While it can’t prevent your mother from cutting the heads off of subjects, Lytro’s Light Field Camera will allow her—and you—to choose a new focus subject in photos after the fact. “What?!?!” you ask, “What black magic is this?” Lytro’s secret-keeping explanation simply says the camera has the ability to capture incredible amounts of light information, including the direction of the beams, and then uses complex software, post-exposure, to give an interactive photo where you can selectively change the focus, among other features. Taking product shots may have just gotten much easier.

Lytro’s Light Field Camera – Living Pictures

Does all this sound too good to be true? I thought so, too, but after playing with the multitude of sample photos in their gallery, I’m convinced that either they have a working prototype or infinite patience in Photoshop. You really should check it out for yourself. Here are the main selling points straight from Lytro’s fact sheet:

  • Shoot now, focus later – People will no longer be delayed by having to focus their camera or be disappointed when a picture turns out irreparably out-of-focus. Lytro pictures can be flawlessly focused to their liking – days, weeks, even years after they’re taken.
  • Unparalleled speed – Since the camera doesn’t focus before a photo is taken, people will no longer miss important moments due to autofocus shutter lag.
  • Living pictures – Lytro creates pictures that both the photographer and viewer can interact with when shared online on blogs, photo sharing sites, their favorite social media networks, etc. They can focus the foreground, background or the entire image simply by clicking on an area of detail. No software download is required.
  • Low-light sensitivity – By using all of the available light in a scene, light field cameras can capture better pictures in remarkably low light environments without use of a flash.
  • Immersive 3D – Using the full light field, Lytro cameras will allow people to easily switch between 2D and 3D views or shift the perspective of the scene.

All that in a single exposure? I’m interested.

After raising $50 million in capital, Lytro says it will be pushing its products to consumers this year. In other words, we have only vague info on when it will be available and no info on how much it will cost. Still, I added my name to their contact list, as this will undoubtedly help me out with my product photography an my drunken bar photos. I will wait to hear about the price before getting one for mom though.

Source: Lytro and AllThingsD
Intro Image Credit: Eric Cheng / Lytro
Content Image Credit: Jason Bradley / Lytro