Announced on the official Lytro blog, the camera company has released a Windows version of the software that comes with the Lytro camera. Prior to today, only consumers with a Mac computer were able to use the Lytro desktop application with their Lytro light-field camera. However, there is a restriction to the updated Windows support. Only consumers using a 64-bit version of Windows 7 will be able to to use the software. While it does work with 64-bit versions of Windows Home, Professional and Ultimate, anyone with a 32-bit version of Windows 7 or any version of Windows prior to that will be unable to use the software and the camera. According to the official FAQ regarding the new Windows support, “memory allocation limitations” within the 32-bit version of Windows 7 is the issue. The new Windows version of the software also requires an Intel Core 2 Duo, at least 2GB of RAM and DirectX 10 support.
While any 64-bit Windows 7 user can currently download the software for free, it’s basically useless until the user also purchases the Lytro camera. Once photos have been uploaded from a Lytro camera to the desktop application, a user can organize the photos within groups called “Stories” and choose to upload the photos to Facebook after performing some limited editing on each photo. According to a previous statement from the company, Lytro is also working on adding the ability to make slight focus adjustments within the software as well as include support for “3D photo output”.
While Lytro is offering free shipping on the camera to celebrate the launch of the Windows software, the cost of the camera is still significant. The 8GB version of the camera holds 350 pictures and is priced at $399.99. In addition, the 16GB version of the Lytro camera holds 750 pictures and is priced at $499.99. Alternatively, an entry level dSLR camera like the Canon EOS Rebel T3 or the Nikon D3100 can be purchased for about $499.99 from a retailer like Amazon.
Also announced today, Lytro has released two brand new accessories for the small light-field camera. Pricing both at $19.95, Lytro users can buy a USB wall charger that reduces recharge time by approximately 30 percent as well as a tripod mount that slides over the camera and can be attached to any standard 1/4-20 tripod stud.
Due to the size and light weight of the camera, a popular choice for a tripod could be the Joby GorillaPod. With the flexible, strong arms of the GorillaPod, a Lytro user could wrap the legs around nearly anything for more interesting angles when shooting.
In a related story, Qualcomm’s Tim Leland indicated that the Adreno 320 GPU should be able to produce light-field photography according to PCMag. Specifically due to the processing power and the OpenCL capability, smartphones could offer similar features to the Lytro camera in the future. However, smartphone manufacturers will have to develop the image capture hardware in addition to a lens system that would be able to produce light-field style photos. If this technology does come to smartphones, the touch interface of a smartphone would be ideal for refocusing photos as well as sharing new photos to social feeds.