These days, “big tech companies” nowadays have a typical product cycle of about 12 months, meaning that a new generation of their latest products will usually be presented every year. In contrast to that, it’s been 1.5 years since (relative) startup Lytro presented their first generation Lytro light field camera, and we’ve been waiting to hear about hardware news.
In a recent interview, new Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal promised “multiple breakthrough products” set for 2014:
“We’re working on what we think will be our Model S,” Rosenthal said, referring to the latest Tesla model that earned a nearly perfect score from Consumer Reports. “We have a packed product roadmap for next year, we’ll introduce multiple what I think are just breakthrough products. I’m super excited and the world will be as well.” Continue reading
Pelican Imaging is working hard on releasing “a smart camera for your Smartphone”. Their first generation 4×4 camera array is reportedly 50 % thinner than current smartphone camera modules. It captures the Light Field not by use of a microlens array, but using – in this case – 16 individual fixed focus cameras.
But hardware is only one part of the technology. It’s strengh lies in the power of post-processing and sophisticated computation.
In a new demo released today, Pelican Imaging demonstrates 3D video recording at 1080p and 30 fps, as well as two application examples: distance measurement within the picture, and 3D printing of recorded scenes. Continue reading
Smartphones accompany many of us on our daily lives, and it’s no wonder that they have become the most used cameras on major photo sharing sites. With the introduction of LightField technology to the mainstream, the market potential for light-field enabled (plenoptic) smartphone camera modules soon became clear.
Within the past few months, several companies have announced working on small LightField modules that are fit for inclusion in Smartphones, including Toshiba and the MIT. Toshiba even has a working demo and plans to release a model by March 2014.
Pelican Imaging is another such company (which we introduced last September). After 6 years of research, the relatively unknown company from Mountain View have recently demonstrated their product at Mobile World Congress: A tiny module featuring an array of 4 x 4 (or 5 x 5) individual cameras that is only 3 mm high. Using today’s standard camera technology rather than expensive microlens arrays, the module is expected to cost around 20 $. Continue reading
Not too long ago, the possibility to create LightField pictures with a mass-produced consumer camera sounded like dreams of the future. This was only the first step, though, and we’re looking forward to other popular imaging techniques (e.g. HDR and panorama imaging) to be augmented by LightField technology.
In a publication from 2012, computer scientists Clemens Birklbauer and Oliver Bimber from Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria presented a first approach towards creating Panorama LightField Images.
If you’re trying to take apart your Lytro LightField Camera, we have a couple of interesting How To articles available here. But what if you want to go a bit further?
Jason Wolf, who earlier documented the Lytro disassembly process down to the major camera parts, has created an 11 minute video that shows you, in full detail, how to completely disassemble Lytro’s LightField Camera.
While Jason goes down to the individual lenses, mainboard and electronic shutter, we don’t recommend using a pipe wrench on your lens system if you’d like to use your camera again. ;)
Check out the full video after the break: Continue reading