Plenoptic camera maker Lytro has unveiled its first product – the Lytro Light Field Camera. Available in early 2012, the camera will come in 8Gb and 16Gb versions, costing $399 and $499, and capable of storing 350 and 750 images respectively in their internal memory. The cameras feature a 35-280mm equivalent, constant F2 lens with what the company is calling an 11 megaray sensor, that captures photos that can be refocused after shooting. Company Founder and CEO Ren Ng showed us the camera and talked us through the shooting experience.
Lytro, Inc. Unveils the World’s First Consumer Light Field Camera
October 19, 2011 – Lytro, Inc. (www.lytro.com) unveiled the first Lytro consumer light field camera, introducing a new way to take and experience pictures. Unlike conventional cameras, the Lytro light field camera captures all the rays of light in a scene, providing new capabilities never before possible, such as the ability to focus a picture after it’s taken. The pocket-sized camera, which offers a powerful 8x optical zoom and f/2 lens in an iconic design, creates interactive “living pictures” that can be endlessly refocused. The camera is available in two models and three colors, starting at $399.
The Lytro is the only consumer camera that lets people instantly capture a scene just as they see it by recording a fundamentally richer set of data than ever before. Lytro cameras feature a light field sensor that collects the color, intensity, and the direction of every light ray flowing into the camera, capturing a scene in four dimensions. To process this additional information, Lytro cameras contain a light field engine that allows camera owners to refocus pictures directly on the camera. When the Lytro’s living pictures are shared online, the light field engine travels with each picture so anyone can interact with them on nearly any device, including web browsers, mobile phones, and tablets — without having to download special software.
The Lytro’s sleek design was created with simplicity in mind. With no unnecessary modes or dials, the camera features just two buttons — power and shutter — and has an intuitive glass touchscreen that lets pictures be viewed and refocused directly on the camera. While the Lytro camera houses complex technology, it is fundamentally easy to use, opening new creative opportunities for anyone interested in sharing their favorite memories with friends and family.
The Lytro camera’s features include:
- Form follows function: The Lytro’s unique compact design is driven by its 8x optical zoom lens, which features a constant f/2 aperture. The Lytro’s anodized aluminum body is lightweight yet sturdy. At less than eight ounces, the Lytro puts remarkable power in a pocket-sized camera.
- Proprietary light field science: The Lytro is the only camera that captures life in living pictures. Its innovative light field sensor captures 11 million light rays of data (or 11 megarays), including the direction of each ray, something conventional cameras don’t do. The light field engine then processes the data into a picture that is displayed in HD quality.
- Unparalleled speed: The Lytro’s speed ensures that people never miss a moment. It turns on instantly and has an instant shutter. With no need to auto-focus, the Lytro has no shutter delays.
- Low-light sensitivity: By using all of the available light in a scene, the Lytro performs well in low-light environments without the use of a flash.
- Significant storage: The Lytro is available in both 8GB and 16GB models, storing 350 and 750 pictures respectively. In addition, our first camera owners will enjoy free storage for the light field pictures they’ve uploaded to Lytro.com.
- Seeing in 3D: Coming soon! Captured as a full light field, all pictures taken with the Lytro are inherently 3D. Special light field algorithms, available in 2012, will be applied to the light field pictures to enable viewing on any 3D display and to enable viewers to shift the perspective of the scene.
The Lytro light field camera is accompanied by Lytro’s desktop application, a free software download that easily imports pictures from camera to computer. Currently available for Mac OS X, the desktop application lets people view, interact with, organize and share their light field pictures. Lytro pictures can then be uploaded to Lytro.com to be shared via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or as links in email messages. Once shared, Lytro’s living pictures allow viewers to live the moment with the photographer and explore a scene like never before. Viewers can continually interact with Lytro pictures – focusing them over and over – expanding the creative possibilities of each and every shot.
Concepts related to the light field and computational photography have been researched in academic circles for more than a century. Light field science was the subject of Lytro CEO and Founder Dr. Ren Ng’s Ph.D. dissertation in computer science at Stanford, which was awarded the internationally-recognized ACM Dissertation Award in 2007 as well as Stanford University’s Arthur Samuel Award for Best Ph.D. Dissertation. Dr. Ng’s research focused on miniaturizing light field technology into the body of a single camera to make it practical for everyday use.
The digital still camera market is large and growing with $38.3 billion in worldwide revenue in 2010 and expectations to increase to $43.5 billion worldwide by 2015.* Visual storytelling is universal, with 60 billion photos shared on Facebook in 2010, projected to reach 100 billion photos by this summer.
“Light field photography was once only possible with 100 cameras tethered to a supercomputer in a lab,” said Ng. “Today it’s accessible to everyone in a camera that’s small and powerful, but incredibly easy to use. Our goal is to forever change the way people take and experience pictures, and today marks our first major step.”
Pricing & Availability
The Lytro camera is available in two models: 8GB ($399, 350 pictures, in Electric Blue or Graphite) and 16GB ($499, 750 pictures, in Red Hot). It is now available to order at Lytro.com and will ship in early 2012. The Lytro desktop application will be available initially for the Mac operating system; a Windows version will be available in 2012.
For a demonstration of living pictures, visit the Lytro Picture Gallery: www.lytro.com/living-pictures.
* ―Digital Still Cameras: Devices, Features, Lenses, Sensors, and Semiconductors,‖ In-Stat (2011)
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Canon has released a bug-fixing firmware update for its EOS 5D Mark II full-frame DSLR.
This firmware update (Version 2.0.8) incorporates the following changes and fixes.
- Fixes a phenomenon in which movies are not taken at the shooting mode registered in the user’s settings if a shooting mode Aperture priority (or Shutter priority) is registered in any of the camera’s user settings (C1, C2, C3) and the user attempts to shoot a movie.
- Fixes a phenomenon in which the shutter will not release when pressing the shutter button when the auto power off function is set to “on”.
- Fixes a phenomenon in which overexposure occurs when shooting a Live View shooting simulation with the ISO speed set to L.
- Fixes a phenomenon in which the settings of the Speedlite transmitter ST-E2 revert to the default settings when both the camera and the ST-E2 are set to auto power off.
- Fixes a phenomenon in which the Macro Ring Lite (MR-14EX, MT-24EX) and slave flash do not sync while shooting wirelessly.
The Version 2.0.8 firmware being released this time is for cameras with firmware up to Version 2.0.7. If the camera’s firmware is already Version 2.0.8, it is not necessary to update the firmware.
Canon has posted a bug-fixing firmware update for its EOS Rebel XS (1000D) entry-level DSLR. Version 1.0.7 corrects an occasional error in writing to SD cards. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon’s website.
Canon has unveiled the EOS 60D mid-level DSLR, replacing the EOS 50D. However, following the launch of the EOS 7D, the 60D has been repositioned in the market, so isn’t a simple upgrade to its predecessor. Instead the 60D is a smaller camera featuring an articulated screen and plastic body shell and utilizing SD memory cards. It combines the 18MP CMOS sensor and 1040k dot 3.0″ LCD from the EOS 550D (Rebel T2i) with the AF system from the 50D. Meanwhile it gains the 7D’s HD movie capability. We’ve had a chance to use a pre-production 60D so have prepared a hands-on preview, including sample images and movies.
Control, power, creativity – Canon empowers photographers to take the next step with the new EOS 60D
Canon today announces the latest addition to its world-famous EOS series of Digital SLR (DSLR) cameras – the new EOS 60D. Replacing the EOS 50D, the EOS 60D is designed for photographers who want to take their skills to the next level, offering high performance, a series of creative features, a Vari-angle LCD screen and enhanced ergonomics – empowering photography enthusiasts to capture outstanding stills and Full High Definition (HD) video for unique, creative results.
High speed, high resolution
With an 18 Megapixel APS-C sensor, the EOS 60D offers high levels of detail and a magnification of 1.6x the focal length of the lens to capture poster-size images in a variety of aspect ratios*1. Canon’s powerful DIGIC 4 technology rapidly processes image information captured from the CMOS sensor’s four-channel output, providing outstanding colour reproduction, as well as high-speed shooting at 5.3fps in bursts of 58 full-resolution JPEGs.
A standard ISO range of 100-6400 is extendable to 12800, providing smooth images with minimal noise in low light conditions. A 9-point, all cross-type autofocus (AF) system also provides swift and accurate focusing, with an extra-sensitive centre point for lenses faster than f/2.8, allowing photographers to artistically employ a shallow depth of field during portraiture or for more atmospheric shooting.
The EOS 60D features Canon’s iFCL metering system, first introduced with the acclaimed EOS 7D, with a 63-zone Dual-Layer sensor. Information on subject location is gathered from the Auto Focus system, and is combined with colour and luminance readings for consistent accurate exposures whatever the situation. The Integrated Speedlite transmitter also provides in-camera control of multiple EX flash units for more creative lighting.
Shoot from all angles
A new 7.7cm (3.0”) Vari-angle wide LCD monitor features a 3:2 aspect ratio and a 1,040k dot resolution, providing added flexibility and allowing photographers to view their images in incredible detail. The Vari-angle wide LCD helps frame shots from difficult angles, and can be positioned with Live View enabled to achieve the desired composition if shooting isn’t possible using the viewfinder. The ability to capture wildlife portraits, overhead shots or ground-level photography is instantly enhanced, and the surface of the screen features an anti-reflective, water-repellent coating to protect the screen allows easy viewing in bright light and from a variety of angles.
A new Basic + function makes it easy for photographers to add their own creative touch to images without worrying about changing settings. Photographers can add ambiance to a scene by shooting according to lighting and scene type, with Portrait, Landscape, Close-Up, Sport, Night Snapshot or Creative AUTO modes all available. Different effects can be achieved by shooting with Basic + enhancements such as Daylight, Cloudy or Sunset or pre-set Picture Styles including Vivid, Soft, Warm or Monochrome.
Designed to provide power for those who wish to extend their creative vision, the EOS 60D features a host of new functions that help capture better images and in-camera effects to add an extra dimension. The powerful DIGIC 4 processor supports in-camera RAW image processing, allowing photographers to edit settings such as brightness, contrast, white balance or correct distortion or chromatic aberration. The edited image can then be resaved as a JPEG, ready to be printed or uploaded to a PC or the web.
For photographers who want to add post-production effects to their images without the need for expensive software, the EOS 60D also features a range of new creative filters that can be applied in-camera. Filters including Grainy B/W, Soft Focus, Toy Camera Effect and Miniature Effect provide images with a different feel, allowing photographers to create a themed collection – using Grainy B/W to give images a reportage style, for example – or easily smooth skin tone in portraits with Soft Focus.
EOS Movies: Full HD video with complete control
Offering photographers the freedom to go beyond stills, the EOS 60D captures 1920x1080p HD video with a variety of user-selectable frame rates, including 30, 25 and 24fps, as well as 720p video at 60 and 50fps. Movie Crop mode is also available, recording with the central 640×480 pixel area of the sensor to create an effective magnification of approximately seven times the focal length of the lens.
Full manual control in Movie mode allows photographers to employ their own exposure and focus settings and take advantage of the effects achieved from Canon’s wide range of EF lenses. An external stereo microphone terminal and the ability to adjust sound recording level ensures the audio track recorded matches the visual quality of the video, capturing broadcast-quality sound.
For those who want to share images with friends and family, an integrated HDMI port is compatible with Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC), allowing video and images to be viewed on any compatible HD-ready TV and controlled via the TV remote.
Designed for flexibility
The EOS 60D features a completely redesigned body, combining an ergonomically enhanced, curved shape with a new button layout to make it quick and comfortable for photographers to change settings. Frequently used camera controls are grouped together for easy access, while the Quick Control Dial, Multi-controller and SET button have all been merged into one Multi Control Dial, enabling photographers to operate menus and enter settings quickly using their thumb. The mode dial also features a lock button, preventing unintentional changes to settings mid-shoot.
A dedicated Quick Control access button allows photographers to instantly reach the most common shooting settings and playback controls. Customising the functions of a number of buttons is also possible, allowing photographers to tailor the camera to suit their individual needs. To help achieve landscapes with perfectly level horizons, a horizontal Electronic Level can be displayed in the viewfinder or in Live View to assist composition and remove any potential need for post-production correction.
The EOS 60D is one of the latest Canon models to support high-capacity SDXC memory cards, providing up to 2TB of available space, allowing photographers to keep shooting HD video and full resolution RAW and JPEG stills without changing cards. For better management of larger image libraries on the camera, EOS 60D photographers can add a rating of 1 to 5 to their favourite images, allowing them to be easily located and viewed on-screen. Once transferred from the camera to a PC, the tags can also be viewed using a number of image editing and management programs, including Canon’s DPP software.
Share the moment
For photographers who want to transfer content wirelessly, the EOS 60D includes Eye-Fi connected functions*2. The EOS 60D features a dedicated Eye-Fi section in the User Interface allowing WiFi functionality to be turned off when not required to save battery life
EOS 60D features at a glance:
- 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- Advanced creative features with Basic +
- Vari-angle 7.7cm (3.0”) 3:2 ratio LCD
- Full HD movies with manual control
- DIGIC 4
- ISO 100-6400, H:12800
- 5.3fps shooting for up to 58 JPEGs
- 9-point cross type AF System
- iFCL metering with 63-zone Dual-layer Sensor
- Integrated Speedlite transmitter
- In-camera RAW processing
*1 1:1, 16:9, 4:3 in addition to the standard 3:2 dimension
*2 This product is not guaranteed to support Eye-Fi card functions (including wireless transfer). In case of an issue with an Eye-Fi card, please check with the card manufacturer. Also note that approval is required to use Eye-Fi cards in many countries or regions. Without approval, use of the card is not permitted. If it is unclear whether the card has been approved for use in the area, please check with the card manufacturer.
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Canon has posted a firmware update for its EOS 7D digital SLR. Firmware v1.2.2 fixes AF point selection and display bugs occuring under specific shooting conditions, and also addresses an error in movie mode. It also corrects misspellings in the Spanish and Thai language menus. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon’s website.
Canon has posted a firmware update for its EOS 7D digital SLR. Firmware v1.2.1 brings in both improvements and fixes bugs such as the magenta banding that can appear in still images shot under specific conditions in movie mode. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon’s website.
The following improvements and fixes have been incorporated.
- The camera will allow a longer period of operation before the high temperature warning indicator is displayed, and automatic shut down of the camera occurs, during Live View or when using EOS Movie functions.
- When Auto ISO is used and Program Shift is applied, the ISO setting will be more stable and not change as frequently when the Main Dial is rotated.
- Corrects a misspelling in the French-language menu.
- Corrects a phenomenon in which vertical magenta-colored banding appears in still images taken in movie-shooting mode.
This only occurs when in Manual exposure mode and when the ISO speed is set to “H”. Note that this phenomenon only affects units with Firmware Version 1.2.0.
(Only for products with French menu options.)
Canon has released firmware v2.0.4 for its 5D Mark II DSLR that corrects the bug found in the previous version. With v2.0.3, sound recording would not work if a manual record volume was used in the C1/C2/C3 custom settings modes. The revised firmware update addresses the issue and is now available for download from Canon’s website
Canon has finally released the video-related firmware for its 5D Mark II DSLR. Firmware v2.0.3 adds more video options and is now available for immediate download via Canon’s website.
- Adds or changes the following movie frame rates.
1920×1080 : 30 fps (changed – actual 29.97 fps)
1920×1080 : 24 fps (added – actual 23.976 fps)
640×480 : 30 fps (changed – actual 29.97 fps)
1920×1080 : 25 fps (added – actual 25.0 fps)
1920×1080 : 24 fps (added – actual 23.976 fps)
640×480 : 25 fps (added – actual 25.0 fps)
- Adds a function for manually adjusting the sound recording level (64 levels).
- Adds a histogram display (brightness or RGB) for shooting movies in manual exposure.
- Adds shutter-priority AE mode (Tv) and aperture-priority AE (Av) mode to the exposure modes for shooting movies.
- Changes the audio sampling frequency from 44.1 KHz to 48 KHz.
- Fixes a phenomenon where communication between the camera and the attached lens is sometimes interrupted after manual sensor cleaning. (This phenomenon only affects units with Firmware Version 1.2.4.)
It is recommended that you use the latest Canon applications* to edit movies captured with EOS 5D Mark II cameras that have the latest firmware because some previous versions do not support movie-editing functions and the frame rates that are added or changed by the latest firmware.
In addition to the enhancements to the movie function, the accompanying instruction manual has also been revised. Users are asked to download both the latest firmware and the latest instruction manual.
*ZoomBrowser EX Version 6.5.0 or later (compatible operating systems : Windows XP/Vista/7)
ImageBrowser Version 6.5.0 or later (compatible operating systems : Mac OS X v10.4/10.5/10.6
Canon has posted a firmware update for its Rebel T1i / EOS 500D digital SLR. Version 1.1.0 brings improvements to live view shooting and fixes bugs in the English, Arabic and Swedish language menus. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon’s website.