The Living Picture
Recently, a company called Lytro released a radical new camera design. If successful, this could change the entire landscape of photography as we know it. The advances are due to a field called light-field technology.
Even the shape of the camera is vastly different from the typical camera consumers are used to. As shown in the photo below it is a 4.4 inch elongated rectangle that comes in “electric blue”, “graphite” and “red hot.” Depending on the model, the camera hold anywhere from 350 – 750 shots. Compared to many of the industries cameras, the Lytro camera is extremely simple. It contains a power and shutter button, a USB port, and touch-sensitive zoom range feature.
The real revolution comes in its photo taking abilities. Conventional cameras use a variety of lenses to focus on a single subject. When the subject is correctly identified photographers produce amazing photos, but the areas not in focus will forever remain blurry. To produce these types of photos, traditional cameras only capture light from one direction which reacts with the cameras sensor. In contrast, light-field technology captures light in multiple directions which reacts with each area of the sensor.
Rather than a traditional image, Lytro produces a 3D map. The map can be forever altered to focus on various parts of the photo. The dynamic photos can be hosted on Lytro’s web site, embedded in Facebook pages, or edited with a Mac application.
The advantage this gives to photographers is unmatched by traditional means of photography. Rather than waiting for images to come into focus, photographers can simply snap a shot and worry about focusing on the perfect moment later. Also, the camera is much quicker because the shutter is instant. Traditional cameras auto-focus wasting away precious moments, but this will not be an issue with the Lytro. The photo is taken almost instantaneously, because the focusing occurs after the photo is taken.
The applications of this new camera design are limitless, and it will be interesting to see which types of customers pick it up first.
Included below is a short interview with the founder of the company, and check out the following website to learn more.
Interview with Lytro Founder
Thanks for reading!
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