Recently I've been copying of all of TOP on TypePad to my hard drive, an epic download that is now in its third day. As it's nearing the end (143,000 files downloaded, 9300 to go), it's got my computer all choked up—everything is agonizingly slow (and it's possible TypePad has had some slowdowns as well—not all of the fallout from the DDoS attacks has been downtime). Oh well, I'd better get used to it, as it's looking like Summer 2014 will be the time for a comprehensive revamping and relaunch of TOP, here or elsewhere, targeting an integrated, streamlined, responsive, thoroughly updated site and UI for you.
But there's news, as usual. I can't seem to keep it in my head how Ren Ng's plenoptic cameras work—I think I understand it when I delve into reading about it, but then it evaporates out of my gray cells as time passes. Fortunately there's a slick dedicated website for the new camera (which looks a lot more like a camera than the first ones did) that you can explore. I haven't yet, as my computer is presently too slow to allow the demos to work.
Essentially, they allow you to shoot first and focus later. That's the simple take. There's a heavy hit in terms of pixels needed and processing power required, but the Illum offers four times as many pixels as the earlier Lytro cameras and a new processor.
The Illum is the second Lytro Light-Field camera and the first fruit of the $50 million in capital investment Lytro had raised by 2011. Theirs isn't the only Light Field camera; Raytrix has products commercially available for scientific and industrial applications, and Adobe and Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL), among others, have experimental prototypes. But the Lytos are the only ones aimed at consumer photographers.
Bear with me as I work to get all the Leica T comments from yesterday approved. The process is just slow as molasses.
(Thanks to Sam Grover and other readers)
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
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Featured Comments from:
BH: "This Lytro business isn't for me...yet! Man, this is promising. It seems gimmicky at first, but imagine what it could be down the line when resolution, etc. is up to par. Imagine shooting and not worrying about AF at all. Imagine controlling depth of field in a preciseand meaningful manner...could you get the look of large format depth of field out of a smaller sensor?
"It's easy to sling mud at this stuff in its infant stage, but Lytro is already making progress from what we saw just a year or two ago. Definitely a potentially powerful tool that's worth watching. Certainly more interesting than Existing Camera Mk. IX."