It looks sexy, but does it hold true to its promises? We tested the Lytro Illum light field camera for three weeks, and would like to give you a better idea of the camera and its features with this review.
Lytro Illum is the name of the second light field camera released by Lytro – and with that, the second consumer light field camera in the world. Compared to the first generation, which is sometimes referred to as a “proof of concept”, Lytro has upped its game to a camera targeted to “creative pioneers”: Its big 30-250 mm lens with constant f/2.0 aperture, the 40 megaray sensor and the integrated Snapdragon processor, the SD-card slot and the SLR-like appearance all indicate that the target audience is no longer just technology enthusiasts, but also semi-professional photographers. However, all that comes at a price, which is currently 1.299 US-Dollars or 1.299 Euro.
The Illum is unique, and that’s obvious even when just looking at the box: Remove the mantlepiece and you’ll see a black cardboard-cube which unfolds to reveal the light field camera. Continue reading →
Apple is known to have been interested in light field technology since before Lytro released their first-generation light field camera, as Ren Ng was reportedly invited by Steve Jobs himself to discuss the technology’s potential. The company has even patented some of their own inventions in the field.
Now, it seems that the tech giant has made its next move towards light field photography: Apple has acquired Israeli camera module maker LinX, which specializes in thin camera arrays similar to Pelican Imaging’s PiCam.
LinX promises powerful camera modules with advanced image quality (“leading the way to DSLR performance in slim handsets”), but also additional information such as scene depth through its “multi-aperture” modules (read: array cameras and possibly light field technology).
Quick note: One of our readers informs us that today’s Amazon.com Gold Box Deal includes Lytro cameras, which are up to 88% off the official list price!
The offer is only good today, April 14 2015, so be sure to check it out before it’s too late.
Rony Abovitz, CEO of the secretive startup Magic Leap, was expected to reveal the company’s rumoured Augmented Reality headset recently at a TED talk in Vancouver, but canceled a few days before. Instead, the company released a 90 second promo video teasing an AR game that it says is “currently being played at the office”, and it looks pretty awesome.
Video description: Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to TED, but we wanted to share one of the things that we’d planned to share at the talk. This is a game we’re playing around the office right now (no robots were harmed in the making of this video).
One of the most limiting hardware factors in light field photography is the loss of image resolution by use of microlens arrays: In Lytro’s light field cameras, the effective image resolution is a factor of 10 below the sensor resolution (i.e. 4 Megapixel images from a 40 Megaray sensor in the Lytro Illum). Raytrix, on the other hand, has managed to achieve up to 25% of sensor resolution using multi-focus plenoptic arrays.
In a recent article on SPIE.org, the Society for Optics and Photonics Technology, researchers José Manuel Rodriguez-Ramos and colleagues discuss a new deconvolution approach which allows recovery of full image resolution from a raw light field picture. Continue reading →