Friday 17 January 2020

This camera is going to change cinema forever


Daniel Anderson

Lytro is a company which is using an entirely new way of shooting video to potentially revolutionise cinema forever

You may have heard of Lytro before when they came up with a unique concept in still picture taking. Well now they're set to totally change the way we make and shoot movies.

Lytro cinema is their new innovation, and it uses Light Field technology to capture footage in a new way. Rather than recording an image at a certain angle, with specific elements in focus and a set shutter speed and exposure, the Lytro camera takes in raw data encapsulating everything in front of the camera.

It's all very technical but what this means in practise is that you can just record a scene and worry about many other elements later. You can add camera movement by shifting the areas of the action you want to see and adjust exposure after the fact but this tech also means you can decide on where you want to focus long after the footage has been shot. Lytro Cinema also has interesting applications for work that traditionally involved green screens because you can just select the areas of the background you don't want and essentially delete them. From there you have a clean plate to insert any CG material you want.

Here's a video giving us a glimpse of the future of filmmaking.

Lytro Cinema from Lytro on Vimeo.

Change frame rates, add motion blur - it's like having all of your footage as a RAW 3D model that you can explore at your whim, allowing for more creative control during editing. Imagine being able to just let actors shoot a scene and later on decide on camera movement and focus, even touches like slow motion. It's exciting to think about the possibilities, and you can be sure that major film companies are doing just that right now.

The technology isn't ready to buy just yet but you can rent a system for a starting cost of $125,000, together with all the hardware you need to run it. Taking in all that data for editing purposes isn't a simple matter, you can't even think of it as footage in the traditional sense, so Lytro does the heavy lifting to slot it into the existing workflow. We can't wait to see how it works in real life.

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