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LYTRO: The Most Important Camera of 2012?

19 Oct Posted by Mark in News, Stuff We Like |
LYTRO: The Most Important Camera of 2012?

The revolutionary new Lytro camera went on sale today, and it might just be one of the biggest revolutions since photography went digital…

Image by Mugur Marculescu. Click to see what happens!

The state of the art technology behind it allows the camera to capture ‘lightfields’, or all the light it can see. From a practical perspective this removes the need to focus, allows for 3D images and many other ideas that I’m sure will appear in time. How it works is explained in a very long document on Lytro’s website, however for us mere mortals – CLEVER SCIENCE STUFF.

This first version of the camera has a fixed focus f/2 lens, 8x optical zoom and a choice of 8gb or 16gb of storage (350 vs 750 pictures). The lack of need for focus means that this lens allows for a lot of flexibility despite it’s limitations by conventional camera standards. It also has no shutter delay and instant startup – with the large aperture lens and instant ‘focus’ this could be a brilliant camera for getting the shot when time is short.

Physically it’s a bit of an odd shape, looking rather like a torch. Hopefully this is something to do with the way the technology works and not just a desire to make the worlds most awkward camera!

The Lytro has gone on pre-order today (US only so far, sadly) for $399 for the 8gb model or $499 for the 16gb model, with shipping starting in 2012. I know that if I can find the money I’ll be getting one, if only to find out if the technology behind this latest camera breakthrough can live up to the hype.

Image by Heather Champ.


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