When the Lytro camera came out I was pretty excited. It seemed like an amazing little camera that would do amazing things. This is the camera that promises “Shoot now, focus later”. They don’t mention that it is completely useless in low light. Take all the focus later photos you want in low light because they are all going to look like shit. This camera is basically worthless anywhere but outside in the sunshine shooting flowers and still images. The images with normal indoor lighting look grainy and washed out in yellow. To call this camera a ripoff is an understatement. It might be the most overpriced and over hyped camera in the history of photography. It is a novelty at best. That is if you can get a photo to come out that doesn’t look like it came from 1964 while you were drunk with a dirty lens. The Lytro is a toy, at worst it is a paperweight because the reality of this thing is once you see what it doesn’t do you probably won’t ever use it again. I will probably try it again for some outdoor shots of still life but I will bring a backup for when this thing fails. This camera looks cool. It’s a little rectangular colorful piece of technology.
I got multiple comments on how cool it looks. The viewfinder is extremely deceptive. It is too small to really see what your photos are going to look like. As I was shooting (food, I was shooting a 6 course dinner as a test) it was hard to really look at the photos. What I saw on the screen though was nothing like what came out of the camera. I found this incredibly odd because when I was shooting I was impressed. It was only in the processing phase were I saw how horrible they actually came out. Nothing is remotely in focus, the colors are completely yellow from the overhead lighting. Touching on processing of the photos it is a long process. The uploads take a considerable amount of time. I can only imagine how long it would take if you had to upload 100 photos. I did about 30 or so and you might as well block out a couple hours for the uploading process.
In my semi-expert opinion. The Lytro is a cool looking piece of junk that needs way too many improvements to even consider buying. If you use it as your only photo source you’re not going to be happy. It is not a replacement for a real honest to goodness camera. They just released the new version and I wouldn’t touch that one either. I don’t think this style of photo or type of technology is ready for the market. The idea behind the Lytro is awesome but the real life execution of this cool little metal and glass box is unusable. I luckily bought this on the daily deals site Woot, and got it at an extremely good price. I think it was less than $150.00. However $150 for something that sucks this bad could have went to other things. I have complete buyers remorse over this thing and was highly disappointed. Don’t make the same mistake I did. This is a stay away from at all costs, no matter how deep the discount. This is a worthless camera.