Lytro Announces Consumer Light Field Camera

Lytro, Inc. announced that it is developing a “light field” camera for consumers that the company claims will forever change the way people take and experience pictures. According to Lytro, Later this year the company will start selling light field cameras that can capture all of the light rays in a scene to offer photographic capabilities never before possible, such as focusing a picture after it’s taken.

Lytro cameras will also create interactive, living pictures that can be endlessly focused and refocused by both the photographer and the viewer, bringing new creative possibilities to photography.

Unlike conventional cameras, which can only record a scene in two dimensions, light field cameras can capture all of the light traveling in every direction through a scene in four dimensions. A light field picture taken with a Lytro camera can be manipulated after the fact in ways not possible with editing software.


Light field cameras capture fundamentally more powerful data than possible in regular photographs. To record this additional data, Lytro cameras will feature an innovative new light field sensor that captures the color, intensity and direction of every light ray. Software within the camera then processes the picture into a light field picture file that anyone can interact with, without needing special software.


“This is the next big evolution of the camera,” said CEO and Founder Dr. Ren Ng. “The move from film to digital was extraordinary and opened up picture taking to a much larger audience. Lytro is introducing Camera 3.0, a breakthrough that lets you nail your shot every time and never miss a moment. Now you can snap once and focus later to get the perfect picture.”


According to the company, Lytro camera capabilities will include:

Shoot now, focus later. People will no longer be disappointed by a picture that turns out focused on the wrong subject, such as the wall instead of a child’s smile. Lytro pictures can be flawlessly focused to one’s 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 the conventional delay of the lens autofocusing as you press the shutter button.

Living pictures. Lytro creates interactive, living pictures that will engage and delight those who experience them online via social media networks, mobile phones, blogs, etc. Viewers can immerse themselves in a living picture to discover and focus in on new details by simply clicking on different parts of a picture. 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 provide an immersive 3D picture that goes beyond the conventional stereo 3D by, for example, controlling the perspective view of a scene.

In 2010, consumers worldwide spent more than $38 billion on cameras and is expected to increase to $43.5 billion worldwide by 2015.

The first Lytro camera is expected to be available for purchase online later this year. For a demonstration of living pictures, visit the Lytro Picture Gallery.




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