59% Off First Generation Lytro 16GB Camera

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How does this work with non-coherent light?
(edit)As in I understand holographic photography with a laser point source and exposed film which can developed and read with another coherent point source light.

About time too…


I bought one of these. It’s a cute gimmick to play around with, but not very useful; you’re limited to using their own viewing/editing software and can only share your ‘live images’ via the Lytro website. And honestly, the whole gimmick is that it takes pictures where everything’s in focus, so you can refocus after the fact. Once you’ve done that a few times, you’ve worn out the fun of a Lytro.


“Shoot photos at an optimal resolution for sharing online”

AKA “Very low resolution”.


The software issue is what worries me. As a technology, this ‘Lytro’ thing is more interesting(if, in practice, less useful than the vastly more mature but mundane alternatives) than ordinary cameras markedly pricier; but that also means that it is sufficiently novel that there is basically zero support for its ‘raw’ image format, with what pittance their is being tied closely to a vendor who may or may not be with us forever.

If I had the chops to dig into the image processing myself(or were even feeling dishonest enough with myself to pretend), I’d be all over this. If these cameras were capable of feeding data to a host computer in real-time(as the classier models in most camera lineups are), I’d be double all over this and probably have an array of 10 of them for reasons I would find hard to justify. It’s just so neat. But unless I grow a spine and some software engineering talent, I’d basically just produce ‘images’ in a format slightly more obscure that QuicktimeVR.


Apparently 1080x1080 is the jpg export resolution. So yes.

@SteampunkBanana - did you ever get one of these? IIRC we were talking about the when I saw them up on W00T.

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Oh, I would never. Not even at $80. I’m a fan of just figuring out what should be in focus in the first place and then using a decent resolution camera to shoot it. Like most people around here, proprietary software makes me cringe, and to end up with a 1080 square image as a result? I think my phone has a better resolution.

I think it’s a clever idea and a good start, but I’m not sure they have the right audience for it yet. Maybe someplace where you’ve got one shot to get it right and focus can’t wait. Space exploration, maybe?

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edit: google sez apparently not.


I bought one as an early adopter (pre-ordered when they were first announced), and at the time, the Lytro folks were heavily promoting the camera as being ‘perfect for social media’. I quickly realized this was code for ‘you can’t really do anything with your images except share them online’, and that can only be done via their website. They made vague promises of future software updates that’d give the camera more flexibility, but the biggest change was to add “3D” (being able to subtly move the image around a bit).


The later “Lytro Illum” Pro version, especially with firmware & software upgrades over the last year, is actually turning out to be useful, while this first generation little tube was pretty much a “proof of concept” 1.0.

For me, my use case is shooting engaging images of places that help people overcome the images in their heads. So when I say “cohousing neighborhood” they can imagine themselves living there, rather than jumping to “oh, dorm or commune or forced roommates sharing a messy place”. VR and Lytro let-the-user-refocus-and-shift-perspective hands-on interaction help reprogram brains much more than words or static photos.


I agree with you. Any serious photographer will get tired of the trick quickly, and lament the lack of resolution more than the ability to refocus.

On the other hand, it is a great camera for young learners since it separates the act of composing the scene from the act of focusing and choosing depth of field.


You think so? I tend to think automatic features and having the choice to “fix it in post” can be a blessing for the pro but terrible for beginners, because you learn the easy way and it’s very tempting not to go beyond that. Setting yourself limitations instead of being able to do anything can be an effective tool for learning, and surprisingly creativity-friendly.

So to me a better camera for interested young learners might be anything digital (for instant results and cheaper experimentation), in fully manual mode so you have a chance to do things wrong and learn from that, and a single fixed focal length lens as per the popular self-imposed challenge. If you practice enough to get good results from that setup I bet you’ve got a strong enough basic foundation that translates to anything.

Link seems to be broken for me – the href in the anchor started with ‘http://view-source:’.

I just can’t get over the extremely odd choice of subject matter for the promo video. There’s a level of irony (or something) that is just blowing right past me.


Anything lacking bellows and a room-full of developer-chemicals is just pandering.


Wow, that party looks shit.

I remember learning DoF: multiple tests with staggered objects, parallel objects, more tests, then applying to subjects in the real world, more tests, always changing the Ap slightly with each shot. Then downloading hundreds of shots and noting each Ap value and desired outcome. It was a bit of a chore.

I would have been really happy learning the artistic merits of DoF with the Litro, instant results and “infinite” combinations for every shot, easily and quickly seeing what works well and what doesn’t. However, I imagine I might have been slightly disappointed moving from a Litro to an SLR from a technical/hardware perspective, maybe feeling like it’s a step backwards and losing some freedom.

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I suppose most might find that to be true.

But as soon as I can put some space together, I’m going to try using the camera for stop-motion animation. I’ve been meaning to get back to it, and I think this would be really nice.

I’m also interested in seeing if I can get stereographic imagery out of the camera. That might be pretty cool.

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