Lytro's camera lets you shoot now, focus later -- starts at $399

By on October 19, 2011, 6:26 PM

Lytro has unveiled the world’s first light field camera as a consumer-friendly device. The Silicon Valley start-up teased photographers and the tech savvy with sample images in June which left many in awe, myself included.

The Lytro camera works by capturing the light field, which is described as all of the light traveling in every direction in every point in space, including the color and vector direction. Lytro’s light field sensor is able to capture 11 million light rays in a single shot. This data is lost in a conventional camera which simply adds all of the light rays and records them as a single amount of light.

This data can then be manipulated inside the camera, on a computer and even online. At launch, only a Mac application will be available for computer manipulation. A Windows version will follow soon after, as will support for 3D viewing.

The Lytro camera looks more like a child’s kaleidoscope than a consumer digital camera. The device is 4.4-inches long and 1.6-inches square with only two buttons, a power button and a shutter button. The lens remains constant at f/2 aperture and there is an 8x optical zoom controlled by a touch-sensitive strip. Additionally there is a USB port to upload photos to your computer. The camera lacks a built-in flash but is said to perform well in low light conditions. There is also no removable battery or storage; everything remains inside.

So what does all of this technical jargon mean to end users? Essentially you have an easy-to-use camera that eliminates the need to focus your shots. You can adjust the focus after the fact, and so can anyone else.

Lytro offers an 8GB version that can hold 350 pictures for $399. A 16GB model that can store up to 750 images can be yours for $499. Pre-orders are being accepted now and cameras are expected to ship in early 2012.




User Comments: 13

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Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

wow i'm going to lose my camera among my change!

taimuraly taimuraly said:

I like the way it looks, kinda simple and well built. Reminds me of Apple Products. Heck even the Lytro site has the Apple feel to it. Pricing too seems over charged - Apple

Guest said:

Is this just for facebook & such? Whats the resolution? All the samples are pretty small...

If I'm running Hi def I'd want a HQ desktop image...

yRaz yRaz said:

taimuraly said:

I like the way it looks, kinda simple and well built. Reminds me of Apple Products. Heck even the Lytro site has the Apple feel to it. Pricing too seems over charged - Apple

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elKxgsrJFhw

Night Hacker Night Hacker said:

I wonder if the glass on that shatters like an Apple too?

taimuraly taimuraly said:

yRaz said:

taimuraly said:

I like the way it looks, kinda simple and well built. Reminds me of Apple Products. Heck even the Lytro site has the Apple feel to it. Pricing too seems over charged - Apple

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elKxgsrJFhw

lol by built I mean looks sturdy however actually being sturdy is another thing XD

Renrew Renrew said:

A square box with rounded corners.I feel another Apple lawsuit coming on.

Guest said:

Didn't seem to find how many megapixels..

Anybody happen to know?

Guest said:

Field light camera don't work in the same way as conventional cameras, so you can't compare them in terms of megapixels.

I think it is fantastic they have gone for a square format, so you can crop to be portrait or landscape later. It's just a shame that they didn't produce more of a prosumer body.

nazartp said:

First, to qualify my comments - the idea sounds absolutely great.

Let's pose another question - what's the maximum usable print size that this camera can produce?

Guest said:

Nice idea but I am not really impressed after manipulating the images on their website ...

Guest said:

I'll wait until V2.0 to take the plunge, but the notion of selecting a focus points after the shutter is pressed is very intriguing.

I think overall though that the device is too expensive to tempt people to explore the technology.

Pro's will focus on the lack of features, post processing options, no windows support for the devices image collection, limitations of uploading the pics to F'book or to Lytro's Cloud. Non pro camera geeks will balk at the price. And the rest of the market will consider selecting focus points post shoot a novelty.

Guest said:

750 photos in 16GB = 22Mb per photo, so I would expect the final .jpg produced after all manipulation to have a decent number of pixels, definitely above 12MP!

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