Lytro Immerge Camera Designed to Film Instant VR Experiences
When people first hear about Lytro Immerge, they ask, “So what does it do, again?” However, for cinematographers and 3D filmmakers, it’s a seriously exciting invention.
Immerge is a camera, a very particular type of camera in the “professional light field solution” field. This means that it excels at capturing light data from every angle at once, which is why the camera is shaped like a sci-fi sphere.
Yes, that sounds like it can take instant panorama pictures, but in fact Lytro has another, more ambitious purpose for its 360-degree, multi-angle camera: They want you to make virtual reality experiences. Set up Immerge on its tripod, capture a certain amount of everywhere-at-once footage, and then play it – viewers can move around inside the 3D space as if they were really there. Add it to the bevy of new VR helmets we now have, and suddenly you have a full experience or “immersive storytelling,” which is where Immerge gets its name.
It sounds really cool, but how are amateurs and professionals supposed to create VR videos from the footage? The camera comes with server access, a light field editor, and a VR player for testing footage on virtual reality systems – the building blocks of what you need to test out your footage and turn it into a full experience.
As cool as moving around inside video that you – yes you! – can film sounds, Lytro’s Immerge is more focused on the professional side of the film life. To get everything out of the camera you will already need to have some serious editing software, and it just isn’t effective unless you are already working with a 3D imaging platform and VR headset to test out your creations. This limits the audience considerably.
Another limitation will probably be the price, which is undisclosed for now but bound to be pretty steep. In fact, Lytro is currently taking only professional requests for prototype versions, so an on-the-market product may be some time in coming.