New Camera Lets Photographers Shoot First, Focus Later

Hate when focus issues ruin an otherwise great photo? Thanks to an innovative new camera from Lytro, focusing problems could soon become a thing of the past.  

Lytro, a startup company in Silicon Valley, California, is working on a new “light field” camera that will allow photographers, professional or amateur, to adjust a picture’s focus after the photo is taken. Users can view a photo taken with a Lytro camera on a computer and bring a person in the background to focus with a simple click or concentrate on subjects closer to the camera. Like the photos below, for example.

Click here to play with Lytro’s new focusing technology.

The new focusing technology is made possible thanks to the camera’s light field sensor which captures all the light that is moving in all directions in the view of the camera. Lytro founders and investors are confident this new technology will become the next big thing in cameras.

“We see technology companies all the time, but it’s rare that someone comes along with something that is this much of a breakthrough,” Ben Horowitz told The New York Times. “It’s superexciting.”

Horowitz is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, a major investor in Lytro.

Computer scientists and photographers who tested Lytro’s new camera agree.

“You just concentrate on the image and composition, but there’s no need to worry about focus anymore,” said photojournalist and assistant professor of new media Richard Koci Hernandez. “That’s something you do later. That was the aha! moment for me. This is game-changing.”

Lytro’s new point-and-shoot camera is scheduled for release by the end of the year. Lytro CEO Ren Ng has said that the device will be competitively priced, but did not give any specific figures.

The New York Times, Toms Guide

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Categories: Gadgets and Gizmos

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