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Customer Review

232 of 251 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, but with one small problem, October 26, 2012
This review is from: Lytro Light Field Camera, 16GB, Red Hot (Electronics)
When I read about the Lytro its coolness factor made it a "must have" addition to my hobbiest photo bag. As another reviewer pointed out, when you point this red rectangle at subjects in public you attract attention. The non-photographers glaze over quickly -- it's often difficult to see the refocusing effect on the viewfinder, and they just don't get it. But I've also heard "you mean the light field camera exists? I thought it was just theory!" and "you've got one! Can I see it?"

The Lytro is not an easy camera to be successful with. Go skim the public gallery at [...] and be amazed at the depth-of-field tricks. Then try to duplicate those fantastic images. Keep trying. Try different subjects. As someone else said, you have to change your composition thought process for this camera. You have to look at everything, and look for contrasts. My impulse is to shoot rows of similar things -- a row of terra cotta warrior statues, a bush covered in flowers. But many of the more striking images are of contrast -- the thing in the foreground provides commentary on the surprising thing in the distance, once you refocus. That kind of composition is much harder. Also, what about the lighting conditions? When it's bright, the Lytro can capture everything in sharp focus at once -- at least that's my experience.

Originally in this review I had said that you can't export your images to a common, "flat" format. It turns out you can: In the desktop software (not on the Lytro web site), pick a focal point in an image, return to the library view, and right click to select Export JPG. Unfortunately, the resulting image is not very big -- about 3.5 x 3.5 inches at 300 dpi. You won't be able to make a big, beautiful print to frame. But it's suitable for social media and email.

So what's the problem? You're going to lose the lens cap. It's this totally cool magnetized rubber square that falls off at the slightest nudge. An A+ for sleek design. An F for utility. Check the support forums -- you'll see that so many early buyers complained of this, Lytro sent out free replacements. Lytro says they'll do a redesign, but we early buyers can try a piece of duct tape along the bottom edge of the cap folded onto the camera. Then it can flap down for shooting. Effective, if ugly. Or put a lens cap leash on it (and use some extra strong glue, because the stick-um comes detached from the rubber).

That negativity out of the way, I'll conclude that I love this thing for making me look at things differently. It's always with me, even when I leave the big Nikon behind.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 2, 2012 7:55:58 AM PST
What a beautifully written review.

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 11:24:43 PM PST
J. Garcia says:
I liked the part that you commented on the resulting image of a JPG from this camera. I am considering buying a camera like this when they somehow can get like a HD 1080 format picture from it. Thanks for the review!

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 6:42:46 AM PST
Amy says:
Thank you for taking the time to write this helpful review!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 11:43:20 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 28, 2013 11:43:51 AM PST]

Posted on Jun 6, 2013 1:57:40 PM PDT
Gilbert says:
can you put it on a tripod??

Posted on Aug 11, 2013 2:27:41 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 10, 2013 12:29:27 PM PST
Sanjay Kalra says:
Agree with everything you've said and I've only had mine for 12 hours! I'm hanging on tight to the lens cap till I get home and fish through my bag of lens leashes.

Gilbert - yes, you can use a tripod but need a tripod adapter, a square metal frame that slides on to the camera and has a socket that accepts standard tripods.

Ricardo Castro - you don't get it, so hang on to your D7000 (which, BTW, cannot do what this can, i.e. change focus after you take the picture!)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2014 8:14:01 PM PDT
A tripod attachment is available for the Lytro. It is a $20 accessory you can buy on Amazon.com
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