Light field video camera

I have earlier written about light field photography and related new camera technologies earlier in this blog.It has been somewhat silent on this market for some time, but now something interesting happens – Lytro (best known maker of light field cameras) has released Lytro Cinema camera for professional video and digital film production markets. Lytro Cinema is the most “mainstream” effort yet from the company to introduce their light field technology to filmmakers.

Lytro Cinema advertises to be the world’s first Light Field solution for film and television. It promises to be the ultimate creative tool for cinema and broadcast, providing breakthrough capabilities and unparalleled flexibility on set and in post-production for cutting edge visual effects (VFX). 

Lytro’s 755 megapixel Cinema light field camera is going to kill the green screen article tells that Lytro is taking its rich, volumetric 3D camera capture technology into the world of TV and film. Lytro’s Cinema is 755-megapixel light field camera that offers 40K resolution at 300 FPS.  The promise is that it offers rich, volumetric 3D camera capture technology into the world of TV and film and is going to kill the green screen technology for making special effects.

This Lytro Cinema video gives you overview of this camera:

Lytro Cinema from Lytro on Vimeo.

The rich dataset captured by the camera system produces a Light Field master that can be rendered in many formats in post-production.  The tech essentially uses data on all of the available light in a photo to separate objects by depth and store them in a three-dimensional grid – it is a form of volumetric 3D camera capture technology. The Lytro Cinema camera gathers a truly staggering amount of information on the world around it. Every pixel has color properties, directional properties, and its exact placement in space. The 755 RAW megapixel 40K resolution, 300 FPS camera takes in as much as 400 gigabytes per second of data.

The claim is that Lytro’s 755 megapixel Cinema light field camera is going to kill the green screen at least for those who can afford to use it. With depth screen, it’s as if there is a green screen for every object in the scene. This cutting edge technology is not cheap as rental packages start at $125K.

For more information check Lytro Cinema page and their demo videos. This looks interesting.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lytro’s light field vision finally shows its worth

    While many of the virtual reality experiences being shown off at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival are pushing boundaries in VR story-telling techniques, “Hallelujah” is perhaps most noteworthy because of the cutting edge tech used to shoot the experience and the story behind it.

    A few months after announcing development on its VR-centric camera, the company announced Lytro Cinema, an almost comically large filmmaking camera that sports the highest resolution video sensor ever made capturing as much as 400 gigabytes per second.

    The virtual reality rig used to shoot “Hallelujah” also comes with a massive form factor; Lytro’s VR Immerge camera is a hulking, data-hungry, hexagonal device made up of an array of 95 individual cameras.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Light Fields Trying to Get the Jump on Magic Leap

    Light Field technology is a fascinating area of Virtual Reality research that emulates the way that light behaves to make a virtual scene look more realistic. By emulating light coming from multiple angles entering the eye, the scenes look more realistic because they look closer to reality. It is rumored to be part of the technology included in the forthcoming Magic Leap headset, but it looks like Google is trying to steal some of their thunder.

    The magic sauce is in the way the image is captured, as Google uses a semicircular arrangement of 13 GoPro cameras that are rotated to capture about a thousand images. The captured images are then stitched together by Google’s software to create the final image, which has a light field effect. It is thought that the forthcoming Magic Leap headset needs special optics to create this effect but the Google version works on standard VR headsets.

    Experimenting with Light Fields

    With light fields, nearby objects seem near to you—as you move your head, they appear to shift a lot. Far-away objects shift less and light reflects off objects differently, so you get a strong cue that you’re in a 3D space. And when viewed through a VR headset that supports positional tracking, light fields can enable some truly amazing VR experiences based on footage captured in the real world.

    This is possible because a light field records all the different rays of light coming into a volume of space. To record them, we modified a GoPro Odyssey Jump camera, bending it into a vertical arc of 16 cameras mounted on a rotating platform.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sources: Google is buying Lytro for about $40M

    Last week, Google showed off a new app to display immersive photography in virtual reality, and a multi-camera technique for capturing it, and now it looks like there may be plans to enhance that with some bolted-on technology created by a third party.

    Multiple sources tell us that Google is acquiring Lytro, the imaging startup that began as a ground-breaking camera company for consumers before pivoting to use its depth-data, light-field technology in VR.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Adi Robertson / The Verge:
    VR camera maker Lytro is shutting down, and former employees are going to Google

    Futuristic “light field” camera maker Lytro is shutting down, according to a statement posted online. The company says that starting today, it will stop “taking on new productions and providing professional services,” as it prepares to “wind down” the company over an unspecified period of time. “We’re excited to see what new opportunities the future brings for the Lytro team as we go our separate ways,” says the statement. “We would like to thank the various communities that have supported us and hope that our paths will cross in the future.”

    Lytro doesn’t say what will happen to the company’s patents or its employees. TechCrunch reported last week that Google was acquiring Lytro, and a person familiar with the matter confirmed to The Verge that a large fraction of former Lytro employees will be joining Google. But contrary to last week’s rumors, the person says Google isn’t trying to supplement its own light-field photography experiments with Lytro tech.

    TechCrunch reported that Lytro was being sold for between $25 and $40 million, but this person characterized Google’s move as more of a hiring deal than a company acquisition and did not confirm any price. Google declined a request for comment.

    Lytro has struggled for years to build a viable business with its novel camera technology, which captures an image at multiple depths.

    To the Cinematic and VR Community, Live Long and Prosper


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