Amateur photographers can throw out their lessons on depth of field. A small company in Mountain View, Calif. is planning to release a camera that lets you shift focus after a photograph has been taken. Using "light field" technology, Lytro is launching a camera that records a full spectrum of light fields by using software inside of the camera. By having the light information available digitally, any user can edit the perspective of a photograph after it has been taken.
A picture gallery on the company's website lets users play with perspective and choose which part of the photograph to focus on. Clicking on different parts of the photograph allows you to make these changes instantly on screen. A video release by the company shows the company's concept of "living pictures."
Lytro was founded by Dr. Ren Ng, whose award-winning dissertation lays the groundwork for company's core technology. In a blog post published on Tuesday to announce the camera, Ng talks about starting his research eight years ago, while in a PhD program at Stanford University. His frustration with the limitations of cameras inspired Ng to research light field photography.
A blog post by Manu Kumar of K9 Ventures elaborates on how the startup was born. He mentions that he was amazed how Ng "succeeded in coming up with a way of shrinking 100s of cameras into a single camera (grossly over-simplified)." Originally called Refocus Imaging, the company has secured $50 million in funding.
Here are some initial thoughts from the Twitterverse...
"Lytro will revolutionize the art of photobombing." -shervin
"WOW - refocus and relight pics AFTER you take them. A revolutionary new" -MaryImageSmith
"Lytro Is Developing a Camera That May Change Photography as We Know It" -syedaslam