Lytro's Light-Field Camera Announced

Available in early 2012 for $400

By Scott Gietler

 

 
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The new Lytro camera has been officially announced. The Lytro light-field camera is different than other cameras, because the depth of field can be adjusted after the photo is taken. The camera comes with built-in store, and there will be an 8GB model available for $399, and a 16GB model available in red for $499.

 

The Lytro camera doesn't need to focus. You can just shoot the camera, and focus the image later -which means the shutter response is instant. Lytro claims the camera captures 11 "megarays" of data, the exact meaning of which is undefiined -  people are waiting to see the final images produced from the camera. The photos will be able to be viewed in 3D down the road, once the appropriate software is available.

 

Here are the specs - There are a lot of unanswered questions, but this is what we know for now:

  • 8x optical zoom
  • F2 aperture throughout entire zoom range
  • No official word on how many megapixels the final jpeg result will be, but several sources are guesstimating 1-2 megapixels
  • Adjustable depth of field
  • No ISO setting - camera automatically adjusts to light levels
  • Aluminum & rubber body
  • Only 2 buttons - power and shutter release, and a slide for zooming
  • 4.4 inches long, weighs 8 ounces
  • Fixed internal storage
  • Sealed Lithium battery
  • No flash
  • 8GB version holds 350 photos, 16GB version holds 750 photos
  • Desktop app is available now only for the Mac. Windows version coming sometime in 2012

lytro light field camera

The new Lytro cameras are sporting a stylish design

 

 

Lytro Camera fast facts

  • Lytro's cameras capture the light-field of an image.  Basically, the color, direction, and intensity of a scene using an array of lens and sensors.
  • This light-field capture allows users to shoot-first, add focus later!
  • Video with light-field capture is said to be possible, but will not be available in the first release.
  • The camera will be small enough to fit in a pocket.
  • The cost of the camera is predicted to be competitive with traditional consumer cameras.

 

You can watch this video to see how the camera works:

 

 

It will be exciting to see how big the market for this type of camera becomes. You can find more information at www.lytro.com. They are taking pre-orders now.

 

Outlook for Underwater Photography

It looks like this camera may be able to create some very cool web-sized underwater photos in bright, clear shallow water. The absence of a flash means that as of now, it probably won't directly compete with standard underwater cameras.

 

Further Reading

 


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