Lytro announced their first commercial product yesterday – a new camera making use of their light field technology.

Remember the demonstration of Lytro’s shoot-first, focus-later technology we shared on Facebook and Twitter earlier this year? Well, they announced their first consumer product featuring their revolutionary light field technology yesterday.

This pocket-sized camera allows you to do this:

Click anywhere in the image to refocus. Clever, right? Check out the gallery of focus-later images on Lytro’s website.

Using the light field technology, the camera instantly captures the whole scene you point it to – there is no autofocus, and thus now focussing delay. Hardware wise, they have kept it very, very simple. Interface wise, you get a power button, a shutter release and a zoom slider. On the back you have a small touchscreen, allowing you to refocus on the camera itself, or flick through your images. On the business side of the camera, you’ll find the f/2.0, 8x zoom lens encased in anodised aluminium, which will be available in graphite, red or blue.

The 8GB model is said to hold up to 350 images, while the 16GB model can hold up to 750, and the battery should last up to two weeks – strange numbers, but we’ll know more as the reviews come out. It is interesting that Lytro has decided to market this camera more like a new smartphone or gadget than a serious camera – the construction, colours, ergonomics and lack of an SD card slot shouts iPod more than it shouts DSLR.

Keeping with the consumer gadget appeal, the camera can also share to social networks from the desktop software – your friends on Facebook will instantly be able to play around with the focus in your so-called “living images”. Very handy feature.

Currently, the word is that the camera will launch in the United States early next year, starting at $400 for the 8GB version, and $500 for the 16GB version. No international sales at this time, not even to Canada.

Here at Orms, we would like to know what you guys think about this camera? Is it just a novelty item? Is being a novelty item a bad thing? Is it the future of camera technology? Is it a gimmick? Would you appreciate the instant capture technology? Please sound off in the comments!

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5 Comments

Lytro Announce First Light Field Camera

  1. This is the beginning of [another] whole new field of photography. Whilst traditionalists might bemoan the fact that this eliminates depth of field issues, and miss all things bokeh, this will usher in a whole new class of photograph style and art.

    Besides, digital post-processing is simply part of the photographic workflow now, one can still add bokeh/blur with filters and what have you…

  2. i think this is GREAT! So excited to see where this technology goes! and I’m beyond excited to actually get my hands on one of these to test it myself! 🙂

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