By David Ponce
Seems like everyone is excited about the Lytro, a “light field” camera that was released yesterday. And for good reason as it fundamentally shifts the way pictures are taken. Instead of having to focus on your subject, you simply frame your shot and take it. The Lytro captures “color, intensity, and vector direction of all the rays of light and then assembles that information in post-processing.” The picture below gives you a quick overview of the principle behind it. Once the data is processed, you can then access a “living picture” through software that seems to be available on the Mac only at the moment and lets you choose pretty much any focal point. Yes, after the picture is taken. We’ve embedded a few of these pictures at the end of the post; have fun clicking around and seeing the focus shift.
Seeing as the technology is fundamentally different that traditional cameras, the company doesn’t speak of resolution in terms of pixels, but rather light rays; the Lytro can capture 11 million rays of light. Without delving into science speak, we’re a little confused by this particular terminology since our understanding of physics precludes the existence of a discrete “ray of light”. Instead, a particular point in space will bounce back a nearly infinite number of photons in all directions, some of which will fall on the sensor. But… no science speak! We simply think that “11 mega-rays” is marketing speak.
The camera boots up almost instantaneously and has only one button: the shutter. It comes in 3 colors and 2 capacities: 8GB and 16GB, allowing for 350 or 750 pictures.
Hit the jump for more of these pictures and links.