A new camera designed by Silicon Valley startup Lytro was all over the Internet yesterday. What sets Lytro’s “light field” camera apart is photos taken with it can be focused and refocused after the picture is taken. They accomplish this by using a microlens array that captures light from a wider range of angles than ordinary digital camera. Proprietary software then interprets the collected data and creates an image that can be refocused wherever the viewer wants. The photographer can then decide how to focus the photo later – or even leave it up to the viewer to focus wherever they want. Terms like “revolutionary” and “game changing” are being used to describe the Lytro camera and the company has collected $50 million dollars of investor money.
|“Lytro’s engineers and scientists have taken light fields out of the lab – miniaturizing a roomful of cameras tethered to a supercomputer and making it fit in your pocket.”|
More Lytro sample photos >>
Lytro isn’t the first company to make a light field camera that captures images that can be refocused. But they appear to be the first company that is able to make an affordable light field camera. A couple of extra benefits of the Lytro camera are zero shutter lag and 3D image capture.
A price for the Lytro camera hasn’t been announced yet but it will likely be a consumer compact in the range of $200 to $500. The launch date hasn’t been announced, either but a New York Times article about Lytro said the camera is, “due out later this year”.