Lytro Digital Camera Rewrites Photography Rules [Video]

October 20, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The digital world of cameras is getting a revolutionary makeover with the introduction of a new digital camera by a Silicon Valley startup. The digital shooter Lytro, named after the company itself, is cutting a new shape in the technology terrain called light-field photography.

The Lytro is very much different from other conventional cameras, from its looks to operations. The shooter gives a new meaning or “life” to still photography.

With the Lytro, you can snap images as and when you want, without taking the pain of focusing at the moment, instead leaving it for later. Here’s out it works.

All those conventional shooters use lenses to focus a subject, which means that for an in-focus part of the image, the sensor takes in light only from one direction. But, in light-field photography, light from multiple directions hits each patch of the sensor, which is a lot of information (that the other digital snappers don’t understand!).

The Lytro stores this information and later compiles it into something that our eyes can perceive. More simply said, the Lytro captures 11 million rays of light for every shot, thus capturing a scene in what could be said as four dimensions.

That said, what we get is a 3D map of the image, so you can literally focus wherever you please. This makes the image more lively and interactive.

The Lytro cameras have got instant shutters, so no lag there. You click and the picture is taken without missing a beat.

Besides, this unique interactivity can be extended to your computers. The camera comes with software that enables people to do the same operation on their computers, with images hosted for free at Lytro’s web site or in Facebook.

The company is releasing only a Mac application at launch time, though they have promised a Windows version and a mobile app as well. Due to the camera’s depth information, Lytro images can be viewed in 3D but that feature will only be available in future versions of the camera.

Hardware-wise, the camera is an elongated box, about 4.4-inches long and 1.6-inches square. At one end is the lens sans flash and at the other end is an LCD touch-screen display.

The Lytro is different when we visualize the conventional camera with a set of knobbly lenses and wheels. Along the Lytro’s sides are the power and shutter buttons, a USB port and a touch-sensitive strip to zoom.

The camera supports a constant F/2 lens and an 8x optical zoom with zero shutter lag. The company is releasing a $399 model with ‘electric blue’ and ‘graphite’ exteriors, with 8GB in-built memory, and the $499 16GB ‘red hot’ Lytro that can record 750 shots.

All the memory is inside the camera as it doesn’t support memory cards and the initial models also don’t shoot videos. The company has promised customers who buy the first models free storage at Lytro.com.

These revolutionary snappers are expected early next year. Now that you have heard of it, do you fancy trying it out?

Here’s a video that could interest you. Now, tell us are you going for it?

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