Lytro Camera Released (and some of my thoughts about it)

It's out. Orders are being accepted. And shipments will start next year.

The only thing I can be happy or excited about it is the fact that it is available for orders, but not that I'm buying one. I'm just excited to see more of it.



Having seen the camera online, I can list a a lot of things wrong with it. It's so disappointing for something that's supposed to be so revolutionary and innovative. I've summed them up into two points -

1) The camera design - it doesn't event look like a camera. I'm really wondering why they chose that stupid look. It doesn't look cool, it's not ergonomically designed (it looks like your hands and wrists are gonna get tired easily after several shots) and the screen is too small. Today's gadget game is all about bigger and bigger screens. It's a camera, you're supposed to look at pictures after you take them. Why would you put in such a tiny screen there? It's cool that you can use the screen to choose a focus point within the camera but how can you enjoy that and appreciate it fully if the screen is so small? They're hurting their biggest (and probably ONLY) selling point.

2) No support for photographers and photo enthusiasts - aside from a few pieces of information available, practically everything is unknown about the camera. Their website says that it has 8x zoom and a constant f/2 aperture and that it gathers 11 million light rays. That's it.

First, what the hell are "light rays?" Is that even a standard unit of measurement? There is no information on sensor size, ISO capabilities, shutter speed, lens focal lenght, etc... Already, pro photographers are not taking a liking to this camera and with this lack of information, it doesn't look like these photogs are gonna change their mind anytime soon. I guess they're new in the business, but a tip for Lytro - if you're making a camera, make sure you impress photographers and enthusiasts.

It seems that they are marketing this as a "gimick" camera - just shoot and worry about focusing later. It looks like they are targeting the casual shooters. I guess they feel that the "serious shooter" market is already dominated by big names like Canon and Nikon. That's fair. Fair, but sad. It's like they are putting up a wall and limiting the possibilities for the technology. Imagine if this kind of feature is available on a DSLR, think of the possibilities.

Also, I don't think that that camera design is going to attract the casual shooters -or any kind of shooters for that matter. It's just plain ugly.

---

On another note, I don't understand why some pro photographers are finding it hard to wrap their heads around the idea and technology behind the camera. As I've said, I think it's just an extended kind of RAW image. I guess they are being turned off by the gimmicky marketing approach and the fact that it pretty much can't do anything else aside from the ability to focus after shooting. If you think about it, paying the price of an expensive point-and-shoot for one feature alone is expensive and the camera doesn't even look cool. But I digress. These pros need to widen their horizons a little bit and stop being locked-up in their full-function, high-powered equipment and professional photography world. It makes them look and sound like elitists. They won't be able to appreciate the trivial, simple quirky little things about photography. Which is what probably drew them in in the first place.

I really hope that the technology is improved and it won't get in a walled garden state. For the sake of photography, I hope that the same technology is made available to big name brands because let's face it, Lytro won't be doing much with it considering its approach to photography and tenure in the field.