After over two years of waiting…
Around ten years ago, Hubert told me about a new light-field camera technology that he saw demoed. When that was productized as the Lytro camera, I pre-ordered it. After a bit of thought, I cancelled my pre-order. Why didn’t I do that this time?
It’s because back then, I thought original Lytro was marketed for non-photographers and capturing light fields meant that it would be a long time before it was ready for serious photography. This time, even though the L16 is poorly marketed and may flop, I sincerely feel that this camera is meant for someone like me.
It’s worth a shot (pardon the pun).
This camera is not ready for prime time. Right now, even though it has a lot more potential, the only thing it can do is change the focal length to emulate a wide aperture photography, a la “portrait mode” on mobile phones.
After work that day, Marie and I went down to Tia Margarita for dinner and I took the camera along. Marie was not amused at how long it was taking me to figure out my new camera.
This image was processed on my MacBook Pro using the latest Lumen beta which had only been updated days before. The lighting was terrible so you can’t fault the camera for not doing the best, especially in such an early iteration of the software. The software still needs a lot of work in noise reduction—it’s too aggressive overall but allows a lot of color noise (c.f. her sweater). 47 megapixels really isn’t useful when the lighting is this bad. I’ll probably export to DNG and do that sort of processing outside Lumen.
You can also see the image processing is having issues of merging the focusing data near her cheek, which I could have fixed in Lumen.
Now for the obligatory instagram photo:
This is surprisingly good given the effective ISO going into cell phone units and the fact that it is closer than the close focusing limit of some of the elements of the camera. Again, in the future, I’ll probably have to add Lightroom to the workflow to improve the images.
For reference, I took a photo with my iPhone X just before I rotated the plate and took the photo above.
You get an idea of just how difficult the lighting is.
It’s a start. I’ll try to take more photographs and see how it goes.