Google, it seems, is acquiring Lytro. Yes, the company that made that crazy light field camera and then got out of photography to move into VR and cinema is being snapped up. In a deal which TechCrunch report to be worth either $40mil or $25mil, depending on who you ask, Google will pick up the company in an “asset sale”. Presumably, this will include the 59 patents related to light-field and imaging technology which Lytro owns.
It’s been a while since Lytro decided to abandon the world of photography and focus on the video solutions. But their latest announcement is another step towards exiting the consumer photography market. As of this month, they are discontinuing their pictures.lytro.com image sharing platform. This means their users won’t be able to share the native refocusable light-field photos online. Also, if your “living” images are embedded somewhere, they won’t be viewable any longer.
We first mentioned Lytro’s Immerge virtual reality camera last year. Incorporating their light field technology at its core, it has a very unique appearance resembling something more suited to the set of a sci-fi movie. In the original concept video introducing us to Immerge, the demons shown were mockups.
Now, Lytro have released live action VR footage of the system working, and they’re taking us to the moon. One of the technologies that Lytro showed off with its cinema camera was keying out subjects without the need for a green screen. This is also being applied here to separate the foreground from the background.
The dual pixel sensor of the 5D Mark IV has two main functions. One is to improve the accuracy of the autofocus. The other gives you slight focus adjustment capabilities in post – a bit like Lytro. The latter is called dual pixel raw. At the moment (well, for those who already have a 5D Mark IV), the dual pixel raw feature is only available to users of Canon’s own software; Digital Photo Professional.
However, Cnet are reporting that Adobe have confirmed they’re adding the 5D Mark IV’s dual pixel raw technology into Lightroom. Presumably, this also includes Adobe Camera Raw. Adobe’s spokesman, Roman Skuratovskiy said “We’re working on it”, but did not specify when this update might be available.
We all saw the big announcement a couple of weeks ago about Lytro’s new Cinema camera, but the folks over at No Film School sat down to have a more in-depth discussion with Lytro’s Head of Light Field Video, John Karafin, and got an exclusive look into some of the features and abilities of the Lytro Cinema camera system.
With a 755MP sensor offering 16 stops of dynamic range and framerates of up to 300fps, one could be forgiven for thinking that these were the most impressive points about this camera, but it barely begins to scratch the surface.
While Lytro might’ve exited stage left from the world of photography, they’ve set their sights on Hollywood and they’re looking real hard, as is their new camera.
Lytro Cinema is the world’s Light Field solution for film and television. This technological breakthrough capture system allows filmmakers to do things that simply haven’t been possible before, and may completely eliminate the need for techniques like green screen chroma keying, as well as a host of other feats.
Lytro just announced the first ever Light field virtual reality camera. This is an interesting shift in direction for a company that on one really got what they were doing. While their previous cameras were somewhat gimiky, this new camera may actually have real application in the emerging VR production world.
Immerge, a spherical camera captures light coming from every direction, creating a representation of the world outside the sphere. Unlike other spherical capture devices that we’ve seen, Immerge not only captures an image of its surrounding, but also records the depth information of each object around it.
We’ve seen previous unveilings of post-focusing cameras, such as the Lytro Illum, which allow the user to change the focus of the image after it’s already captured. And, a year ago, Sony even jumped on the bandwagon by acquiring their own patent for similar technology.
Now, according to reports, all Panasonic 4K-compatible cameras released in the next year will have built-in focus adjustment capabilities. Booyah.
I’ve been quietly rooting for Lytro since they introduced their field camera, but the young, innovative camera company has never really been able to raise the kind of interest and momentum needed to make a name for itself as one of the leading camera manufacturers. But, that doesn’t mean the company is ready to give up just yet. Early this week, Lytro made an announcement to their staff that the company has recently secured $50M in new funding to further develop the brand.[Read More…]
Lytro’s one of the few companies out there that are pioneering in what’s called “light field” technology; their light field sensors basically take in massive amounts of data and process them into a small picture that you can interact with. The final result helps achieve a sort of post-focusing effect you’d find in Google Camera’s Lens Blur or the HTC One M8’s double-sensor camera. Back about two months ago, Lytro announced a camera called the Illum – one of the first major steps in making a camera like that reality while keeping the specs a bit up to date.
But right now, the technology’s still in its growing stages. The Illum is a first, but at the same time it’s retaining a hefty price tag of around $1500. It’s needless to say that there’s still a lot left to be done with this technology before it can actually be that profitable. Just recently, Sony took a big step for the future of light field sensors by grabbing their own patent for light field sensors. According to the patent [warning, geeky read], apparently Sony has a way to get past some of the limitations that light field sensors bring to the rest of the technology implemented in. Put that together with the fact that this is Sony we’re talking about, which both has the tech power and the market interest, and you’ve got a pretty promising look at what the future might hold for these new sensors.