Lytro Camera: Gimmick or Photography Revolution?

A new point-and-shoot camera captures light rays instead of pixels which allows you to focus the image after you have taken it, changing which part of the photo you want to emphasize. 

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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