Daily Deal: Lytro Cameras

from the good-deals-on-cool-stuff dept

Photography fans know that cameras have come a long way in a few short years. However, you still need to zoom and choose what to focus on for that perfect shot. The new light field cameras take away that need to choose your focus and perspective. Lytro cameras use a microlens array to take in more information about the light coming from all distances in the picture. Download the photos and with the Lytro app, you can refocus shots, view them in “3D” or change the perspective.

The Lytro Illum is the pro-grade, DSLR-like version of their camera. It has an 8x optical zoom lens, touchscreen LCD display, an ISO range of 80-3200, WiFi and many more features. It’s available in the deals store for $699.99 (45% off of the retail price) and comes with a rechargeable battery and quick chargers, USB cables, a lens hood and other accessories.

The First Generation Lytro 16GB Camera is on sale for $79.99 (59% off) as well. The first generation features a compact and sleek design and weighs less that 1 pound. The 16GB can store up to 750 photos an comes with a touchscreen, cap, micro USB charging cable and everything you need to get started taking photos.

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Comments on “Daily Deal: Lytro Cameras”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Great review at The Verge

and some poor reviews …


The price of $700 seems to be a rock-bottom price for this brand/model camera.

I’m trying to understand how this “set the focus AFTER you shoot the picture” actually works. It’s an interesting conceptual approach to an age-old problem. I understand the concept of post-process digital blurring to change the apparent focus and depth of field, but if say, a close-up shot was done in low light at full aperature and max telephoto, giving an extremely shallow depth of field, could the distant background (which is by necessity extremely out-of-focus) somehow be brought into sharp focus AFTER the shot is taken, and if so, what are the limitations (potential depth of field)?

For whatever its worth, tech sites have been giving this camera more attention than traditional ‘photography magazine’ sites.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

The show stopper for this camera:

The “living pictures” from this camera can only be hosted at pictures.lytro.com. You can embed them on your own site, WordPress or Facebook page – but with the images residing on Lytro’s site.

You cannot *host* them on your own web site – image, viewer and all – with Lytro out of the picture.

That means that to share your pictures, you’re bound by their community guidelines and terms of service. No commercial use for your photos allowed. Nothing THEY consider porn or obscene, or they’ll delete them. You must be 18 or over. Only you can use your account. You may not block links and functions on the player that lead back to their site.

You can’t even display your own photos on your own web site without granting Lytro.com “a non-exclusive, fully-paid, royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable and transferable license” to use your photos as they see fit, “Display the Lytro trademark with such content”, etc. etc.

Whoa. Not happening.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

What Is The Market?

Well, of course, one must observe that Lytro proves to have feet of clay…

At the same time, however, ordinary photographers are not the core market for the Lytro at present. I think that, at present, the core market for Lytro technology is movie-makers, specifically, studio movie-makers, the kind who use green-screen, and similar technologies. There is traditionally a member of a camera crew called a “focus puller,” someone whose job is to worry about the focus, and nothing else. Obviously, the terms on Lytro’s website are not those available to someone willing to pay, say, $20,000 per year. Anything which reduces the grand collision of different trades and activities on the sound-stage is likely to save a lot of money.

I tend to use a camera basically as a pocket photocopier/scanner. My basic starting point is to create the lighting conditions under which f/16 is the optimum f/stop, and focus issues don’t arise. Usually, that means electronic flash and a copy stand. The single biggest problem I have is taking pictures of things printed on coated paper. My inexpensive pocket camera does not have the ability to do bounce-flash. Of course there is a problem about using electroflash in a public library, where it might cause annoyance to other patrons, but this can be address equally well with a black cloth “photography tent.” I have seen some electronic copy cameras. They were basically the working parts of a hundred-dollar pocket camera, only built into a copy stand, each element in the optimum position, and the whole business costing several hundred dollars. That sets a cap to what I would be prepared to pay for a Lytro camera. A Lytro camera is one possible solution to my problems, but not the only possible solution, and it is quite capable of pricing itself out of the market, either by way of money, or by way of terms and conditions. A camera is rarely the best solution, in the long run. The best solution is normally to move more of the work-process onto my computer, or onto the internet, as the case may be. For example, I discovered that I could pass an Acrobat document through to GIMP, and free-form-annotate it, and then print two copies, one for file, and one to send; instead of having to make a photocopy of a document which had been annotated with a pen.

The radical implication of Lytro technology is that you can build a “good” camera into a cell phone. Dispense entirely with the big front collecting lens, and the camera can be 1/2 inch high, 1/2inch wide, and 1/8 inch thick. Of course, none of the cell phone makers are going to put up with Lytro’s terms and conditions, but one of them may buy the company out.

I think I remember seeing terms and conditions like this about thirty years ago, in respect of C and Pascal compilers. You know, you paid BIG BUCKS for the compiler, but you were not allowed to publish compiled versions of programs, only to use them. But MIX C, notoriously the cheapest C compiler at the time, costing only $20, wrote a license allowing the distribution of the binary run-time, and consequently of programs compiled in MIX C.

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