Start-up aims to revolutionise photography

June 22, 2011

Silicon Valley start-up Lytro are currently working on a new type of consumer grade camera built using light field sensor technology. I must confess that I previously knew absolutely nothing about light field technology but a quick glance at Wikipedia tells me that it essentially allows (in this case) a camera to capture a photograph with information about the amount of light travelling in every direction through every point in space.

What does this mean to us as photographers? Well according to Lytro one of the main selling points will be that it will allow the photographer as well as users viewing the photograph at a later stage to adjust the focus point. It will also allow images to be displayed in 3D as well as 2D, also as this camera will be more heavily influenced by software rather than hardware it has the potential to allow radical changes when it comes to low light photography and camera/lens design compared to the traditional forms of photography that we all know and love.

Here are a few example shots, including the obligatory cat shot (there are lots more example on Lytro’s website). Click on the image to change the focus point:

You would certainly be forgiven for thinking that this is some kind of elaborate April Fool prank but from what I can gather so far this is in-fact a real camera.

I must admit that I do have some reservations about it at this stage, perhaps from a photographic purity perspective. It sounds like it will allow the photographer to be lazy and simply take a shot then worry about the composition and focus during the post processing, which strikes me as a negative thing. I guess we will have to wait and see but putting my fears for the craft aside I am always excited by new gadgets and developments in the industry and I can’t wait to get my hands on one to try it out for myself.

Lytro Picture Revolution

Source engadget.

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About the author

UK based photographer Mark J P.