yourself? https://pictures.lytro.com/
  • Here is the big ONE! As of now, you cannot share the Lytro pictures on Facebook. The Lytro camera does not capture images in conventional formats like jpeg, PNG .etc. it’s mainly due to its interactive functionality. However, I could see that they may come up with a way to accommodate it into Facebook. ( These pictures can definitely can spark a new level of interactivity with Facebook )
  • It’s Cylindrical! I don’t see Lytro cameras making a fashion statement in anyway, not in the present and not in the immediate future.

As an amateur photographer, I believe the Lytro camera cannot cater to my appetite for photography. However, I would definitely love playing around with photos which are interactive. It definitely provides a distinctive perspective.

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