Lytro, a start-up company in Silicon valley, has recently developed a camera with a new revolutionary technology, where you can simply take the photo NOW and focus LATER, with an aim of helping photographers avoid missing a moment or a canvas. Just shoot, and fix your focus later on the camera or on your pc, with an option of creating multiple versions of the same photo with different focus points. They call it the Light Field Camera.
Recording light fields requires an innovative, entirely new kind of sensor called a light field sensor. The light field sensor captures the color, intensity and vector direction of the rays of light. This directional information is completely lost with traditional camera sensors, which simply add up all the light rays and record them as a single amount of light, Lytro describes. By substituting powerful software for many of the internal parts of regular cameras, light field processing introduces new capabilities that were never before possible. Sophisticated algorithms use the full light field to unleash new ways to make and view pictures.
Lytro’s founder and chief executive is Ren Ng, 31. His achievement, experts say, has been to take research projects of recent years – requiring perhaps 100 digital cameras lashed to a supercomputer – and squeeze that technology into a one camera, and its headed for the consumer market later this year. Ng explained the concept in 2006 in his Ph.D. thesis at Stanford University, which won the worldwide competition for the best doctoral dissertation in computer science.
Now try the technology yourself, click with your mouse on different points on the pictures below, and watch how the focus point changes!
Lytro promises a camera that -along with the focus later feature- will offer No Shutter Lag with less than a second to boot from sleep to snap, 2D or 3D, Lytro says its cameras can create 3D images with a single lens. Presumably, because it captures the entire light field, and Portability, although its not yet clear on how portable will the new camera be, is it small enough to fit in your pocket, or would it need a bag. We will just have to wait to see the new friendly camera at the end of the year.
Now that you’ve seen this amazing new technology, what impact do you think it might have on photography and the conventional camera market ?