Raytrix Lightfield Cameras: Ahead of Lytro

Raytrix Lightfield Cameras: Ahead of Lytro

A few weeks ago, Simon Fenton wrote about the new - yet to be launched - Lytro 'lightfied camera'. Being a complete photography nerd, I have to say that I got quite excited about it and went on a search fest to find out as much as I could about it.

There were quite a few interesting articles, include this one in PC World Magazine, which has a short but useful interview of Lytro. The main thing I took away from this interview was that the company is intent on making this a consumer product with a price to match. That got me quite excited! Still no real idea of what said price will be, but it meant I could start to hope and dream of owning one.

I have also come across details of a recent photo shoot organised by Lytro in Canada. You can see all the photos from the shoot here and also read more about the project. The work displayed looks impressive enough but there's a lot of talk on various forums about how this camera might not be quite what they make it out to be. For instance, I have seen much talk about Lytro only giving a few, limited number of focus points. More often than not, you only get 2, and 4 seems to have been the maximum I saw someone mention. That leads me to believe that there is still quite a way to go before this little beauty delivers on all its promises. 

But the most exciting thing I actually found out was that Lytro were not the only one doing this. There is a company called Raytrix in Germany who seems to already be way ahead of the game, albeit with what looks like a much more robust, professional, and expensive looking solution. Well, I guess that's what the Germans are best at: super engineered solutions for the more professional end of the market. They do say that they have consumer versions of their cameras, but it looks as though they are still priced at several thousand Euros at present.

Anyway, for those of you who want to find out about Raytrix, the BBC actually covered this very topic in the last episode of Click - which you can still view on iPlayer for the next couple of days or so.

I would love to hear you thoughts on what you hear and read about Raytrix and Lytro - please do post them here.

4 Comments Isabelle Duarte

Posted by
Isabelle Duarte
Wed 31 Aug 2011: 12:15pm

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Comments

  • Lee Danskin:

    Love this tech, but on more review, the big unknowns would be with moving footage.... motion blur? How is it going to handle that? And also, do we lose all our lovely bokeh? It could really help in image based modelling, but only time will tell.

  • Krystian:

    It could be really huge for VFX. Game changing technology. I'm thinking, if You can freely change focus it means you can extract depth information from the shot. Now imagine depth compositing in a similar way like WETAs deep raster for cg in nuke 6.3. Automatic matte extractions (no more roto), automatic or semi-automatic stereo conversions (no need for complicated stereo rigs), 3d scene reconstruction and so on.
    ..or maybe I'm wrong and just dreaming.

  • Isabelle Duarte:

    My pleasure! Sounds quite sad, but I actually watch Click every week. A lot of what they show can be a bit low end, but they do cover some gems from time to time.

  • ADC:

    Being able to shoot a scene and then select focus and/or depth of field in post, in the same way you can control it in 3D software would be amazing.

    So amazing that it would be probably take me even longer to finish a film than it already does! But if I didn't have to focus pull, etc, on a tracking or dolly shot because it could be done in post, that would save a helluva-lotta shoot time. Assuming of course it'll ever get to that level of sophistication.

    Thanks for the Click link.

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