This will be either the most overhyped piece of camera technology in modern times or the start of something revolutionary. (I'm hoping it's the later.) About four months ago, Lytro announced that they were building a consumer digital camera that claimed it will be the biggest technological jump since we started talking megapixels over 20 years ago.
The pocket-sized camera provides new capabilities never seen before, allowing you to focus on a picture after it’s taken. How? A light field camera captures light all throughout the scene in front of the lens, as opposed to the cameras consumers are used to, which bring a particular part into focus.
As Steve Lohr from The New York Times says, "For a photographer, whether amateur or professional, the Lytro technology means that the headaches of focusing a shot go away."
The Lytro light field camera is accompanied by Lytro’s desktop application, a free software download that easily imports pictures from camera to computer. Currently available for Mac OS X, the desktop application lets people view, interact with, organize and share their light field pictures. Lytro pictures can then be uploaded to Lytro.com to be shared via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or as links in email messages. Once shared, Lytro’s living pictures allow viewers to live the moment with the photographer and explore a scene like never before. To see just what we mean, check out Lytro's picture gallery.
Viewers can continually interact with Lytro pictures – focusing them over and over – which expands the creative possibilities of each and every shot.
The Lytro camera is available in two models: 8GB ($399, 350 pictures, in Electric Blue or Graphite) and 16GB ($499, 750 pictures, in Red Hot). It is now available to order at Lytro.com and will ship in early 2012.
Interested in learning more? Check out these articles in The New York Times and NPR. Will you be buying one?