I think the best use for this camera (in theory) is to (a) select the focus point and (b) save the image as a standard print. This would be very useful for photojournalists, sports photos and even wedding shots.
But probably not with this camera, maybe in future models…if there are any.
Like the 3D TV fad, the charm of this way of looking at photos fades quickly. How many times can you get a kick out of saying, “Oooooh, I can focus HERE, and now, oooooh, I can focus THERE!”
Meanwhile, Sony is making advances in so-called “mirrorless” cameras that are astounding. Not just autofocus, but autofocus on the eyes of your subject!
I continue to be very intrigued by the Lytro tech and this V2 is so much better than the toy size v1, maybe v3 will be enough to win converts. What I like is the ability to simply take a shot and not worry about perfect focus. The semi-3D (think hologram) feel is a neat parlor trick too but requires dedicated software and who knows how long the company will be sticking around. The problems are in the negatives, first the 2D output is only 5 megapixels so there’s not a lot of detail to be had, just enough for simple prints but not enough for wall hangings or larger books like a wedding album. Also the software requires significant hardware capability and even outputting a single photo takes about a minute+ for EACH photo. Lastly, there are reportedly significant image corruption in depth transitions where the image becomes visibly blocky.
One review I read describes this device as a great additional tool in the hands of a professional. Like being able to take some 3D like images of a wedding in addition to the regular photos. I think this a correct description, very intriguing device but can’t stand alone…yet.
Referring to resolution and prints and wall hangings misses the point of this camera. Of course you’d use a regular camera (if you want high-resolution, printable shots) or cell phone (for decent snapshots) if you want those. These are not meant to live anywhere but on a screen. They’re compatible not just with Lytro’s own site but with Facebook, Twitter (IIRC), 500px (which I use to host my portfolio site), and so on. Buy this if you’re an enthusiast looking for a unique camera, not if you’re looking for kiddo pics and other standard daily fare.
(After an expense-heavy year I can’t quite indulge in this model yet, but I charged up my original-generation Lytro last night and have it today for some city pics. I’m building up a pretty huge library of these shots. That said, I’m also unsure about the longevity of the company, but it’s also moving the file format to open source, so enthusiasts will be able to keep it alive should something happen.)
It looks like they’re just starting (err? why so long) to get into 3D [Side-by-side, Lenticular, etc]: http://blog.lytro.com/
Though you can get stereo lens for an existing camera for $50-$300 (so you have 2 ~10MP pics instead of 1 20MP pic).
If their depth mapping was better than the blog shows, I’d be interested (Goal: 1/8 resolution depth for a scene 4 feet in front of me – I can do that with the David Laser Scanner, but it’s annoying and fiddly)…
I got the Lite Lytro a while back and I just ordered this one. I’m hoping to do some tests with it at an upcoming wedding. Given that the original Lite took 1080X1080, I’m using a very rough estimate that this will take re-focusable 4K photos off at the bat.
Now if they could just sell the flash cube for this camera…
This is a cool concept for a camera if you focus on the DoF for artistic photos.
Not the ideal camera for a P&S, or even to be a casual photographer.
I considered this one a while ago, believing it would solve the problem I’ve ever had with focusing, shitty backgrounds ruining my pics or just trying to get decent pictures without having to spend $2000 in a DSLR and several lenses.
But turns out, the photos are made for the Lytro viewer app or the Lytro Site where you can share them.
Exporting the pictures for printing or posting online will give you crappy 1080p JPG files with extremely low res.
$599? I will probably consider either future models (if any) or this one when it costs $149.