Lytro Gets a New Point of View

We interrupt the regularly scheduled program of eating and drinking posts to talk about the next big thing from Lytro. If you have read the About page, all pictures in this blog are living pictures taken with the Lytro light-field camera, which allows refocusing of different parts of the picture even after it has been taken.

Lytro just introduced the parallax view which will be available on December 4, 2012. So what exactly is parallax? Let’s refer to to provide the best definition where at least 2 out of the 4 apply:

par·al·lax [par-uh-laks] noun
1. the apparent displacement of an observed object due to a change in the position of the observer.
3. the difference between the view of an object as seen through the picture-taking lens of a camera and the view as seen through a separate viewfinder.

Lytro defines this capability as the ability to “interactively change your point of view in a picture, after the picture’s been taken,” which basically allows for a perspective shift.

So what does this actually mean? From our perspective (pun intended), it brings all the elements of the picture into focus and provides depth that no digital camera or printed picture today can achieve. So, enough words, let’s take a look at an example. This picture of flowers was taken during our recent trip to Maui. The Lytro living picture allows refocusing by clicking on different parts of the picture. Double clicking to zoom in and pan around is also possible.

Go ahead and check out this Lytro living picture to refocus the background vs. the foreground:

So what exactly is new? Click on the picture again and keep the mouse/pad select button depressed and move the mouse or trackpad around (left, right, up, down, or circular). This puts you in the parallax view mode, which brings everything into focus and allows depth perception on the same picture. With the living picture, Lytro allows you to shift the living picture in any direction. Once the mode is selected, you can play all you want with the depth perception. Go ahead and go back to the picture above and change your perspective.

Simply click the mouse/pad select button again to return back to the normal refocus mode. The best part about this? The processing works on your existing pictures.

So what does it mean for this blog? Parallax view works on macro food shots just as well as it does on flowers. Food Porn has never felt so alive. Because it is very compute intensive, future posts with parallax view will be limited to one picture per post (for now anyway), so it has to be an insanely great picture guaranteed to make you salivate. A new category, Serious Food Porn, has been created to archive these future posts.


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