Lytro...the evaluation

Discussion in 'Photography' started by philo, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. philo

    philo Guest

    I am sure I have mentioned here that a few months back I purchased a
    Lytro. Knowing full well that being the first in line with new
    technology is not always a prudent choice...I was so curious that I bit.
    The price was low enough that it was not much of a gamble. (It turned
    out to be a hell of a better deal than the Facbook stock I purchased)

    My wife and I have just returned from our yearly excursion to NY
    and I have the results.


    My background:
    I specialize in candid shot of people. Though I never try to hide my
    camera...I never like to make it obvious I am using it...I tend to hold
    the camera and "shoot from the hip".

    Though my 50D does a great job...I don't always manage to aim it right.
    I also have an occasional problem in that the auto-focus may zero in on
    something other than my intended subject.


    My theory was that I would be able to aim the small Lytro better...
    and that focus would not be a problem as I could focus the image
    after I took the shot.


    My results were quite a bit different than what I expected.


    First off, I was really no better at aiming the Lytro that I was the
    50D...however virtually no one recognized the Lytro as a camera! I found
    that I could easily walk up to people and just about point it in their
    face and they rarely even noticed. That would of course been impossible
    with any other type of camera. I ended up getting a shot of a very
    unusual face that I never would have attempted with a recognizable
    camera. For that shot alone it may have been worth it.All in all though,
    most of my best shots were still done with my 50D.

    BTW: Though we spent a full week in the most populated areas of
    Manhattan I did not see one other person with a Lytro...
    but a handful of people did recognize it and ask me questions about it.


    I also found out that I enjoy working with the "live images"
    and being able to focus in on different areas. My favorite shots
    are of rain through glass...or walking on a rainy day being able to view
    distant objects or zero in on the rain on the umbrella I was under.



    For those who have not seen them, here is a link to a few of my recent
    NY shots (I have not included the unusual face though)


    https://pictures.lytro.com/philo/stories/37613#
     
    philo, Jun 2, 2012
    #1
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  2. philo

    Alan Browne Guest

    I enjoyed that collection, some interesting compositions. The
    reflection off the asphalt/pooled water is very pleasing.

    Many of the photos were not playing to the strengths of the Lytro. Esp.
    those that you "shot from the hip" in movement with less than great
    lighting. Really shows the limitations of the device (though that's not
    unexpected).

    As I've mentioned in the past some images show that the camera is
    perhaps not set up correctly in terms of depth of capture (a term I use
    for the Lytro) while others do so brilliantly. I too like the shots
    through rain dotted windows.
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 2, 2012
    #2
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  3. philo

    RichA Guest

    You could be the next Eric Salomon! Sneak into political meetings and
    take surreptitious images! As a spy cam, it might be interesting, but
    most of the images at their scale could be duplicated I think with a
    small P&S, given their level of sharpness (when focus was selected for
    a certain scene). But if clandestine images are your thing, they make
    video and still image pens, watches and other non-camera items.
     
    RichA, Jun 2, 2012
    #3
  4. philo

    philo Guest

    Correct...I did not make any customized depth of field shots.
    I am still learning. Though it has limitations of course...
    I am glad I have one more tool in my "belt"
     
    philo, Jun 2, 2012
    #4
  5. philo

    philo Guest


    Although I will not be buying a new camera anytime soon...
    I think what I really need is a camera (such as Nikon) that has a tilt
    out viewing screen.
     
    philo, Jun 2, 2012
    #5
  6. I was impressed even if the full "refocussing" is not demonstrated very
    well with many of the pictures. This may well have been answered before
    but how large can a sharp print be made? How many dots per inch would it
    be at, say, 8x10?
     
    James Silverton, Jun 2, 2012
    #6
  7. philo

    philo Guest


    Yes...even though many of the shots were really not "refocusable" I
    still liked them for what they were.

    The jpg extraction software provided by Lytro is still in the
    preliminary phases and is really very limited.

    The jps are only 1080 x 1080 and about the largest print one could hope
    to get would be 8" x 8" (or perhaps 7" x 7")

    If one would just take a screen shot, you would get better results than
    the software provided. Lytro claims they are working on it and their
    first efforts were directed more toward their "ive images"


    I did find a site where some guy wrote his own jpg extraction software
    but it's more for geeks such as myself who use Linux.
    I took his code and compiled it on my Linux machine and found it worked
    pretty well...but still about an 8" x 8" print is about the best one can
    get.


    So though it's possible to get a decent print...it won't be a large one
     
    philo, Jun 2, 2012
    #7
  8. philo

    Alan Browne Guest

    I'm not sure how many pixels wide and tall one can get out of it. The
    way it's presented on screen (which is really the way it's meant to be,
    paper is so 20th century) would result in an 8x10 being printed at a
    measly 50 dpi (±). Would not look all that great unless held at arms
    length - so may as well print smaller.

    Philo: what's the on-computer "JPG" size (pixels) of the image you get
    out (not the lytro.com presented version). eg: can you get larger than
    the 550 (more or less) pixels that lytro.com presents?
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 2, 2012
    #8
  9. philo

    philo Guest



    It's actually 1080 x 1080
    translating to the real world though...not quite as good as my (first
    digital) 1 megapixel camera which actually could give you a decent 8 x
    10 print
     
    philo, Jun 2, 2012
    #9
  10. philo

    Alan Browne Guest


    Ah yes - I recall now. Have you printed from it to date?
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 2, 2012
    #10
  11. philo

    philo Guest



    Yes I made an 8" x 8" print that was pretty good.
    I think realistically a 7" x 7" would have been the maximum for a "show
    quality" image
     
    philo, Jun 2, 2012
    #11
  12. philo

    Alan Browne Guest

    Sufficient. I've been to shows with small prints - did not detract from
    their quality of impact.
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 2, 2012
    #12
  13. philo

    philo Guest


    Funny side note:

    I have often wished that my photography was as crystal clear as that
    usually seen in photography books. Then I realized that if I made my
    prints the 3 or 4" that are in the books, they'd be that clear too
     
    philo, Jun 2, 2012
    #13
  14. philo

    Alan Browne Guest

    Broke the code!
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 2, 2012
    #14
  15. philo

    philo Guest

    :)
     
    philo, Jun 2, 2012
    #15
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