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That Crazy 4D Camera Becomes a $399 Reality as RED Works on a Professional Motion Version

10.23.11 @ 1:26PM Tags : , , , ,

Remember that crazy 4D camera that lets you refocus after the fact? After the initial teaser, the Lytro has now gone official, with a $399 list price ($499 model also on the way) and “early 2012″ availability. A hands-on demo of the oddly-shaped consumer camera is after the jump, but as I asked in the original post, are there motion and professional applications of this technology? Well, turns out there are, and RED just dropped a hint that they’ve already got a prototype.

First, here’s the Lytro in action:

RED’s CEO Jim Jannard referenced this very camera, saying:

One thing I will say is that we are working on multiple focus and depth map (think Lytros) but with wicked high resolution… The prototype is incredible.

Jim goes on to say, “multiple focus and depth map in a high resolution camera is the least important of what we are working on,” dropping the nugget about their other forthcoming products that “[the] good news is that everything is upgradeable.” This would seem to indicate that RED’s previous strategy of restricting future sensor upgrades (ala the M-X chip upgrade for the RED ONE) to the EPIC is no longer the case, and that SCARLET will be eligible for forthcoming sensor advances. We’ll see in two weeks on November 3rd.

[via Engadget]


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Description image 24 COMMENTS

  • The people behind all this are surely appriciable….
    but why dont you all use this god gifted precious mind discovering something useful for protecting our mother earth….;-)

  • This will take the industry to a whole new level

  • The website says, “You need a Mac to import and edit your pictures”.

    Interesting, I wonder what is special about Mac O.S. that is needed for these types of pictures.

    • i am guessing that you are a PC Mac haas more professional uses and the software was properly made for mac only

      • but a windows app is currently in development

      • huh?

        PC has just as many “professional” uses.
        And to be honest PC has a much larger market share, it would make more sense to make a PC version of the software first.

        but more sense to do both versions at release…

        • Alec Sprinkle on 10.24.11 @ 10:26AM

          I’m a huge mac guy, but … this.

          Back in the day, I could understand people buying macs for their graphic design / etc capabilities, but they’re pretty much the same computers now.

  • “…allows you to capture all the light, in every direction, at every point in space…”

    wait whaaa!? And at only 60gb!!!

    Well, not sure how scientifically true that statement is but, This is going to be a hugely awesome feature for video in the future. As much as I am sure it would add to the “we can fix that in post” mentality, I am sure it will also save many shots.

    One thing that get’s my mind thinking is all the data that gets stored for each image, in theory, would also hold some sort of data about the depth. That data could potentially be used extract 3D data.

  • High resolution depth map? That’d be amazing. Wonder if you could use that instead of chroma key, with multiple elements even…

    • I like your thinking Alex :-)

      I may have dismissed this somewhat as a consumer gimmick (albeit a very cool one) but if Red is going down this path which you would assume means ditto sony / Canon etc…then wow. The potential for pro use could be mind blowing.

  • R.I.P focus pullers….af/mf lenses.. and the whole thing

    • That’s the question though – how well will this work on an S35 sensor with something equivalent to an 85mm lens at T2? Its one thing to make small focus adjustments when your image has such a large DOF to begin with…readjusting a wafer thin sliver of a focus plane while everything else blows out into creamy bokeh goodness? Now THAT I would like to see :-)

  • When I first heard about the Lytro I thought about it’s application in video and cinema. The next thing I thought was that Red would probably be the best people to get something like this out – purely because they specialize in making cinema cameras that encourage as many adjustments in post as possible. Imagine the day that we won’t need to expose, white balance, zoom, or focus our cameras…

    • They’re certainly taking steps to make sure the user has as much creative flexibility as possible with their equipment… I’m sure some purists will argue against this by saying it takes the skill out of shooting but it may be the inverse… What it will do is save you a lot of time and money if re shoots would’ve been necessary due to a focus or exposure issue… Gotta love metadata! That and I’m sure producers will love to hear that pretty ,uh any issue can be taken care of …

  • Anyone know how many megapixels the picture files are?

  • Man, why is it soooo much bullshit talk and not enough SUBSTANCE… as in SHOW ME the damn thing and stop talking about buttons and ‘world-first crap, etc.’ I could have done and said everything she did in less than 60 seconds !

    Wake me up when there is a video version. This cam has not much use but a gimmic DOF.

  • this is super cool. i want one!

  • when did this happen!? i was blown away by the new go pro but this is just from the future!

  • Mind…. Officially…. Blown…. This little guy is seriously heavy in cool factor and has some incredible implications for the future of the digital film world if someone like red already has a prototype created…. Can’t wait to see what happens as this develops.