Lytro Cinema Camera: A Game-Changer In The Video World?
The new Lytro Cinema camera is being called ‘the first major change in photography since it was invented’. Ok, so this quote came from Lytro themselves, but you won’t find many people that could argue the opposite. It captures photos and videos in a way that no other camera ever has, and the key innovation behind this new camera is called ‘light field photography’.
Light Field Technology
Let’s first get into what light field photography actually is. When regular cameras capture an image, they process the levels of light and color that is coming through the lens to produce the image. What makes the Lytro cinema camera different is that it not only sees light and colour; but it is able to understand which direction the light moves while the picture is being taken. The camera takes all available points of light in the scene and converts it into data. This means it can be processed and reprocessed after its been captured.
For example, you would be able to change the focus of a scene. So if you’ve got a shot of something up close, but you want to shift the focus to the background, the Lytro camera will be able to do that. It doesn’t stop there either. You can also make changes to other aspects such as exposure, shutter speed and even the angle at which you captured the shot.
The camera also has a ridiculously large sensor. At 775 megapixels of RAW 40k resolution and 300fps, it’s probably the highest resolution sensor ever made. It also captures around 400GB of data per second. Truly mind bending numbers.
The whole Lytro package includes the camera, a server for storage & processing as well as some editing software to edit the Light Field data. It may be out of reach for consumers and, let’s face it, most professionals too for the foreseeable future. But the most promising thing is that this technology now exists. So within the next 5 years or so we could see technology like this become more available and more affordable.
In the below video, Lytro explains how all this works: