April 29, 2016 at 11:14PM, Edited April 29, 11:26PM

0

Will Lytro replace traditional sensors?

So I am sure you`ve all seen the new Lytro camera announced at NAB and also featured here on NFS..
Now I want to know whether or not you guys think the new light field technology will replace the traditional sensors as we know them and how that would change the industry?
What will Canon, Sony, Panasonic and all the other camera manufacturers do?

This topic and camera just really fascinates me and I´d love to hear your opinion on this!

Check out Ryan`s article and Interview with Lytro: http://nofilmschool.com/2016/04/lytro-cinema-camera-cinematography-demo

9 Comments

Lytro seems to be amazing. It's increadible what you can to today with a camera system.

But it also has some downsides.
1. File sizes: Your shooting 755 megapixel raw up to 300 fps which would give you about 315 GB per second of video (if you don't have any compression). And you also need a strong computer (like the NASA mainframe) to handle the files and to work with them and in the end also to render them.

2. Camera size: have you seen that camera on the picutres. It's bigger than a 35mm film camera. And proably much heavier. It will be reserved for big hollywood productions in the first place.

3. Price: Todays top cameras (Red Epic Weapon, Arri Alexa 65, etc.) cost a huge amount of money or are rent only (Arri Alexa 65 2.000 € per day body only). The lytro system would cost you a view millions I gues. Yes it's still a prototype but it won't become cheaper in the next one or two decades.

April 30, 2016 at 2:57AM

1
Reply
avatar
Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2105

But just like they mentioned in the video..
It was like that with computers when they came out too so I´d say lets just wait and see what happens in the next couple years!

April 30, 2016 at 4:29PM, Edited April 30, 4:29PM

0
Reply
avatar
Robert Zinke
Blogger / DP / VFX Artist
134

The problem is that they trust in Moore's law. That every 20 months (±4) the amount of transistors in a computer system doubles from it's predecessor. But manufactors have reached the edge of what is possible to build.
At the moment the smallest transistors we can build are from Intel and about 14 nanometres large. It's possible the reach about 8 nm but if it's going to be smaller the transistors enter the quantum level of particel physics. They would not work in the way as they are supposed to.
The only way to get more performance out of a computer is then to make it bigger. If it would be possible the NASA would build it's mainframe computers in the size of a normal tower PC. But they cannot do that because each transistor would be shrinked down to the size of 0.0001 angstrom (for comparison a hidrogen atom is about 1 angstrom).
You would have to wait for quantum computers and that takes som centuries until they will be ready for allday use.
Unless you are a billionare (you cannot buy a computer with such power with millions) or have access to the NASA's mainframe the lytro technology is reserved for the big players.

May 1, 2016 at 4:33AM

0
Reply
avatar
Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2105

I think it's very much possible, while I hate to say it. The biggest thing is getting the file sizes down. By the time they create consumer sized sensors, everyone might be walking around with 4TB phones, and storage will hardly be a problem anymore! Productions would save money, by avoiding hiring a few positions (1st AC, at the least). I don't think it'll replace standard sensors for several decades, if that soon, or at all. Directors and editors may hate the workflow, or it may just fade off. It's too soon to tell.

May 1, 2016 at 5:41PM, Edited May 1, 5:41PM

2
Reply
avatar
Craig Douglas
Writer/ Director/ Editor/ Videographer
1640

The price may come down and the size may decrease (though I don't see it going handheld anytime soon), but I would still say no, it will not replace traditional sensors at all, but may exist side by side. I don't think the benefits are universal for all situations, though George Lucas would have loved it for being able to do multiple "updates" to his films, and in the NFS video at 13:50 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qXE4sA-hLQ ), the Steven Spielberg example given bodes fairly ill to me.
I can imagine a handful of readers complaining in a few years that Canon are slow to embrace the tech, but the camera manufacturers will simply consider the matter over time, but will not jump on it in a panic. There will always be choices and price points.
Now if it could just type out an original script as well.....

May 2, 2016 at 2:36PM, Edited May 2, 2:43PM

0
Reply
Saied M.
976

I would say yes, but not in the sense that most would anticipate. I don't think it'll completely replace cinema cameras (at least not for a couple generations when screens will be completely obsolete and probably redundant), but considering it is a veritable next step for imaging technology (and traditional sensors), all sorts of sciences and surveillance are going to want to try to apply it in their field. Capturing more data, or quite literally, another dimension will definitely have it's uses in the practical fields. I can imagine it being useful in VR as well.

I think traditionalists will hold onto the screen (and traditional lensing) until they're all dead though. What's interesting is in a thousand years all these flat digital sensors will barely look like an improvement to film. "And here we have 2-D imaging, ooooooo, hailing from the ancient 19th-21st century."

May 3, 2016 at 4:15AM

0
Reply

Any tool used on set is there because it is the answer to a problem. What problem does Lytro solve?

May 3, 2016 at 7:56PM

0
Reply
avatar
Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer
658

Extraneous green screening is the first, and allowing actors to work on location, and get near-perfect keys/rotos, with any background. Extreme DOF, or pin point precision focus on insane shots, extreme motion tracking, just to name the best that come to mind. It would solve some current problems, but at what cost?

May 4, 2016 at 10:58PM

1
Reply
avatar
Craig Douglas
Writer/ Director/ Editor/ Videographer
1640

its an amazing thing!!! as always technology support us to make possible the impossible! I guess for the coming decade or so it will be used mostly experimentally but sure it will lead the way of film making to new territories. the present model I guess it will be like an F1 car ... it never hits the street but it has all the new tools to test and to experimentate! Apart from doing better what is now done in movies, I see the possibility of 3D cinema with ease getting a reality. Imagine if the data from the camera will be possible to rent or buy for your movies!!!! the only what is missing is a holographic projector for to start a new era ... I'm sure it will get smaller and cheaper and maybe having various models for all needs. Its not evolution, its revolution!!!!! great job folks! keep up the hard work to give us new tools to tell the old stories ...

May 4, 2016 at 3:34AM, Edited May 4, 3:49AM

0
Reply
gianis kalogeropoulos
director editor script writer
1

Your Comment