Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lytro - Revolutionizing the art of photography

Photographs have always been a special medium, we use it to capture important moments in our life. Cameras over the years have made gradual transition from black and white ones to the color ones, from the film based ones to digital ones today. So what is the next revolution in this area?

Silicon Valley based startup Lytro unveiled a new camera based on light field technology which goes beyond today's technology of capturing a single static image, it captures a "living" image that can be refocused later, long after the picture is taken and digitally stored. Here is an introductory video from the creators:

The company's technology is based on the its founder and CEO Ren Ng's PhD dissertation titled "Digital Light Field Photography" at Stanford in 2006. Ren refined the idea from the lab to a consumer-oriented product with investments from VCs.

The Lytro Light Field Camera boasts an 8X optical zoom lens with a constant f/2 aperture, capturing maximum light across the entire zoom range. The camera has an instant shutter and requires no auto-focus, no unnecessary modes, dials, or settings. There is no flash either because Lytro claims to handle many low light settings automatically.

The camera comes in two models, a 8GB model that can capture 350 photographs priced at $399 and a 16GB model that can capture 750 photographs priced at $499. The camera is available for buying now but will be shipping in early 2012.

The camera has a 1.46 in. back-lit LCD touchscreen and weighs 7.55oz. The raw data of image is stored in internal flash storage and comes with a micro USB cable for data transfer and charging. The camera kit includes a free desktop application for importing, processing and interacting with living pictures from the camera. The application requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, no Windows support for now though coming soon. Lytro is providing free unlimited online storage. The interactive pictures can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, email or your blog.

You can interactively explore some of the photographs at the Living Pictures Gallery at

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