Selective Focus

Lytro. Makes Digital Imaging Magic.

This has been getting quite a bit of buzz around the internet lately, but I finally had time to sit down and go through the Lytro site and check out what all of the fuss is about.

I tried to ambed the live image but WordPress didn't understand the code. To see the live images and iteractively refocus them, click on any of the live links in this post.

Like any new technology, this is pricey and not for the average consumer. Like all new technology, eventually it will be. It’s only a a matter of time before this ten thousand dollar camera drops in price, and the technology itself is licensed to other camera manufacturers.

Lytro has launched with some new, seriously amazing camera technology. The camera works by capturing all the information it possibly can about the field of light so that you can adjust the photo in any way during post production. This means you can re-focus, re-light, tilt-shift, correct for lens distortion, etc. all after the image has been shot.

This new technology that Lytro is introducing will be changing photography all together. It will allow you to make major corrections to shots that in the past would be unsalvageable. And when you see the online demo of images in their photo gallery, it shows major potential for interactivity, with things like “focus pulls” on a static shot. When I first saw this, I kept thinking of “Blade Runner” and the infinite zoom and enhance within digital images that they showed.

So, how much will it actually cost? One of the funding companies, NG, says anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. I bet it starts closer to the $10,000 range, and over time drops to less than $1,ooo. This is the kind of thing that consumers are going to want. Lytro knows it, the people funding them know it, and the manufactures of point and shoot cameras really know it.

If you really want to jump into the science of this, check out the Lytro Blog. There is a ton of information and demos on it.