The Buyer's Guide

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Lytro Light Field Camera

from  $190+
69
Engadget
Score
It has some redeeming qualities, but you could still do better.
69

It has some redeeming qualities, but you could still do better.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Lytro's debut camera only shines when taking well-lit pictures with multiple focus layers, but the technology is promising, and we suspect it's only a matter of time before all cameras work this way.

Pros
  • Refocuses images after the factStellar build quality.Simple but intuitive UI
Cons
  • Low resolution (~1MP) capturesPoor screenIffy low-light performanceNo Windows-compatible software yet
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Scores

Engadget

69
 

User Reviews

70
ugubser
Initially I thought I could use this as an interesting alternative to a point...read more
70
bitboy
It's a great technology, that holds tremendous promise. However, it's not a...read more
70
tmp
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - Engadget
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Score Breakdown

 
64
Average Critic Score

Design and form factor

73
 

Image quality

62
 

Ease of use

76
 

Speed (start-up time, lag)

76
 

Durability

73
 

Battery life

80
 
 
60
USA Today
For now, Lytro isn't a very practical alternative for consumers who rely on camera phones and point and shoots. Seasoned photographers might throw it in their camera bags with other gear. Despite its limits, Lytro's technology is exciting and well worth focusing on.
 
70
Popular Science
Right now the Lytro is essentially a one-trick pony, but let’s not forget that it’s quite the trick. Think of it this way: this camera captures multiple depths of field with one shutter click, a feat only possible previously with either a whole room filled with lenses or taking multiple versions of the same image with a regular camera.
 
70
Wired
After two weeks with the Lytro camera, I still can’t decide if it’s a highly refined proof-of-concept or an uneven look at the future of photography. It’s simultaneously addictive and frustrating. It’s also, as advertised, a truly unique photographic experience.
 
60
New York Times
The potential of light-field photography is great — that whole “don’t have to focus” thing is maybe even more impressive than focusing after the fact — but there’s a difference between a great technology and a great product.
 
60
CNET
The Lytro Light Field Camera rethinks photography with its unique hardware and fascinating image output. But if you're not a gadget-loving, Mac-owning early adopter, steer clear until Lytro makes improvements.
 
60
Engadget
For the photography aficionados in the audience, $399 is chump change compared to the kinds of glass in your collection, making Lytro a no-brainer and worthy companion of space in your camera bag. For the rest of us, though, patience is a virtue.
 
60
T3
We want to love the Lytro. It looks and feels fantastically futuristic, and the light field technology inside will change the way we think about photography forever. But not just yet.
 
70
Digital Photography Review
If it were higher resolution or allowed greater separation or could produce single lens 3D video it might generate a lot more excitement. As it is, it feels like a product arriving before the underlying technology is really ready.
 
70
TechCrunch
The people at Lytro are extremely smart, the technology is truly fascinating, and the potential is off the charts. But as a debut, the Lytro camera is just too limited in its current form to recommend to anyone but an enthusiast with money to burn. A year from now it might be different.
 
40
PC Mag
The Lytro lives up to its promise of capturing images that you can focus after they've been shot, but its image quality and ergonomics are poor, making the camera little more than an overpriced toy.