March 1, 2012
Something incredibly exciting just happened in technology. No, it’s not a new iPhone or iPad, a new TV or the latest Android device.
It’s a new kind of camera called the Lytro that takes pictures in a way that no other camera ever has. The innovation behind this gadget is light field photography, which the company, also named Lytro, calls “the first major change in photography since photography was invented.”
First, a little explanation about light field photography and what the Lytro does. When normal cameras take a photo, they measure the color and light coming through the lens to produce an image. The Lytro camera not only sees color and light but can understand which direction the light moves while snapping a photo. Instead of simply grabbing one point of the light in a scene, Lytro analyzes all the points of light and then converts them to data. Once the image is stored using the technology, it can be processed and reprocessed after the photo is taken.
… Basically, it means that you can take a photo and then refocus the subject in it after the fact. It means that if you take a picture of a friend in the foreground and there’s something exciting happening down the street, you can use Lytro’s custom software to refocus on the background, or almost anything else in the scene that you captured. It’s hard to explain, but it’s amazing.
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