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
Brian Beaver
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 user Score

Speed (start-up time, lag)

84
 

Image quality

48
 

Durability

76
 

Design and form factor

64
 

Ease of use

72
 

Battery life

80
 
 
70
ugubser
Initially I thought I could use this as an interesting alternative to a point & shoot camera. But that idea was smashed pretty quickly after realizing that on most shots with sufficient detail, the image quality was simply too poor. Interestingly, in images where there is not much going on (such as portraits, macro shots of objects, etc.) the quality is better. I have hope that it's just a software problem and not a limitation of the sensor or the mini-optical array. Overall, I think the camera is fun to use and forces you to take pictures differently - for better or worse. From an ergonomic point of view, the viewing angle is just horrible - this forces the shooter to be exactly in front of the LCD - which doesn't not always work or is not always desired.Otherwise, the camera is interesting - it's quick to use, it's easy to use, has an unusual form factor, and people literally stop when I take a picture with it.
 
70
Brian Beaver
It's a great technology, that holds tremendous promise. However, it's not a very practical tool, and as a toy I lost interest very quickly. Composing images was difficult because of the form factor and small screen, and the image quality dissapointed consistently. Even so, I can see how this light field photography represents the future and will be pretty killer once refined, and integrated into smartphones and more conventional tried-and-true form factors.
 
70
tmp
 
50
Deeder
 
60
Hieu Luu
The Lytro Light Field Camera is a very cool camera if you like to walk around taking lots of random pictures for a blog or other online media. Don't really have to worry about focus, just snap. With the latest software, perspective shift is pretty cool, still a little gimmicky but cool. The desktop software however is pretty week. The interface looks nice but playing with the pictures and exportting them out into other formats is clunky. Overall it is a fun piece of technology, it will not replace your DSLR or point and shoot. It gets a lot of attention and explaining or showing what it does to folks is pretty fun.