Lytro introduced on Wednesday, October 19th, its most radical design for the company’s newest camera, called Lytro as well.
The very ambitious project is based on a cutting edge technology called light field photography. On the exterior, the new camera looks like a 4.4 inches long box and 1.6 inches square, which have the lens at one end and the LCD touch screen display at the other. The sides of the camera enable the access to an USB port, shutter buttons and a touch sensitive strip that is supposed to move the lens through the zoom range, 8X.
Chief executive Ren Ng talked about the camera models currently available for purchase and their specific features in an interview for CNET. Thus, there are three models up for sale exclusively on the company’s site, which will be shipped starting with the first months of 2012. The two $399 cameras, the electric blue and the graphite, have both a 8GB built in memory that enables the users to take up to 350 shots. The red hot camera has an extended memory of 16GB and can record up to 750 shots.
Even though at first glance the most striking changes concern the exterior of the cameras, the actual cutting edge technology lives inside. Common digital cameras use the lenses in order to focus the subject, thus making its image sharp for the sensor. The lytro camera though doesn’t capture the light coming from only one direction but from multiple. As such, the photos taken with a light field photography camera result in an actual 3D map of whatever it was the subject of the picture and its environment, allowing the post shooting refocusing of the photo. In other words the user can chose afterwards what part of the photo they want the focus to be fixed on.
The camera has the unique feature of shooting first and focusing later, Ng also stated for he press. “It’s got an instant shutter. You press the button–bang! It takes the picture right away. The camera doesn’t have to physically focus while you take the shot”.
The new technology aims to take photography to a new era. Camera 1.0 was film, 2.0 was digital, the light field will be the 3.0. The most important addition this technology brings is the capacity of every photo to become exponentially dynamic. This refocusing effect can be used not only on the camera itself but, at the aid of specific software, on computers and mobile phones. Even though at its launch Lytro only has an application for Mac, the company will shortly release a Windows version as well as the mobile phones one.