The world’s first light field camera is here. Lytro, the company that came up with the light field camera concept, finally unveiled the first product that showcases the technology. What a light field camera does is capture the entire light field, unlike traditional cameras that only capture a single light plane. With a light field camera, all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space is captured. This makes it possible to re-focus after the fact.
In the photo below, click on any spot where you want the focus to be.
That’s how light field technology works. Impressive? You bet. This is something that will radically change photography.
Lytro’s first camera is quite unorthodox in design. I guess it takes an unorthodox form to implement the technology. In any case, Lytro’s first light field camera has an anodized aluminum frame and an f/2 lens with 8x zoom which uses an 11-mega-ray light-field. The camera is instant-on so you don’t have to wait before you can start shooting. At the back are two buttons, one for shutter and the other for power. On-camera focus is available through a touchscreen glass display.
The Lytro light filed camera will be available in two versions — an 8GB model which costs US$399 and holds about 350 pictures, and a 16GB model which costs US$499 that can store up to 750 images. The Lytro camera is already available for pre-order and will ship in early 2012.