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Is it still photography? mega rays vs mega pixels war begins

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount News and Rumors' started by christian, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Hi everyone,

    Have you heard of the new Lytro Illum camera? For those who have not heard of it yet, it's a new camera that will be available in august. This camera uses a new sensor technology. With this technology you don't talk about mega pixels but about megarays. Indeed, this sensor captures the orientation of the light, of the rays. This sensor has 40 megarays. It seems to be a lot but it's not, for now of course. Obviously the technology will evolve and improve. 40 megarays represent files of 2494x1870 pixels. So that's pretty low for a resolution but generally enough for an Internet use. Well you imagine it's not exactly my point here.

    The technology we use with our digital cameras, with photoshop, lightroom etc, gives already the opportunity to change almost everything we want in our pictures. Photographers don't need to be as talented as in the past.
    The thing is, this sensor will give you the opportunity to choose your focus point AND your perspective (in a certain limit of course) during the post-processing work. And that's completely a game changer.
    So my question here is, is it still really photography?

    Sony just announced they resolved the problem of low resolution with this kind of sensors. It means they're working hard on it to be able to launch a new kind of camera to compete with the Lytro. (By the way they also said they're ready to go mass production for their new curved sensor, which will be a game changer compared to "regular sensors" used currently I think)

    I think it will decrease the talents and masterships of photographers. Anyone will be able to take "masterpieces". No need to know how the camera works.
    Well that's my opinion. I think it'll be too easy actually.
    Do think this technology will change everything in a good or bad way? Do you think this will enhance photography? Or even better, create a new kind of photography?

    Here are some links

    https://www.lytro.com/
    http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-is-working-on-a-lytro-alike-camera-patent/
    http://www.lesnumeriques.com/appare...oche-vrai-appareil-photographique-n34083.html (it's in french but at the end you can watch 2 interesting videos and an interactive feature as well that I advise you to try)

    So what are your thoughts about that?
     
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Actually, it's incredibly hard to take a good "living image" as they call it. I've seen so many well known photographers failing at it, and only very few exceeding at creating something truly stunning. It's a new art form which has absolutely nothing in common with photography, and it will have its place in the art world.

    But I have just to say that I currently don't have the skills to take good living images, and 99% of the photographic world don't have either. That's because you have to change your vision, the way you see the world to achieve something unique and wonderful with a light field camera, and it seems much harder than with traditional cameras. Maybe we'll learn to adjust to it, but having to consider a million additional layers above the one we had until now is a little much at once.

    I'm sure this art form will develop just like photography did, and I'm sure we will get some unbelievably awesome artworks due to them.
     
  3. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    I found this tech (at least the application of it so far) to be boring.

    I went to their site https://pictures.lytro.com/lytroweb/pictures/431131 and found in most of their pictures, that the pics generally had one interesting point of focus. The other points just didn't work. And, in a number of them, I thought they generally needed more depth of field, not shifted focus.

    It still looks like a gimmick to me.

    Doesn't mean they can't make money selling a gimmick, but I personally see no reason to pay a cent for this tech. Maybe it will mature into something else.
     
  4. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
  5. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    Interesting that they are using video to make the most of the still shot. Some kind of hybrid experience. Thanks for the video. It is much more interesting than the still samples they have on their web site.
     
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Umm.. it's a YouTube ad. How else should you make them? Personally, I think on the website it's much more interesting, because you can explore the living images for yourself instead of having to watch others exploring them for you.
     
  7. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    The video is essentially showing pulled focus -- a video technique. But it's on a still image. The artists conception (love, fear, etc.) are demonstrated through THEIR decision on where to pull the focus. They create the emotion on how and where they pull it. That's different than exploring the picture yourself. I find poking at the pic boring. It was much more interesting to see the artists interpretation of their picture, IMO, but that required video.
     
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I think it's different - the artist has to think of a story which works, no matter how the viewer decides to view the image. This is a huge challenge which simply is not there in photography or videography. And this challenge is the beauty of living photography to me.
     
  9. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    That's exactely what I think!
    There is also another hybrid art between photography and video that I like. Nothing in correspondance with the Lytro thing but I think it's very interesting. I don't know if there's a name for this art.
    The only artiste I know is Julien Douvier.
    www.juliendouvier.com
    Take a look at this. He calls that animated photography.


    My flickr: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/118310489@N03/
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Yeah, I'm sure it will have its place. What you have probably seen was likely taken with the former Lytro which had a lot of flaws. The new one is available for order now but shipping date is august. The article I linked is about a pre-production Lytro camera. They got the chance to try it and they say the technology is way better now.


    My flickr: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/118310489@N03/
     
  11. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    From viewing the video, I can see this technology giving birth to a new social media hybrid site - instavine?

    As already mentioned, it seems that when used for stills, it is going to take away the need for skill behind the camera, but then I suppose that is transferred to skills as a post processor - and it will never take away form the gift of having the vision to take a shot in the first place.

    Aside from stills, from these animated examples I can imagine it will make all sorts of film effects and so on that currently require multiple cameras/shots MUCH easier to achieve so that can't be a bad thing. It will open up this world to amateurs who currently cannot afford a multi-camera rig. Can megarays be used to shoot film yet, or just these 'snapshots in time'?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Wait, am I missing something? How exactly is it easier to shoot with a light field camera than with a normal camera? Sure, you don't need to focus, but you can't tell me that focusing is all the skill you need when photographing? I'd say the additional need for great storytelling is much harder than the little focusing which you now don't need to do anymore.
     
  13. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    Ok, let me re-phrase "take away some of the need for skill behind the camera". I thought I had covered myself in the fact that there is always more to it than any old idiot pointing and shooting with the second part of my sentence...
     
  14. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    The second part implied that more skill is necessary for post processing, which is another story. And, while that may or may not be the case, it was still my point that there's actually more skill needed while shooting than at traditional photography. And just to clarify that - I'm talking about creating art here, for the snapshot crowd things are going to be different, of course.
     
  15. demiro

    demiro TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Mar 2, 2012
    I don't think any tech will allow everyone to produce "masterpieces". You can browse various web sites all day long and find a plethora of technically perfect shots taken with the best cameras that money can buy. Most are not "masterpieces" by any stretch of the imagination. The art comes from how you see, interpret and then capture the scene. No excuse for missing focus or whatever as the tech makes it easier to "get it right", but that is only a fraction of the story.

    One benefit that I do expect to see is the overall improvement of "snapshots", where we do still see many technical issues. That's a positive in my book.
     
  16. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    My purpose was to be provocative. Fortunately you are right. Not everybody will take masterpieces. If you follow my posts every now and then I always say that gear is great but it's the photographer who does the composition. The thing is that it takes out a little bit the interpretation of the photographer I think. Well it's a different art after all and I don't even know if we can compare them.


    My flickr: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/118310489@N03/
     
  17. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    By second part, I meant "and it will never take away form the gift of having the vision to take a shot in the first place".
    As far as I can tell we are on the same page, you are just being difficult. A photographer will still have to have a lot of skill to create what one could call art, it's just they will be applying the skills in different ways and at different times compared to current technology.

    As for the snapshot crowd - in time no doubt they will be given the option to shoot, and then presented with a slider to pick a focus point/perspective immediately afterwards (on the basis many people will not want to post process I expect the camera will store just the JPG at that point by default rather than all the RAW data to later reposition the focus/perspective).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    Sounds interesting. Will go through the links on this
     
  19. ilovehatephotography

    ilovehatephotography TalkEmount Regular

    153
    May 30, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ed
    You know, it's funny you mention Lytro because I bought the original Lytro camera back in 2012.

    Lytro_Light_Field_Camera-front_oblique-fs_PNr%C2%B00405.

    I was so disappointed by it that I returned it within a week. The after-the-fact DOF is fabulous, but everything else made the camera felt like a cell phone camera from 2001. It was launched too early, by a company underfunded. I think the technology may have matured a bit within the last two years, but I am not convinced yet. I think a large company should acquire Lytro and maybe combine some of its technology with existing technologies.
     

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  20. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Sony is working on it! And well, the new Lytro that's coming out next august seems to have resolved a lot of problems. It'll be interesting to see the evolution of this technology.


    My flickr: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/118310489@N03/
     

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