For instance, one of the chips inside the Lytro is a Marvell Avastar 88W8787, which has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities. The Lytro doesn’t currently offer any sort of wireless syncing abilities, so perhaps a future software update will enable those features, allowing for wireless photo transfer or perhaps remote control of the device via Bluetooth.
Wireless photo transfers would certainly help the Lytro’s appeal. Now that I’m accustomed to the iPhone with Photo Stream, having to transfer photos from a cutting-edge new consumer camera by plugging it in via USB seems clunky.
A lot of people have asked if I’ve ordered a Lytro camera to review here. It’s tempting, but I haven’t. There are a few red flags for me in their sample pictures (Flash is required to zoom or change focus).
They all feature roughly the same composition to show off the dynamic focusing: an object very close to the camera, and a background scene further away. But while the close-up subjects seem to have moderately acceptable sharpness, the further-away parts of the scene appear to have very poor sharpness and detail, even when focused. There also appears to be a lot more noise and chromatic abberation (purple edge fringing) than even a modern smartphone camera.
So it’s a cool new technology with a killer feature (and maybe more later with software updates), but is that enough to tolerate optics that look noticeably worse than the iPhone that you already have in your pocket?
It’s hard enough for many of us to justify anything between a smartphone and a DSLR today, but with a high-end compact, you could at least say that the photos are better quality than the phone’s. If the Lytro can’t produce better photos than the phone, it won’t matter that you can refocus them later.