Lytro turns on Wi-Fi, gets social with new animated GIF-creating iOS app

lytro-ios-app

Earlier this month, Eric Cheng, Lytro’s director of photography, tweeted a photo taken with a Lytro camera. Lytro makes a light-field camera that captures photos you can refocus later, but there was something noticeably different about this particular photo: it had animation. Cheng also posted similar animated GIFs to his Google+ page. Naturally commenters wanted to know how it was done. Well, today, Lytro lets everyone in on the fun with a new iOS app that lets you create animated GIFs. And if you own a Lytro, you’ll need to upgrade the firmware to enable the built-in Wi-Fi, a feature that was never mentioned before.

An example of a Lytro perspective shift animated GIF.

The app creates two types of animated GIFs: refocus animation and perspective shift animation. Refocus animation continuously changes the focusing between the foreground and background subjects – the Lytro camera’s magic trick. Perspective shift, a feature Lytro added to its desktop software in the previous firmware update, lets the user move around the photo to create a 3D effect; the new iOS app can create a continuous animation of that effect. While you can add these effects to all your photos (older photos, however, must be processed for perspective shift on the desktop app, which is a painfully slow process), the ones that are most effective are the ones you’ve put some initial planning into it (see Cheng’s photos for what we mean). So far, the only way to create these animated GIFs is via the iOS app, as the feature isn’t anywhere to be found on the desktop app.

An example of a Lytro refocus animated GIF.

The app, which is a free download (your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch needs to be on iOS 6.1, however), pairs with the Lytro camera the same way Wi-Fi-enabled digital cameras pair with smartphones. The Lytro camera connects directly to an iOS device via Wi-Fi, where you’ll be able to view and share photos on your Lytro account. From the app you can then upload the shared images to Twitter and Facebook, e-mail them, or turn them into an animated GIF. You can also view photos from other Lytro users. As a social experience, the app is fairly basic in what you can do, but the app is very stable and easy to use (although if you’re on a Wi-Fi-only iPad or iPod Touch, you’ll need to hop in and out of the Wi-Fi connection to switch between the camera and your Internet connection).

Although the Lytro camera’s ability to refocus is a cool trick, it leaves users wanting more. As the firmware updates demonstrate, there’s growth potential for this camera beyond refocusing – it’s just that they’re slowly being rolled out. But it’s good to know that Lytro is trying to update the product as it goes.

Product Review

Google’s third HD Chromecast is still a good streamer, but its value is slipping

At Google’s October event, we saw a slew of new products, but the new third-generation Chromecast didn’t even make it onstage. We spent some time with the incrementally upgraded, third-generation HD Chromecast to see if it’s worth…
Product Review

The design still says retro, but Fujifilm's X-T3 is all about the future

If the X-T2 brought Fujifilm into the modern era, the X-T3 is focused on the future. With a new sensor and processor, completely revamped autofocus, and vastly upgraded video, it's the new APS-C camera to beat.
Photography

You can finally throw away your PC; Photoshop is coming to the iPad

A full version of Photoshop is coming to the iPad -- and soon, other tablets, as well. Adobe also launched several new features for Photoshop and Lightroom, including a new Content-Aware Fill tool.
Photography

Photography News: Raw edits on iPad and an A.I. research lab for PicsArt

In this week's photography news, Canon launched an iPad app that allows for RAW edits on the go. Popular mobile editing app PicsArt now has a research lab dedicated entirely to A.I.-powered tools.
Photography

Adobe’s Premiere Rush is a video-editing app designed for social media projects

At Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe unveiled updates across the board for all of its Creative Cloud apps, from the release of Premiere Rush CC, a social-focused video editor, to Project Gemini, a digital drawing and painting tool.
Photography

Sony crammed 28x zoom, 4K into a $450 camera that weighs as much as a smartphone

The Sony HX99 is a tiny compact camera that mixes 4K and fast burst speeds with a 28x optical zoom. The travel zoom camera upgrades the processor over the earlier model for better video and super-long-burst captures.
Computing

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Photography

Remove photo bombs, other unwanted objects with Photoshop’s new Content-Aware Fill

Photoshop's newest A.I-powered tool helps remove objects or fill in gaps for a distraction-free photo in the new Adobe Photoshop CC 2019. Here's how to remove an object in Photoshop using the new Content-Aware Fill.
Photography

Adobe Premiere Rush CC is the cloud-based video editing app you've been waiting for

On stage at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe announced its cloud-centric, social video-editing application, Adobe Premiere Rush CC. We took some time to put it through its paces to see what it offers, how it works, and what's missing.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Social Media

Over selfies and an onslaught of ads? Here's how delete your Instagram account

Despite its outstanding popularity and photo-sharing dominance, Instagram isn't for everyone. Thankfully, deleting your account is as easy as logging into the site and clicking a few buttons. Here's what you need to do.
Mobile

Huawei and Leica’s monochrome lens is dead, so we celebrate its life

The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro do not have a dedicated monochrome camera lens, unlike the P20 Pro, and various Huawei and Leica phones before it. It's the end of an era, and also the start of a new one, as Leica has worked on its…
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…