Lytro rumored to launch Android camera, show Android OEMs how refocusing is done

June 10, 2014
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lytro illum

Lytro Illum, now available for pre-order

Lytro, the light-field camera startup, is rumored to release an Android-powered camera in the next months.

Light-field tech (also known as plenoptic photography) replaces the conventional lens-sensor setup with an array of micro-lenses that capture the same scene from multiple angles. This makes possible effects like post-shot refocusing, with the added benefit of better low-light sensitivity and faster image capture.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because several Android manufacturers have attempted to mimic light-field cameras to varying degrees of success. Samsung and Sony use software to replicate the selective focus feature of Lytro cameras, while Google added a Lens Blur feature to the stock Android camera app that requires the user to move the phone vertically in order to capture a sense of depth from the scene. But it’s HTC’s One (M8) that leads the pack in this area, thanks to the depth sensor on its back, which allows for more precise refocusing compared to software-only solutions.

To compete with these imitators, Lytro could embrace Android in the close future, if @evleaks is to be believed.

Lytro has only released two consumer products so far – an eponymous “point and shoot” camera and the Illum, a larger device targeted at professionals, featuring an 8x optical zoom lens and a large LCD display.

Click on the image below to refocus it or click and drag to change the perspective.

Android is a prime option for companies that want to endow their imaging products with smart features – Samsung, for instance, has released several Android cameras, as well as the smartphone-camera hybrids Galaxy S4 Zoom and Galaxy K Zoom.

Light-field technology could even make the jump to smartphones. Toshiba and Nokia-backed Pelican Imaging are both developing micro-lens array camera modules, opening the possibility to see Lytro-style technology on phones in the next years.

Comments

  • Luka Mlinar

    1.5K for this? LoL i’ll stick with my Nikon tvm. Also why would i take a picture where i need to click on something to make it sharp when i can have everyone sharp by moving a bit back and adjusting the aperture.
    This thing is fun and all but let’s not kid ourselves. This is an expensive amateur camera with some (gimmicky?) features.

    • Lisandro O Oocks

      1. the lens looks cool
      2. they’re only showing you one gimmick right now, cause seems to be the thing lately.
      3. if it has android you can play games after you’re bored from shooting pictures.
      4. this gimmick is pretty awesome. try zooming in. clearly everybody needs it.

      • Luka

        You’re kidding right? I’m not paying 1500 to play tample run.

        • Lisandro O Oocks

          The way I see it: “I’m not paying $1500 and I can’t play Temple Run”

    • Jayfeather787

      I completely agree. That is way too much to pay for this camera. It pays to just point the camera a certain way, and go from there. No need to blow the budget on features you can obtain for cheaper.

  • daftchemist

    Lytro image isn’t very sharp…

  • Dave Weinstein

    They still have the same fatal flaw. They WILL NOT release the code needed to render the photos, so EVERY photo taken with their camera needs to be hosted at their photos service.

    This means that they own your photos (or at least require you to grant unlimited use rights for your photos).

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  • enmoredo

    the refocus feature is already available in several PureView Nokia Lumia devices running Window Phone