Lytro taking photos like never before

Lytro is a new digital camera that could be a game-changing creation. This rectangular box of a camera gives its users unprecedented power.

Thanks to what is called a light field sensor, Lytro allows its user to shoot now and focus later. A light field sensor, in its most basic description, is a bunch of lenses placed upon a standard image sensor. These micro lenses are piled on in such a way that they allow the camera to capture an image from many different perspectives at once, enabling users to have the unique function of refocusing images after taking them. This also has the added benefit of making it possible for people to create 3D images with a single shot; the software just isn’t there yet.

Two Lytro cameras. Photo from Creative Commons.

This means that users can take a picture on a whim without worrying about getting the perfect zoom or focus. This technology could be a boon for those seeking to take the perfect picture every time. The camera makes switching between micro and macro views as simple as a click with the software that comes with Lytro.

The camera comes in an 8 GB and a 16 GB model. There are no slots for additional external memory, meaning users are stuck with the space they have when they buy the camera. That being said, even though each image taken with the camera is 16 MB, the largest memory version allows for around 750 images to be stored, while the smaller one allows for about 350. Both cameras come with an 8X optical zoom, and field tests indicate that they shoot at a standard f/2 aperture.

The big downside for this camera is that it only shoots images of a little over 1 megapixel. This means this is not the camera you want to use if you are planning to create massive prints in high detail. One megapixel works fine for the Internet. Another issue is that the current models of the Lytro only work for Apple products, but there are plans to release Windows-compatible versions sometime in the near future.

Lytro has an impressive online gallery demonstrating the capabilities of their new camera. The gallery gives potential customers an idea of just how this camera works. It shows off many of its abilities, like in-image zoom, and most importantly its ability to refocus and change the field of view in an image.

This camera is an exciting new creation that could potentially give users a wider range of ability with their everyday photos. The possibility of creating 3D images without the need of overly expensive, high-tech machinery makes this a device that people should, at the very least, keep an eye on.