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Lytro Camera: Gimmick or Photography Revolution?

What's the Latest Development?

A new camera, similar in many ways to a point-and-shoot, captures light rays instead of pixels, allowing users to digitally change the focus of a photo after it is taken. The camera not only understands where light is in the frame but also where the light is coming from--something scientists refer to as light-field data. Thanks to the camera's many lenses and microprocessors, users can clarify or obscure different parts of a photo later on. It also means users will no longer have to focus the camera when they want to take a shot. 

What's the Big Idea?

Does the Lytro camera represent the kind of revolution that occurred with the switch from black-and-white film to Kodachrome, or the transition from analog to digital? Not yet, says tech reviewer Sam Grobart. Among the limitations of this first-generation model is that all editing must occur on a computer since the display screen is very small (which also makes it hard to frame a shot). Also, the camera works only with Macs and there is no wireless capability. Starting at $399, you might wait until the second-generation, says Grobart. 

Photo credit: wikimedia commons


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