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.
At first glance, the music video below consists only of slow panning and focus-shifting across otherwise static scenes, where the camera movement matches the calm soundscape of Big Noble‘s new song “Ocean Picture”.
However, there’s something special about this video: It was recorded solely with a Lytro Illum light field camera, and thus consists of many individual images brought to life by two of the most popular light field features: post-capture refocus and single-exposure 3D.
If you’ve been following the development of the Light Field Toolbox for Matlab, please note that the author has released an update with new features: Light Field Toolbox v0.4 builds upon the previous version and adds linear depth/focus and denoising filters for light field pictures.
For more technical information regarding these filters and their use, please refer to the following upcoming publication: D.G. Dansereau, O. Pizarro, and S. B. Williams, “Linear Volumetric Focus for Light Field Cameras,” to appear in ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), vol. 34, no. 2, 2015.
As always, you may download the current version and corresponding Light Field Sample Pack via the links below, or head over to the project page for more information:
Light Field Toolbox v0.4 (977.1 KiB, 1,248 hits)
Light Field Sample Pack for LightField Toolbox v0.3 and v0.4 (386.5 MiB, 1,003 hits)
New functions in this version: Continue reading
Lytro recently introduced a camera accessory for their second generation light field camera, the Lytro Illum: the Viltrox JY680L TTL Flash for Lytro Illum, dubbed “Lytro TTL Flash”, fully supports the Illum’s TTL system and features an AF-assist beam as well as a Guide Number 58 (ISO 100 meter).
According to the product page, the flash supports 18-135 mm Auto Zoom, wireless light-controlled trigger, exposure compensation and Rear Curtain Sync. It also supports PC sync socket, recycles within 0.5 to 5 seconds and can shoot continuously at 8 flashes per second.
The Lytro TTL Flash is scheduled to ship within the month for 249.99 US-$.
The company has also released a new firmware update to version 1.1.1, which brings full compatibility for the new official third-party accessory.
For more Lytro accessories, check out this list of Lytro accessories.
As exciting as the technology is, not everybody has access to Lytro’s light field tech due to their computer platform of choice. For the obvious reason of limited resources and man-hours in a small startup, it took the company an additional five months from the release of their first-generation camera to expand from Mac-only software to Windows, back in 2012. Linux, on the other hand, continues to be “not currently on Lytro’s roadmap“.
Now, in our forums section, Lukáš Jirkovský has announced his own Linux-compatible, open-source alternative to Lytro Desktop, called Lyli.
Lyli is a work in progress, but the developer has big plans for his application: Continue reading