Lytro, the pioneers in the area of light field photography, decided to abandon the consumer market and focus on Light Field video solutions more than two years ago. But it wasn’t until this month that Lytro took the inevitable step early adopters of the company’s cameras had been fearing: the company has now discontinued the pictures.lytro.com platform, which allowed Lytro users to share their refocusable ‘living’ light-field images with others online and through Facebook.
This means the Lytro desktop application is now the only remaining tool for users of the original Lytro and the Lytro ILLUM cameras to view their image results off-camera. In fact, if you visit our original Lytro 16GB Review, you’ll see the living pictures no longer appear because it is now impossible to share native light field images online.
The app only allows you to adjust and animate light field images and export them in .jpg, .mov, .gif and other conventional formats for viewing without their trademark ‘living picture’ ability to refocus.
Unfortunately, the closure of pictures.lytro.com likely represents the final chapter in Lytro’s failure in the consumer photography market. Though Lytro cameras are no doubt a part of imaging history, and we hope the company does better in its new ventures.
You can still read our review of the original Lytro (minus the embedded light field images) and I’ll always fondly remember the Lytro photo walk at CES 2012.