Beautiful photography is all about perspective; it’s about how you, the photographer, can present what you’re seeing to someone in another time and another place. That unique moment, captured on film or as data, is what we share.
Great photographs aren’t recreations of what we see, because we can take in the whole scene after the fact. That means you can focus on a subject and still have a gorgeous background in the shot (like in a portrait), or you can pull everything into focus (like in a landscape shot)–that’s what we do when we manipulate depth of field, and it’s getting easier to do all the time. Great technology is helping to make better photographers out of all of us.
What we COULDN’T do was change that focus after the fact. The moment you captured was the moment you got, for good for for bad. Get the wrong part of the image in focus? Snap a shot of the wrong subject? Too bad, it goes in your junk pile, or worse, it gets outright deleted.
Enter Lytro, with their light field technology camera. It’s a tube of anodized aluminum packed with powerful optics, but it only weights about 226g. It’s a fast f/2 camera and notable is what’s missing: an auto-focus motor. Why? Well, light field technology means that you’re not picking a focus point, so there’s nothing to focus on. Everything in the shot is in focus, the second you snap the picture. That’s the other crazy part: even the fastest autofocus systems have a delay, no matter how slight. With Lytro? No delay.
So what does this mean? When you get back to your Mac or Windows computer you’re going to upload your shots to the Lytro software. With the image loaded up you’ll see a slider… and you can now pick your focus point. For the first time ever, you’ve got real control over the image you compose, after the fact.
The Lytro is new technology, producing what they call “11 megarays” of resolution. That’s about equivalent to a 1-2 megapixel camera. That means it’s going to be great for profile pics and smaller prints. Will it give you the insane detail of a 24MP camera blow up at 3’ x 2’? No, but I haven’t done that with one of my images in over a year. Long story short: this is incredibly cool technology and you’ll be able to get one from Future Shop on October 9th!
Editor's note: we're now anticipating that these will be available online starting this Saturday, October 13th.
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