My bleeding edge Lytro light-field camera arrived today and thus far it's been an awful experience! And I haven't even used the camera yet! So what's gone so wrong?
- The packaging is scary bad! It's designed to be like a watch box or something where you lift off the bulk of the box to reveal the beauty of the Lytro camera. But unlike a watch box the Lytro isn't secured to its base, so if you happen to pull off the top while the box is at an angle the Lytro will come tumbling out, as mine did! By some miracle I happened to be sitting on a soft pile carpeted floor at the time, and my Lytro fell unharmed a mere 2 inches. I have to believe others aren't finding themselves as lucky. I pity those poor folks who've waited for months to get this thing and then see it damaged before they even got a chance to turn it on.
- A huge shock was to discover upon connecting it to my PC that you you cannot even view or export any images without Mac! The official notice merely says that Windows support will be added in 2012. I did not realize what this meant when I ordered the camera, nor can I conceive of how this is even possible. Every camera I've ever owned can be used on any computer I've ever owned. Sure, some cameras include custom OS-specific software for managing photos, uploading firmware, etc. but the software was always optional. You could always just plug in a USB cable and view/copy the photos, whether you were running Windows, Mac OS X or Linux. But not so with Lytro! Unless you have a Mac running OS X 10.6.6 or higher your photos will never leave your camera! There's not even an HDMI out. Surely the entire point of having a camera is to take pictures you can show others. If they have some means to share Lytro photos, which includes the image processing necessary, why on Earth do they not allow you to upload the raw files? I really think they should have done a better explaining this limitation as it defies all logic and historical precedent.
- I happened to have an old Apple Mini from my brief foray into iPhone app development a few years ago. I dug it out, hooked it up, and discovered that the Lytro software requires 10.6.6 (Snow Leopard or Lion), and my Mini was 10.5 (Leopard)... I figured I'd be able to easily upgrade online, but nope! Snow Leopard (10.6) can only be ordered as a physical DVD. And, to make things even more frustrating, Lytro software requires 2 GB memory, whereas my stock Mini has 512 MB. Ah well, I figured I'd just run to Best Buy or the Apple Store buy what I needed and be able to use my Lytro by nightfall. Nope! No shops sell OS X 10.6, not even the Apple store! So now I've got to wait at least two days for my Amazon orders to arrive.
Ah well... My Lytro day one experience was a rotten one!