Do you ever shoot photos that are out of focus? Of course you do. We all do. We have missed the photo opportunity of a lifetime because the focus is wrong. Now a new start-up company, Lytro, has developed a new camera technology that allows you to change the focal point AFTER you have shot the photo. This has the potential to change the photography world. According to AllThingsD, this next-generation camera will be available before the end of the year.
Lytro founder, Ren Ng, says the first Lytro camera “will be a competitively priced consumer product that fits in your pocket. ” And Lytro investor and well-known venture capitalist Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz says, “Lytro’s breakthrough technology will make conventional digital cameras obsolete. It has to be seen to be believed. ”
How does the new technology work? According to an article written by Andrew Couts, DigitalTrends, the new Lytro camera has a new type of sensor that gathers more information about the light coming into the camera than the sensors for on all other types of digital cameras. The Lytro sensor records the entire “light field, ” which is made up of “all the light rays in a scene, ” according to the Lytro website. This includes the color, intensity and direction of the rays of light. Other digital cameras only record a finite amount of information about the light in a photograph, recording it all as a single amount of light. According to Cout’s article, “With this vast amount of data, the focus of a photo can be fully adjusted to match a photographer’s desires, using a computer, in the same way one might use Photoshop to adjusts hue, brightness or contrast on a regular photograph. This means never having to worry about whether auto-focus centered on the right part of a picture, and it makes capturing fast-motion much easier. The Lytro sensor’s sensitivity to light also makes it possible to take photos in very low-light conditions without the need of a flash. It also makes it possible to take 3D-like photographs with only a single lens, and without the need for glasses to see the immersive effects. ”
This new camera technology will definitely change how we use photographs. Sports photography, or any action photography for that matter, can be shot without giving a ton of thought to how it will turn out. Low light images won’t be a problem either. I’ll bet that even the police will be utilizing this new technology. Of course you will still need all the practical things to photography, like memory cards and spare camera batteries. But I for one, am anxiously awaiting the camera to go on sale.
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