Point, Shoot, Focus: Now on Sale

March 1, 2012

Back in October, I wrote about a new kind of point-and-shoot camera that, by capturing more information about the light reflected from the subject, allows some photographic adjustments to be made after the fact.

A start-up company, Lytro, has developed a point-and-shoot camera with a new type of image sensor, which, because it captures more information than a conventional sensor (or film), will allow pictures to be focused after they are taken.

As the PhysOrg.com site reports, Lytro has now released its first product models. Although they are not cheap, they have some interesting features:

The telescope-shaped camera uses what is known as “light field technology” to allow the focal point of a to be changed after the picture is taken, a feature that Lytro calls “shoot now, focus later.

The 16-gigabyte model of the camera, which is about the same size as a stick of butter and can fit easily in a pocket, costs $499 and can hold 750 pictures. An 8GB version costs $399 and can capture 350 images.

One of the things that I find most interesting about this product is that it departs, significantly, from the idea of capturing what the (human) eye can see.  Its product differentiation is based entirely, as far as I can see, on its ability to capture something that the eye cannot possibly see.  It makes me wonder what might be captured next.

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