The amazing light field camera – refocus images after you’ve taken them

Yep you read that correctly – the Lytro camera allows you to refocus and even shift the perspective of an image after you’ve taken it! The Lytro Camera is the first consumer camera that records the entire light field instead of a 2D image.

Lytro - Light Field Camera

Lytro – Light Field Camera

We love gadgets, especially new and innovative ones and they don’t get more newer or innovative (-er?) than this. We think this could potentially be as big a revolution as the move to digital from film – imagine never having to focus an image with a “shoot first, focus later” method you can forget worrying about blurry/unfocussed images and just concentrate on capturing the moment. From what we’ve seen the images it creates are stunning, it’s almost like a slice of real time has been captured, enabling you to refocus and pick up extra details as if you were physically there looking at it with your own eyes!

Perspective Shift allows you to interactively change your point of view in a picture after you’ve taken the picture. On a computer or mobile device, you can shift the living picture in any direction; left, right, up, down and all around.

Perspective Shift works on light field pictures you’ve previously taken and with any new pictures you take. Change your perspective and see the moment come alive.

Inside the Lytro

Inside the Lytro

We also love the product design, it’s very unique with a focus on ease of use and reasonably priced considering the cutting-edge technology used. From a digital design perspective it’d make any web gallery come alive with a unique level of interactivity. Currently it appears to be a basic point and shoot consumer focussed product so more of a toy than a serious piece of photographic hardware, but high-end DSLR light field add-ons are in development (click here for a technical video discussing the feasibility and the work current being undertaken for a product currently dubbed the KaleidoCamera) which propose installing the light field sensor between the camera body and the lens. It’s all very exciting stuff and we can’t wait for this to become more mainstream and the technology to be more accessible to the public.
Check out their website and see a review below:

Also, Nokia have invested in a company called Pelican imaging to develop the first light field camera for smart phones – see the promo video below:

The Pelican system differs from the Lytro in that it uses 25 micro-cameras to capture each image, recording depth information and using the 25 exposures to create a single higher-quality photograph (source).

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