The World’s First Consumer Light Field Camera is here and it looks awesome. If Apple would make a camera, this is how it wold look like.
Past summer we reported the first time about Lytro. Lytro is a camera start-up that brings to market the first consumer light field camera. Lytro invented a new sensor that captures the so called light field, making the need to focus during the shoot a thing of the past. You take the photo and later on the computer you decide what should be in focus. You can try this amazing technology below in the embedded photos (click on any area in the photo to bring it in focus).
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The key innovation is “light field” technology, which captures all of the light rays in a scene to create interactive, living pictures. Light field innovation enables unprecedented capabilities, including the ability to focus after a picture is taken, remarkable low-light sensitivity, and 3D viewing.
Now Lytro unveiled the actual cameras and you can pre-order one now. The Lytro cameras will start shipping in early 2012. Why do innovative companies always miss the holiday season? I never will understand that.
The Lytro camera looks like no other digital camera. The design is extremely minimalist, almost Apple style. The pocket-sized camera, which offers a powerful 8x optical zoom and f/2 lens in an iconic design, creates interactive ―living pictures that can be endlessly refocused. The Lytro’s sleek design was created with simplicity in mind. With no unnecessary modes or dials, the camera features just two buttons—power and shutter—and has an intuitive glass touchscreen that lets pictures be viewed and refocused directly on the camera.
Lytro cameras feature a light field sensor that collects the color, intensity, and the direction of every light ray flowing into the camera, capturing a scene in four dimensions. To process this additional information, Lytro cameras contain a light field engine that allows camera owners to refocus pictures directly on the camera. When the Lytro’s living pictures are shared online, the light field engine travels with each picture so anyone can interact with them on nearly any device, including web browsers, mobile phones, and tablets—without having to download special software.
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. The Lytro desktop application will be available initially for the Mac operating system; a Windows version will be available in 2012.
More details on the Lytro site.