Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lytro Camera Announced

Lytro announced its first camera to be available in early 2012. In Web 2.0 style the datasheet and the technology 101 are presented for download on Box.net. The resolution is said to be 11 Megarays: "light field sensor captures 11 million light rays of data (or 11 megarays), including the direction of each ray, something conventional cameras don’t do." The price of the camera is in $399-$499 range, depending on the memory.

30 comments:

  1. Actually, the press release says the camera captures the "color, intensity, and the direction of every light ray flowing into the camera"

    Certainly a bold statement, and very untrue.

    11 Million rays....I suppose this means the camera uses a ~12Mpixel image sensor even if the pixels are used unconventionally.

    Well, I understand why Ren would get frustrated with no one picking up his technology and why he might decide to make a camera himself. I hope he does well. It would be exciting if this catches on, just because it goes against the conventional wisdom of almost all other camera companies. Unfortunately I am not presently excited by its potential in the consumer market place other than as a novelty, even though I think it is a cool technology and helps pull the QIS concept. Hope I am wrong.

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  2. Wow, that's a lot of lens elements!

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  3. I'm sure not crazy about the camera shape. Not only is this a new technology, but they see fit to completely redesign camera ergonomics. If the imaging technology is superior, let it stand on it's own. Now you can't be sure if the market is buying/not buying because of the technology or the shape.

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  4. I would call this an engineering prototype, not a consumer product.

    I agree with the last post - they really need a camera shell.

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  5. unfortunate Soviet industrial design but it could be a hipster hit. they have done nothing to correlate to consumer expectations such as megapixels and risk really disappointing early adopters and their coat-tail effects, such as they are. the actual resolution is pretty low.

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  6. Does anyone know who's sensor they are using?

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  7. The resolution is not 12MP! If you read the announcement at their homepage, the resolution ist something about HD!
    I think this is an very good idea. I´ll look, wheter I´ll buy one to make shots for product presentations, where I need an focus on selected points. Or special effects for presentations or promotions...

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  8. Maybe, further technology allows to create a new kind of picture. like holograms. maybe, you can make an 3 dimensional picture out of it. or - even 4D when the picute gets moving in its space.

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  9. I think the ID is a natural fit to the optics, and part of the point of the ID is to look different to reflect the fact that this camera is a different tool/toy for a different type of photography. I think the resolution will be disappointing to some, but unnoticeable to facebook users. The benefits of refocusing will be minimal for pictures that don't have a compositional element close to the camera. But the novelty will be high, and the breadth of creativity throughout the design will make this first model a great collectors item. I am impressed they were able to achieve an optical zoom, and a big optical zoom at that!

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  10. Can it capture video?

    As for Facebook users, what does this do that an iPhone doesn't? I know the Lytro camera isn't as convenient for sharing.

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    1. not all FB users use iPhones.

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  11. I think plenoptic cameras will definitely be a huge success in consumer markets and that we will see a plenoptic camera in a mobile phone within a few years. It's a disruptive technology which will also set some really challenging demands for image sensor manufacturers.

    For example, the resolution of the camera should be made much better to really challenge conventional cameras and I'm not sure if conventional image sensor technologies can delivered that with a reasonable price tag.

    http://www.pixpolar.com/2011/10/lytro-is-shaking-the-camera-industry/

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  12. hmm....isn't camera phone always all-focus?

    92 megapixel sensor for a HD resolution picture?Will the frame rate and power consumption be a problem?

    hmm.....

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  13. "Camera manufacturers and software developers can leverage Pixpolar’s technology to deliver unforeseen user experiences"

    Unforeseen? Seems the English translation needs improvement here.

    Meanwhile, how about some links to understand Pixpolar's technology better? I would like to know more.

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  14. "With only one transistor per pixel one can achieve all the functionality found in a standard 4 transistor CMOS image sensor pixel."

    It seems like a BCMD kind of technology...

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  15. Buried Charge Modulation Device

    -yang ni

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  16. Should be "Bulk Charge Modulation Device"

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  17. More info on the Pixpolar technology can be found in this blog of : Thursday, June 04, 2009.

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  18. Pixpolar published a conference paper with quite complete explanations:

    "Double modified internal gate (MIG) pixel for fluorescence imaging applications"

    Presented on European Conference on Circuit Theory and Design, 2009 (ECCTD 2009).

    http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=5275141

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  19. Yup it is all coming back to me now. Thanks!

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  20. Silcon Valley money gone to waste. The gadget is aimed at younger consumers and this audience won't buy unless it is on a phone.

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  21. Optics is an old science like RF. It's hard to shake its basement by a simple invention. But a lot of small/partial inventions will finish by shaking it or by enhancing it :)

    -yang ni

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  22. I would rather consider this camera as demo product for the technology of the future that became available now and which will drastically change the world thanks to to Ren Ng. Potential possibilities are amazing. Have read through many forums regarding this product and it seems that only few people are realizing what this technology could do and what it is. Most post are classical illustration for saying " Do not see the forest behind the trees".
    The root of the technology is that it is kind of hologram which is captured easily anywhere.(actually in presented device it is low resolution hologram) . Once it is captured - then captured image could be reproduced by many different ways. Just imagine this device as projector where directtion of light is opposite and it is reproducing image from the sensor. Now imagin recording video studio with such capturing devices at each corner of the room simaltaneosly capturing object in the middle of the room. Once captured - reproduce it is in similar way using similar devices as projectors and you will have "real" object (or play) in the middle of your room. This is how 3D TV will be in 10-15 years from now. I think that Ren already submited patent application for this))) Ther are plenty of other applications - military and robotics - when you need to have instant in-focus vision of all the space around robot or surveivalnce system. Image which contain all space 3D info is captured instantly and simaltaneously by number of devices separated in space (e.g. by perimeter of robot/android head) and then this is matter of embedded computer processing power to provide clear in-focus space slices for upper level analisys. Many algorithms for space analysis are possible and they could all run in parallel (multiple processing threads).
    It doesno require greate imagination to imagine what this could give as a result.
    I am amazed that majority of people are so short sighted and do not see (or feel) obvious things. There so many amazing technology pieces around and if you put then all together you could get something extreemly amazing that we will have in not far from now future

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  23. I think people would be very convinced if Steve Jobs told them the above vision....

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  24. It's not true. If people believe Steve Jobs simply because he has realized almost all of his stories. I don't think that people believed him that much when he presented his first Appel. New inventors have to realize real product with promised performance, once, twice etc. then people will believe him...

    So many inventions can not keep their promise, people has reason to doubte and ask questions, it's normal. Today some of the technical guys are becoming progressively sales men ..... :(

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  25. it's all about a special lense.. adobe had a demo last year: youtube.com/watch?v=-EI75wPL0nU

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  26. better version: youtube.com/watch?v=cZ6EHhsLk74

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  27. The diagram says the light field sensor is "from a roomful of cameras to a micor-lens array specially adhered to a standard sensor, the Lytro's Light Filed Sensor captures 11 million light rays".
    Anybody know the exact meaning of "from a roomful of cameras to a micor-lens array specially adhered to a standard sensor"?

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