With Lytro, cameras would no longer need to focus to a single object within the image. Nor would they have to adjust apertures, light entrance to get the right focus and defocus. You won’t even have to wait before you click the shutter.
Lytro is the brainchild of Dr. Ren Ng, a Stanford Ph.D whose dissertation on light-field technology five years ago was showered with awards. Now, with the help of $50 million in funding, they are preparing to launch a focus-free digital camera later this year.
How Lytro Camera works
The camera captures all the information it possibly can about depth of the field in front of it. Result that you get back is a digital photo that is adjustable in an almost infinite number of ways. In the resulting picture, you can focus at any spot, change the light levels (exposure, aperture) and if you have a 3D screen, you can also tilt and shift the photo in three dimensions.
Of course all of that sounds possible with current cameras but what you might be thinking at this point is that resulting image would be large enough to fill memory cards quickly. But in reality the file size is roughly comparable to the average size of a digital photo today. The camera’s onboard DSP does the heavy image processing to make the image size small enough.
It also sports a revolutionary light sensor tahts very sensitive and allows you to capture low-light situations like candle light dinners, without actuating a flash. No more grainy ISOs!
Lytro Demos: Tip: Click on area to focus, double click to zoom
Lytro would be available by end of 2011, but you can get a sneak peak at the demonstrations that are already available. All of them use Flash, HTML5. Works on all browsers, including webkit smartphone browsers.
What would be your guess for such a camera that takes all the pain? Don’t worry its not going to drill holes in your pocket, the company promises that it would not cost more than current digital cameras on the market.
The photography is going to shift to all new level!