Imagine a camera that lets you take your shots first and focus your subject later with just one click. That’s what a Mountain View start-up company, Lytro is ‘focusing’ on. They have come up with a new
idea technology that allows a picture’s focus to be adjusted after it has been captured.
Instead of manually focusing or to wait for the camera to auto-focus, this technology allows you to focus after the photo has been clicked. When a photo taken with a Lytro camera and is uploaded on a computer, you can focus anywhere in the picture, on whatever object you want to. For example, you can focus a flower or focus the background instead of the flower i.e, you can focus the foreground or the background, it’s your choice!
Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, who has invested $50 million in Lytro .
We see technology companies all the time, but it’s rare that someone comes along with something that is this much of a breakthrough,
Fours years ago, scientists had invented a device that lets photographers focus blur images after the photos were captured. The camera used a special lens with ten times the normal depth of field to capture photos.
People can take photos much faster than ever, since they don’t have to focus manually or wait for the camera to auto-focus. This technology could be the next big thing in cameras. Photos can also be captured from many angles which is not possible with any of the conventional cameras. The technique the Lytro’s camera uses is by positioning an array of micro lenses between the main lens and the image sensor.
Here’s a video I stumbled across that explains pretty much the same as this technology.
The technology also allows photographers to capture photos in very low-light conditions without using a flash. Lytro cameras can also capture 3-D images, which can be viewed on a computer screen with 3-D glasses.
Ren Ng, founder and CEO of Lytro said that the technology is used to take still images only, however there is high potential to use light filed technology for videography and science filed in future.
Here’s an example of the technology actually works
More examples here
Reg Ng believes that Lytro will have bright and exciting future with this new technology. He expects professional and amateur photographers will be able to create and explore new kinds of photogrpahyic art.
Lytro has no plans of launching the camera until late 2011.