Shoot first, focus later! Are “focus free” cameras in your future?

by planetMitch3 Comments

There's a buzz going around the web since yesterday about Lytro (a new camera brand that was announced just Tuesday) which features the functionality of selectively changing the focus of your image after it is taken and you can change the focus any time you want. You will also be able to share the photos with others and they'll be able to change the focus as well! The technology has been in work for some time, we've seen articles about it before, but now it appears they've formed a company to begin selling these devices based on this new technology called Light Field… more on that below. No images of the camera itself are included yet tho. Video demo at bottom too.

No word on whether there's video in their future.

For details on the technology (if you're a geek) you can read the CEO Ren Ng's dissertation from 2006 on the technology [source: tweet from joshNegrin who pointed to gizmodo – it was also sent in by Ken who sent us his article on the camera]

Redrock Micro

A bit about the technology

Science Inside Lytro

Science Inside Lytro - Light Field Defined

The above image is associated with this definition on their site – there are several more pages detailing the concepts (which I still don't understand LOL)

The light field is a core concept in imaging science, representing fundamentally more powerful data than in regular photographs. The light field fully defines how a scene appears. It is the amount of light traveling in every direction through every point in space – it’s all the light rays in a scene. Conventional cameras cannot record the light field.

The photos!

Most impressive is the photos on their site but here's a sample or two where you can click inside the photos to actually change the focus points!

they also have a video demo:

(cover photo credit: snap from the site)

Zeiss Cinema Lenses


  1. The technology has a way to go, but exciting. Raytrix is selling ‘their ‘high end camera which uses I believe the same technology (but only 3 megapixels), with ‘price on request’

    And Adobe has been ‘playing’ with this technology for some time.

  2. Would rather have seen them license the technology to a company that really knows how to make cameras, rather than trying to make their own camera. But very exciting technology in any case.

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