Will Olympus go Lytro?


I guess you all know the Lytro camera (cameras at amazon here, official website here). In short it’s a camera that doesn’t need to focus and also allows you to interactively change your point of view in a picture. And Olympus just patented a smart idea where you use an adapter between your MFT lens and camera to capture Lytro alike images! The adapter has a built-in special micro-lens array. This is really a smart idea! You can use all current MFT cameras and lenses to create a dramatically different kind of photo! If they really do that this would create a quantum leap advantage over the competition! What do you think?

You can see the price and specs of current Lytro cameras at Amazon (Click here)

Would you buy such an adapter?

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Found via Egami.

  • Twister

    Wow! I really like the idea!

  • great idea, well found @admin :)it seems to be Oly, Panny and Sony are the ones with tricks up their sleeves….

    • RetiredDP

      The problem with the existing Lytro camera, and the reason I didn’t buy one, was that the resolution on the array was VERY low. If Olympus develops an array,under license, which sustains the Olympus’s 16MB resolution, I’ll buy one. If the array retains the same amateurish resolution of the Lytro cameras, I won’t touch it.

      • fred s

        same here.

  • Hubertus Bigend

    Interesting find.

    Doesn’t look like that’s a Micro Four Thirds mount, though.

  • J Shin

    > built-in Lytro alike sensor

    Looks to me like there is an array of minilenses, rather than a built-in sensor? Clever.

    I want to hear from people have been using the Lytro. I assume there is a compromise-loss in resolution, contrast, etc.

  • PC

    You guys realize this completely kills resolution right?
    The Lytro camera produces something like a 1080×1080 image (1.2MP).

    • adaptor-or-die

      But the Lytro sensor is a tiny little thing, that is why it really hasn’t gone anywhere except as an interesting concept. This is a Lytro-like Lens and adapter that uses your MFT body’s larger sensor. What I have seen of Lytro’s concept is interesting, resolution is lacking because the system isn’t worth bothering with. Expand that up to a 4:3 sensor with 16Mp and you have a lot of happy people that don’t have to focus. That’s a pretty big potential market.

      This could draw the cellphone crowd, the P&S crowd. It almost seems too hip to come from Olympus? Hipster Instagram types will suck it right up.

    • J Shin

      Yeah, I just saw that. That’s hardly adequate even for snap shots, and the image samples don’t seem that impressive. Might as well shoot video with varying focus…

      But would this technology have more promise with higher resolution sensors and higher resolution lens array? Does anyone know Lytro’s “raw” resolution?

      • MarcoSartoriPhoto

        Hi J! I joined 43rumors group on Flickr. I’d like other users will join and post their photos, so that we can “know” each other through our shots. Admin could write it in a “a little bit of everything..” and do a shout-out!

  • Salty

    Wow this could represent the same kind of quantum leap in the way that we take and view photographs that Panasonics 12.5mm F12 3D lens has.

    Can’t wait to not buy it.

    • Paul Latouche

      Sadly, I think you’re right.

  • Doffer

    I don’t mean to sound negative but wouldn’t it be quite hard to compose a picture that looks good no matter what you choose to focus on afterwards? It would be ok in some pictures but kinda useless in most I think. Good for correcting photos or in another type of camera perhaps. It seems to me that the trade-off is too big at the moment. :/

  • NotRightNow

    Are you kidding me? There’s a reason Lytro camera has been a complete failure and hasn’t been widely adopted. Light Field Theory doesn’t work well in practice and auto-focus has gotten so ridiculously fast on “conventional” cameras and accurate that multi-focus is a non-issue. I hope it’s just R&D and not a concrete product right now.

    • Anonymous

      Why? Will someone force you to buy it?

  • Curzon

    It could be interesting in movie mode too, no?

  • Renato S.

    And then Olympus will give this to Sony implement in their NEX system…

  • MarcoSartoriPhoto

    The downsides of lytro files are:
    1-you need to post photos in their own program/album otherwise you can’t see the change of focus.
    2-dowloading files takes a lot of time compared to whatever file of any other camera.
    3-Resolution is poor

    STILL I find it an interesting tech, at least for creative purposes.

    Not long before before dying, Steve Jobs visited Lytro offices: he was curious to see if that technology could be put into some of his iDevices.

  • ssgreenley

    I think it’s really exciting, and just like the body cap lens, art filters, and IBIS, seems like the sort of new technology that Olympus likes to take risks on (with the caveat that sometimes they don’t quite work out). We live in interesting times for photography.

  • MIN

    I think software & eletronics can simulate optics but they can never replace them. Once something like this were released, there would be hot discussion about which way ist better.

  • Thomas

    Having looked at a few Lytro pictures, they seem to just have two focuses – near and far. It is pioneering technology and may give rise to something useful eventually, but at the moment the end result is basically indistinguishable from taking 2 pictures in quick sucession with different focus points. I guess that it would be fairly easy for someone adept at tweaking firmware to create a burst mode that does that, perhaps with a configurable number of steps between close-up & infinity – essentially an automated focus stack. Does this mode exist already on some cameras? – it sounds like it should.

    • About every canon p&s that is supported by the cdhk can do that already.

  • adaptor-or-die

    To simplify Lytro. It’s sort of the direct opposite of pinhole, which gives you extremely wide DoF. Lytro gives you shallow DoF but through the entire range as well … and to do that it has to layer all that shallow DoF [aka light field] The downside then is you need software to reveal that aspect as you can’t view all the shallow DoF at once, you have to “move” back and forth through it.

    Saying all that, it sort of boils down to Bokeh for Dummies. Just as a short FL pinhole gives you P&S clarity, Lytro gives you all the choices of shallow DoF in one shot. It reminds me of those Static images as a kid, that had a fresnel lens in plastic over them so as you moved your viewing angle, the image would, ‘animate’ Sort of an early analogue GIF … interesting, but not all that useful.

  • gl

    A more interesting solution without the resolution loss is a depth sensing system, where each pixel also records how far away the subject is. With that (and if you shoot high DOF) you can apply bokeh entirely in post, and with any shape you like. Then DOF becomes another RAW style decision you make later.

    High resolution depth sensing cameras will change everything, kinda strange we don’t have them yet (though we have the lo-res Kinect, and they are coming to phones and tablets but mainly for face/hand tracking).

  • If they can make this work, it would be fantastic, great for MF lenses, shoot first, focus later. Yes, resolution could be a problem, but if around 5 Mpx, it would be OK. Most MF lenses aren’t sharpness champions anyway… I’m definitely interested.

  • lorenzaccio

    mh… afaik, litro pics require a huge amount of date to create low-res pics. It could be interesting in the future as a way to correct misfocused pics, but definitively not for creating a succesful composition, where you should actually see and evaluate on spot what the final image will look like…
    (in few words: as useful as a PS trick for correcting exposure; what’s next?)

  • ggr

    Totally off subject but the site really could use some editing. Typos are constant.

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