Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Lytro Camera and Light Field Pictures (LFP)

Finally got my Lytro camera two month ago and have already filled up my Lytro photo library with more than one thousand pictures, which stores more than 20GB wroth of data on my hard driver. Of course I keep a backup on my Dropbox folder, which means another 20GB on my hard driver and my paid cloud storage service.

Light field cameras are new technologies, as well as light field pictures. Lytro, Inc. has developed a new file format, called LFP (which is short for Light Field Photography or Light Field Pictures), that is used for almost everything, let it be storing some (about 1GB) mixture of text and binary data about the camera, including the lens array calibration information and wifi MAC address, or storing the raw data and/or the processed data for a light field picture. Now, the best thing about the Lytro, Inc. is that, besides developing this new file format (which is simple enough to reverse-engineer quickly), they are keeping everything transparent, making it easy to understand the logic behind their software and be able to liberate our own data. More importantly, this method allows using common technologies to develop for the Lytro camera, the Lytro Desktop application, and the light field pictures.

Since Lytro released a Windows version of the Lytro Desktop application a couple of weeks ago, I was able to play with my photo library and LFP files. The result is two new pet projects.

Lytro Library Merger

This small Python application lets you merge any Lytro Desktop photo library to your main photo library. For example, if you have a photo library on a Mac OS X machine and have created another one on a Windows machine, now you can merge these two and get all your photos in one place.

More on Lytro Library Merger at


This is small Python library that comes with some very useful command-line scripts for working with LFP files. But the more interesting feature for some users can be lfp_picture_viewer which displays any processed LFP image and allows you to refocus the image; and it works (almost) any platform that supports Python, including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

Download it at or if you prefer the command-line, try "easy_install lfp-reader".

More on

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