Thursday, August 21 2014

Lytro Illum: 30 second review
[12:59:53] matt []/Psi.cor I finally picked-up my Lytro Illum Camera after its shipment delay (due to "technical difficulties at the fulfillment center") and found enough time to write-up my initial impressions after fooling around with it for a short time. Since I haven't really tried to take any real shots with it yet—the camera on paper is about on par for 2-D photographically with a 2001 Canon EOS-1D or a 2003 Nikon D2H. ISO at 2300 looked (subjectively) as good as the 2006 Canon EOS 20D at 1600 as a rough guide at noise control (although the much newer Leica X2 also doesn't like shooting above ISO 1600).

Friday, May 25 2012

Dissapointed with the Lytro Camera
[06:27:28] matt []/Psi.generay I split time on my recent vacation in Japan between my DSLR and my Lytro camera. I had some dedicated days where I just used the Lytro, and it was the only camera I carried with me. Other times, I carried it once I'd put the DSLR away. It has some bennefits, but I don't think I'll keep it as a real back-up, even over my main phone's fixed-focus camera. Prox has similarly indicated he's not enthused about it, to the point he's going to sell his.

Walking around, my impression was that it was hard to see the LCD in actual light to frame a photo; if you're using it for the touted bennefit of shoot-first, focus later, the difficult with framing on the small screen while squinting in daylight causes the process to take longer than most camera's would with auto-focus. As has been mentioned in every amateur photographery review of the device, there are no manual exposure controls at all, and I couldn't find a means of AE-lock either, which means you're at the mercy of the environments for the final exposure unless you're shooting in a studio. And if you're in the studio, you can use a tripod and take several much higher-quality shots at different focus points and create the same depth perspective (at least until Lytro adds 3D modeling based on the depth-map which would be much more difficult with the in-studio fakes).

Since I didn't bring my hefty Mac OSX laptop (another drawback is that the camera is basically tied to its proprietary closed software to convert photos from the device to a rendered lightweight version) I looked at the photos on the device, and my reaction was that the results were much better than I had expected, while many shots from indoors in non-ideal lighting were blurry, and night shots were very noisy. Many however included frustrating white balance settings which were also not within the user's control. Still, I felt like maybe I'd underestimated its bennefits as small little camera.

However, after getting home and looking at the final results on a computer (extracting the JPEG files and looking at full size) it again was dissapointing. Downsampling from the 1024x1024 square (I like square film, so I was quite happy with this) could probably fix the blockiness, and banding perceptually, but it's clear that this isn't something you'll want to look at blown-up or even larger than a 4x4 if printed. Again to be fair to Lytro, they've said as much.

Monday, April 26 2010

[17:29:35] matt []/kerberos It's estimated that Apple has sold just over a million iPads to date. Since buyers are likely to have a lot of disposable income and not much sense, they make a great target for e-criminals. ®