New Beginning

Click Me (Seriously!)

As I alluded to in my last post, I’ve got a new toy 🙂

That is, the Lytro Illum camera.  It looks for all the world like a DSLR, but believe you me, it is NOT.

Let’s start with the basics; imagine the following scenario.  You take a photo of something, only to find out later that it was out of focus (yeah, it still happens, and camera LCD displays aren’t the same as a monitor).  So unless you’re a wizard in Photoshop, or have some deal with devil going, you’re pretty well hosed.  And it’s all the worse if you had a good composition, or one that’s not easily replicable.

*bzzzzzt*

Think again.  This little puppy can refocus post-shoot – either in camera, or after download to your computer.

Yes, that’s right: refocus is possible.  Basically it’s because the camera grabs the image in 3D instead of 2D (even if you export for PS editing, it comes out as a stack of .TIFF files and a separate file that tells the native software how to recompile into 3D).

In essence, it shoots at f/2, but grabs data at f/16, so you can alter both focus and aperture in post-processing.  The downside is that the native lens is not interchangable.  But it shoots at f/2, and covers the 35mm equivalent of 30-250mm.  Which would cost you a fortune just for the lens on a DSLR!  Oh and 1:3 macro too, and the minimum focal distance is actually INSIDE the lends (read: you can focus on stuff touching the lens, not that I recommend it).

On top of that, within some limits, you can tilt-shift the resulting photo to alter perspective as well.

All this comes with its own editing software (free, assuming you buy the camera).  The only knock I have against it so far is that it is a major RAM hog, and tends to lag.  Also FYI, the image file sizes are on the order of 50MB each in native format, so best invest in some serious storage.

But more to the point, above all this technical stuff … I am SERIOUSLY intrigued with the possibilities that composing in 3 dimensions, easily editable, provide.  I am 99% convinced that this could be the next major technological step in still photography.  And frankly , it’s just DAMN cool.

See here.  Feel free to click on this image in different areas, and see what happens.

More to come!  I am barely scratching the surface here so far.

Happy shooting!

See more of my work at http://www.patricklcahalan.co.nf  and http://www.flickr.com/photos/patricklcahalan

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