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Lytro Announces World's First Light Field VR Camera 30

An anonymous reader writes: VR is easy for video games, but hard for live action: you don't know where the viewer will be in the virtual world, so you can't put the camera in the right place in the real world. Light field cameras are perfect for VR though, because they're essentially holographic, and capture lots of positions at once. And Lytro has announced the first system that's both 'light field' and 'holographic', which changes everything. Wired seems similarly excited.
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Lytro Announces World's First Light Field VR Camera

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's the yearly Lytro post! Welcome back!

    Let me know when they're disposably cheap, will ya?

  • Okay, I'll be happy to admit I think this is a pretty cool camera with some interesting features.

  • This appears to be a new meaning from the old established Light Field used in microscopes. Light field is the normal microscope view. Normal is often referred to bright field. Dark field is a special illumination technique. [] Wikipedia article

    • by Tx ( 96709 ) on Thursday November 05, 2015 @02:01PM (#50871835) Journal

      Not so new.

      "Michael Faraday was the first to propose (in an 1846 lecture entitled "Thoughts on Ray Vibrations") that light should be interpreted as a field, much like the magnetic fields on which he had been working for several years. The phrase light field was coined by Alexander Gershun in a classic paper on the radiometric properties of light in three-dimensional space (1936)."

      wikipedia []

  • I was tempted by a sale on BoingBoing's store a while back - $79 for one of these types of cameras. Anybody here on Slashdot ever try one out?

    • by khr ( 708262 ) <> on Thursday November 05, 2015 @02:08PM (#50871897) Homepage

      I've got the first generation Lytro. It was a nifty toy for a while, but ultimately I wasn't happy with the quality of most of the pictures. Except for in bright sunlight they were all pretty grainy and dark. The changing of the focus is neat on some where something is very close and others are very far, but if everything is middle distance to far, it's not interesting.

      It was very hard to come up with good lightfield images that matched the demo ones on their website.

      Maybe I should take it out again, take a break from walking around with my SLR for a weekend or two, see what I get.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday November 05, 2015 @02:03PM (#50871851)
    10 years ago I thought light field sensors were the future of photography. But in that 10 years, processors (especially GPUs) and camera sensors have advanced so quickly. It's now a race between light field sensors (which are like recording the information a hologram records), versus simply mounting 2+ cameras which take pictures simultaneously and using image processing algorithms to extract the depth info from those pictures instead of recording it directly.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They're not necessarily mutually exclusive. Light fields open up the door to all manner of processing trickery to extract more information out of them, since there's still significant tradeoffs between spatial resolution and viewing angle.

  • because they're essentially holographic

    Judging by the images on the article, this one's also entirely CGI.

  • What the Christ!
    * Dense light field
    * Ultra high bandwidth direct-to-disk capture
    * IT NEEDS ULTRA HIGH BANDWIDTH DIRECT-TO-DISK CAPTURE now if you'll need me I'll be outside getting all the bitches because I have a LYTRO IMMERGE

  • I would think that an array of more normal cameras (say, 16 or so) with a LIDAR scanner would be a better approach. Far more efficient, and the 3D info from the LIDAR should enable you to make good VR imagery.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury