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Showing 1-10 of 209 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 271 reviews
on November 17, 2012
I really wanted to rate the Lytro camera highly based on how neat and innovative the idea behind it is, but in the end I just can't figure out how this camera is something other than a novelty. This camera is essentially a cute 3D-Instagram-camera, and it can post nifty 3D photos to Facebook, and that's about it. However, the product is still in development so it at least looks promising that future software updates could do a lot to improve the experience. It is clear that the camera captures much more information in the 3D-lightfield than the current software setup is capable of processing or making use of.

The Lytro camera captures 3D light information, and this 3D-image is processed by using computationally intensive software (it takes several minutes per photo), generating a "living picture" in which you can refocus the image at will on your computer. The final image is only 1080x1080 pixels. Your images also must be viewed in either a web-browser or in the included software through a smallish 500x500 pixel window. The desktop software currently has no image editing capabilities other than rotate 90°, and does not have the ability to adjust white balance, contrast or brightness.

The software does include the ability to export a refocused image to JPG format, but the JPG compression leads to some blurring. The software currently lacks the ability to output to any other file format options. It is possible the developers will have future updates addressing this issue.

Another limitation that is noteworthy is that the fastest shutter speed is 1/250sec, which means that it can be difficult to get sharp photos by hand-holding the device.

In the end, I sent the camera back. I think it's a really innovative idea, but the software really isn't ready for the masses and the product doesn't yet have the right features that would make it worth the expensive price tag. I really wanted to like this product, and I tried to like it, but it's clearly not for me. Maybe I'll try again if they come out with a pro version.
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on April 17, 2015
This camera is a Light Field Camera, if you don't know what that means then you probably don't want it. Research it first at www.lytro.com first.
That being said I ordered this camera a couple days ago because I've been curious about Light Field Cameras for awhile and Amazon had it at an amazing price. I got it last night and so far I've been a little bit frustrated by it. So, to save you some frustration here is what I ended up doing:
1. Plug it in and forget about for about it overnight. It was 4 hours before it even started to register a charge.
2. Do NOT install the software that comes on the camera
3. Go to www.lytro.com, scroll to the bottom of the page to the gray box and click on Support.
4. In the search box type in "need to download 3.1.1"
The first item under Knowledge Base should be "Lytro Desktop - Need to download 3.1.1?"
Click on it.
5. Select and download the either Windows or Mac software (whichever you use)
6. Install the 3.1.1 Lytro Software on your computer. DO NOT skip ahead to the Desktop 4 software.
7. After you've installed the 3.1.1 software connect the camera to the computer and start the Lytro Desktop software.
8. The software will (I hope) recognize your camera and should inform you that there is a firmware update.
9. Install the firmware
10 After you have installed the firmware update you may install the Lytro Desktop 4 software if you want.
Lytro Desktop 4 would not recognize my camera or the photos taken with it because it needed a firmware update. The software that came with the camera would not do a firmware update. So after installing and uninstalling software and then chasing around Lytro's Support site for about an hour this morning I was able to update the camera's firmware using Lytro Desktop 3.1.1 and then update the Desktop software to 4.
As for a review of the actual Light Field Camera I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I thought I'd post this in case someone else has the same frustrations as I did and doesn't think to check Lytro's support site.
If you're looking for a point and shoot camera and not a Light Field Camera I love my Nikon COOLPIX P530. As soon
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on April 25, 2015
I love the function and results of this camera. Amazing photos. However, it has a fatal flaw. The camera is useless without the Lytro software and the Lytro software is useless without the camera. Highly proprietary with little support from the open source community or otherwise. It didn't take me long to have problems with firmware/software issues. Right now, I can't access any new photos on the camera because the software doesn't sense that it is connected to my computer. Also, the software will not install on 32 bit systems or iPad 2 or less. When it all works, it's brilliant.
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on April 27, 2015
This is a incredible technology, I like this gadget.
I have several cameras (Canon 5D MII, Canon Elan 7, Canon AE 1, Canon EOS M) and several lenses... and if you want to buy this camera, don't think to print the pictures from Lytro (or maybe can you print with a little post process like onOne Perfect Resize software), but you can use this camera to learn Photographic Composition, with excellent results... another interesting thing is you have the option to use this camera in Manual Mode (Speed, ISO, and a real ND Filter included in this camera).
For sure this camera is not for all people, if you want to use this camera to print photos... this camera is not for you... but if you want to challenge your mind with another photos and explore your creativity... this is for you!!!
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on May 17, 2015
I am still getting accustomed to this camera. It is quite different from most point and shoots and the software used for processing the pictures is also very different . It seems to be good at taking close ups at very close distances of flowers,bugs,etc. I will need to play with it a lot more to realize its full feature set.
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on April 27, 2015
For $60 on Woot/Amazon, I thought "why not?". I've known about Lytro since a couple of years ago when the buzz was starting to build up prior to their first product launch. I thought the premise of a modern implementation of light field photography was really interesting and very exciting. The first cameras (this one) were very expensive. I'm not sure it ever really caught on since I've never seen one used and these cameras are now on Woot (basically clearance).

The good things:
* Camera is lightning fast to start up (practically instantaneously).
* Fairly easy to use controls (note: zoom is on the silicone above the screen, not the screen itself).
* Updates for the software and camera firmware installed easily and quickly.
* Interesting shape and gets people curious when you are taking pictures.
* Software has features for adjustment, playback, and even 3D (red/cyan, or double picture).

The bad things:
* Even on optimal sunny outdoor shots, a lot of pictures still didn't turn out well. There is a bit of bleeding between shadows and light, some of the eyes of of my subjects would turn into blobs. Pictures still look soft.
* Indoor shots and outdoor dusky shots yielded grainy photos.
* Perspective with trees is messy. This can be understood as tree branches do not line up uniformly in a plane.
* The vast majority of the pictures you take don't even come close to what is seen on the Lytro website. Don't be fooled since those photographers have probably set everything "perfect" for a good Lytro type shot. I still don't know how they got such good resolution on those pictures as the resolution on my pictures seem like they were taken with a 1 MP camera from last decade...
* Lytro turtorials and products are centered on the Illum. This product is practically forgotten already.
* The lens cap is neat, but the magnet is too weak and it keeps on falling off when you put it in your pocket.

In the end, I, like many others on Amazon who have reviewed this camera, feel underwhelmed. I haven't decided if I should return this camera or keep it as a "toy"... a curiosity item. Maybe the Illum is much better since it seems to have about 4x the "resolution" according to their website.
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on June 10, 2015
This is a fun little imaging device.
Got one on a daily deal, and they are fun to use. You will want to watch some videos to see what they are about.

Basically the best use for this camera is to set up multiple focusing planes so that there is something to work with. Macro, closeup, and scenic seems a good fit. In the online tutorial video they have a girl holding a flower with the golden gate bridge in the background. They place the flower at macro range.

The desktop software has a bit of a learning curve, but there are a lot of cool features. You can adjust the focusing plane to set more or less in focus at a time.

The resolution of the pictures is lower than you would want for a standard camera, so you will want this camera for its unique focusing properties.

Overall this is a cool device, definitely would add one to your camera bag. I would not recommend it as a primary camera replacement though.
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on April 19, 2015
This is a mildly interesting device that's ultimately a gimmick, and I can't think of any reason to recommend it to anyone.

You don't need to focus! That's the problem it solves....but the truth is that this isn't really a problem. It's also not really solved with this camera, as any movement turns the photo into one huge blur streak. Even still pics come out grainy and dark, if the lighting isn't perfect.

The hardware/form factor is unique, but feels like a pre-release mock up. The lens cap is useless....plan on losing it. The zoom function works decently enough, and it's kind of cool -- but it's completely un-intuitive. They should have put some kind of visual cue to let people know where to slide for zoom. The view screen is painfully small.

The software....is not bad, once you get it connected. I use it on Windows and have no complaints here.

But, again, I recommend this to nobody. It's not good for snapping pictures of the kids, and will be utterly useless for photography buffs.
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on May 7, 2015
It's a camera, but very different than what you're used to. First, the shape -- very unusual, more like a camcorder in appearance. But the results are different as well -- 3D, changing focus points -- this isn't a typical camera. The Lytro adds a new dimension to photography -- literally. As a practical camera, it falls a bit short.

If you can look at this as a fun experiment rather than a serious camera, then it may interest you. The most obvious flaw with this camera is that if you want to export a photo for printing, it's a bit small. It would probably be fine for typical 4x6 printouts -- maybe even larger. (Disclaimer: I have not tried to print any photos yet.) So, in many cases, it probably could function as the main camera for some casual use, but you'd be better served using a regular P&S camera or even a cell phone. The resolution is low, and it gets a bit noisy at high ISO. I would be happier with the limitations many years ago. What about now? I'm not sure yet, but I'll give it a try.

The 3D effect is more pronounced if your subjects are closer and there is more depth in the scene. While this is the case with any 3D camera, the 3D effect seems more subtle with this one.

At its original price, I would have been a bit disappointed. At 1/5th of its original price, it's cheap -- at a heavily discounted price, it's less than what I've paid for P&S cameras. And the camera does not seem cheap. While the menu is simple, it has the basic, needed functionality. Mine came with the latest firmware, which allows some manual adjustments and a long zoom range in the auto mode. The design is simple, but elegant. Really, my disappointments come down to the limited resolution and low-light performance. For typical photography, you're probably better off with your cell phone. The problem is that it's hard to find a good 3D solution, and at this price, it's an affordable and effective solution... as long as you can live with the limited results.

[Update]

After using it a bit, the main problems I have with it are that the resolution is really low, and the 3D effect is a bit "flat", meaning it doesn't have quite the effect or depth of a 2 lens design. I've bumped it down a star as I think the limitations make it not too practical for most use, but as a fun experimental camera, it may be still worth it at the heavily discounted prices at which it can now be found.
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on November 29, 2015
A toy that has its place and earns 5 stars for what it does.
In that place it is 5 stars.
One PS4 or Xbox game costs more!
As a serious camera I would give it a 1 star.
You would need their newer generation at 10 times the price for printable image quality that is close to a point and shoot.
But.......
At the price a great opportunity to see the next genertion of 'camera'.
You need to use the accessory collar with a mini tripod on it to hold the camera at interesting angles.
Hand holding without the collar and tripod is next to rediculously impossible.
The screen is SMALL so it is hard to see the effects.
There is no flash. Forget shooting in low light.
The software works great and the adjustable images are great for tablets, phones and computer screens.
But.....Do not expect to make prints of any decent quality over 4" x 6".
I am having fun with macro photography depth of field tricks.
For printable everything else, I use my Nikon.
Great toy.
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