The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!


Lytro Experience, Day One: Unending Frustration! And a Mac is Required!

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!

^ Quinxy

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  1. You are an idiot. The Lytro ordering website clearly states you need the latest OSX software and that windows will be available soon. In fact, they have a pop up window stating both of these facts before you can finish the checkout procedure. You are obviously a liar and half retarded.

  2. Hey Charlie! Nice to meet you, too!

    I pre-ordered back in October, so whatever the website says now may be quite different from whatever it said then. I never said they didn’t mention the Mac only-ness, I simply suggested that perhaps they didn’t do enough to convey the fact that it would be totally useless without a Mac. I have never heard of any camera being totally inaccessible except via a particular PC type. The norm is that a camera mounts its file system over a USB cable and you can copy files off it to your computer. Every digital camera I’ve ever had from various brands works that way. Sure, some camera manufacturers include special software to do special things (like tweak RAW files, upload firmware, or manage your photo collection) but you aren’t required to install their software. You can use the camera whether you’re running OS X, Windows, or Linux. So, it really isn’t intuitively obvious that this camera would have no means to export or view photos without a Mac and without their special software. You can view images in the view finder and tap to refocus on different points, so how much harder would it have been to allow a simple JPEG export of that or even an HDMI connection? But, no, you’re right, the simpler answer is that I am “obviously a liar and half retarded.”

  3. I too pre-ordered last year. there was no pop-up or mention of a delay in PC software. This camera is a graduation gift for my daughter…nice paper weight for college!

  4. Gibby

    Unless your daughter was dead set on the Lytro you might want to seize the moment and sell your Lytro on eBay while you might be able to get all your money back and then some. Recently some $499 Lytros have been selling for $800-1000. I’ve been sufficiently underwhelmed by the picture quality of my Lytro that I’d much rather get my money out of it to spend on something that feels like it’s worth the money. But, it’s subjective, your daughter may be far more patient and artistic than I am and it could be perfect for her, and maybe by May/June they’ll have the PC software out!

  5. One of the lucky people to open the box and have my Lytro hit the floor with a thud. It seems to only have cosmetic damage, but that’s really upsetting. Going to see if I can resolve this with Lytro, if not I’m sure my credit card company will assist. What a horrible box design!!

  6. Well I am totally with you. I am a Mac Guy- for 19 years now. Win support in 2012- well it is 2012 isn’t it?
    You are correct- I run Windows on my Macs and all my digital cameras can upload and view their photos tp both platforms.
    What is kooky is that I understand developing apps for Apple Mac computers allows these apps to be
    ported- developed directly for Windows. This is crazy to have a camera be Mac only. Of course in the past there have been things developed for Win only- only to find out the majority of buyers of such a this or that were the well heeled Mac owners. For me I’m going to wait and see- the viewscreen and controls of the Lytro are too small and I do not think the camera weighs enough to be held stable at slow shutter speeds. This camera is a technology demonstrator- just like the first $4K Macintosh was in 1984… but like it- the Lytro tech could be the future…

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