Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Capturing Living Pictures: Lytro’s Light Field Camera

Shooting an image in proper focus is a challenge for most budding photographers. Lytro’s revolutionary light field camera, which was officially unveiled today, aims to solve all the pain and heartache.

The Lytro camera is a light-field, or plenoptic, camera. An array of micro-lenses sits over the camera’s sensor, capturing all the light in the scene being photographed (11 million rays of light, to be precise). The Lytro then saves your image in a proprietary file format to deliver a “living picture” that you can manipulate on your computer, much like a raw file. By manipulating key attributes, you can effectively change the focus of the image. That’s right: After the image has been taken.

“There’s something about light field photography that’s just magical,” Lytro founder Ren Ng said in a previous interview with “It very much is photography as we’ve known it. It’s what we’ve always seen through cameras — we just had to fix it.”

Lytro was founded in 2006, but we first got a peep at its camera and the living pictures it produces in late June.