Photography just got its very own game-changing disruptive innovation and no, it’s not from Apple. The Lytro is an interesting and amazing piece of equipment that could very well be the next big step in photography since… well, since the invention of the camera.
The Lytro is this oblong awkward looking device that does not say very much of what its amazing functionality. First, lets talk a bit about what it actually does before gripping about its design and usability.
The Lytro utilizes a photographic technique called Light Field photography. This is the sort of complex photography that was used to create the famous scene in the Matrix where Neo dodges bullets in some 3D fashion.
Well, in that instance, this was achieved using many cameras all capturing different angles of the same image as well as different sources of light and light directions. Now the Lytro has been able to achieve this, all with one sing piece of equipment.
When shooting, the Lytro analyses the field of vision and captures all the different points of light that typically make up an image. Conventional cameras only pick up one point hence having the linear image projection. Once shot, the Lytro processes and stores this information not as a static picture but as data. This data when processed creates a picture which allows the user to refocus the image as they please.
What this means is that if you take a picture focusing on an image in the foreground, you will be able to later refocus the image, on the fly, on objects in any other area of view. It’s hard to explain but the company behind the Lytro, also called Lytro, has put up some great demos on its site to demonstrate the camera. The design may not be the best but the company does promise to come up with software updates as well as design improvements with time.