Every now and then, somebody comes up with a radically new way to improve technology and do something different. One such example is the Flexible Sheet Camera that researchers at the Laboratory for Unconventional Electronics at Columbia University have developed. Rather than a little handheld box with a single lens and some sort of zoom optics, this super-thin concept camera lets you adjust the field of view by simply bending it:
Almost as soon as the original Lytro camera was released, enthusiasts tried to find an easy way to combine light field imaging with microscopes. However, due to the optical characteristics of a microscope (especially the strong f-number mismatch), those attempts had only limited success.
In a recent publication, Loïs Mignard-Debise and Ivo Ihrke from INRIA Bordeaux in France presented the findings of their experiments to use off-the-shelf hardware (i.e. a first-generation lytro camera and camera lenses or microscope objectives) for a working light field microscope. Continue reading
The US Patent and Trademark Office has just released a patent application by Lytro titled “Light field image capture device having 2D image capture mode”. The application was filed September 8 2014 by nine (then-) Lytro employees, and describes a dual-mode light field camera that can switch between two modes, allowing either light field imaging or traditional high-resolution 2D imaging:
Abstract: A dual-mode light field camera or plenoptic camera is enabled to perform both 3D light field imaging and conventional high-resolution 2D imaging, depending on the selected mode. In particular, an active system is provided that enables the microlenses to be optically or effectively turned on or turned off, allowing the camera to selectively operate as a 2D imaging camera or a 3D light field camera.
A rather secretive startup from Hollywood, Florida, recently made headlines for raising a spectacular investment for their vision of the next generation of Virtual Reality. Big names like Google, Qualcomm Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and others have put together the sum of 540 million US-Dollars for a company called Magic Leap, but the public isn’t even sure what the company is working on.
The official press release reads: “Magic Leap is going beyond the current perception of mobile computing, augmented reality, and virtual reality. We are transcending all three, and will revolutionize the way people communicate, purchase, learn, share and play.”
…and Magic Leap’s website doesn’t provide many details either.
The company is reportedly working on Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signals” (Digital Lightfield, in short), a “biomimetic” technology that “respects how we function naturally as humans”. What that means precisely, the company doesn’t explain. However, Technology Review has dug up some interesting patent applications by Magic Leap which may give us a glimpse into what convinced their investors: Continue reading
So your Lytro Illum has finally arrived – now what? In many respects, light field photography is fundamentally different from traditional photography, and the switch from one to the other may not be an easy one for everybody.
Josh Anon, nature photographer and former Senior Product Manager at Lytro, recently published a new ebook titled “Using Lytro Illum – a Guide to Creating Great Living Pictures“.
Using LYTRO ILLUM provides a comprehensive overview of the Lytro ecosystem. Endorsed by Lytro, Inc., this book covers everything from what the light field is to how to take advantage of the Lytro button while shooting to how to edit your pictures outside of Lytro Desktop. It’s the one guide that will take you from novice to living picture expert!
We had a closer look at whether the book delivers what the title promises, and in this article, we’ll tell you what we think.