A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

Light-field instead of focus: Is Lytro revolutionising photography?

No more focusing inside the camera, just point, shoot, and decide later, behind your Mac (“Windows application is in development”–that is the right order of things 😉 ), what should be the focus and depth-of-field of your picture!

Somehow I stumbled upon the website of Lytro, a “light-field” camera introduced less than a week ago. And I just have to share this with you. Looking like a small flashlight, the little camera with only two buttons (zoom and click) promises to revolutionise photography.

If I get the scientific principles right, the sensor of this thingy records not only the quantity of light, as conventional cameras do, but also its direction. In that way, it becomes possible to focus after the fact and it als seems to be possible to make 3D-pictures out of a single shot. Instead of megapixels, it counts megarays of information.

No more worries if that butterfly was in focus… Of course a picture of a butterfly is one of the examples you can view on the Lytro site and you can even play with putting focus on different parts of the picture. Just click and see the butterfly change from vague to sharp.

Part of the fun is in clicking on the picture examples in the gallery, but looking at them, I wonder if they really have the selective sharpness that I can reach with a DSLR with a good-size sensor, and how the pictures will hold when enlarged and printed on paper: what is their resolution?

Anyhow, thing like that is going to be a completely different way of recording reality!


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