Lytro Camera Innovates Photography with FlashThursday, March 01, 2012 by Sean P
It's always cool to see new technology innovate things that haven't changed in years.
Lytro has created a new type of photograph that captures more (all) of the light field, making for very vivid pictures with great depth and allowing the image to be focused interactively after the photo has been taken with their new camera. Since it does this is one snap, there is no need to focus the camera, and there is no delay from when you click the button.
The coolest feature, is that the viewer can click different parts of the image - something in the foreground, background, or somewhere in between - and the focus will change to sharpen that part of the photo, and blur the rest. It's interesting to see how a story can unfold in the process of another portion of the image coming into focus, changing your perspective on the story once another section becomes visible.
The camera itself is small and simplified, looking like a small rectangular box with a bubbled lens on one side and a viewfinder on the other - that's basically it. From the marketing and look of their branding and website, to the simplified camera itself, it's all very Apple-esque. But, look inside the camera and it's a pretty genius design, with a combination of lenses.
The UX for playing with the focus could be a little better. It's hard to know if there are spots you can click or not, or where the spots are, so the viewer will click around an image aimlessly for a moment before discovering a hot spot that can be focused. There is some interest in that discovery moment and the anticipation can be somewhat engaging, but it can get old quick. With some subtle icons on Hover, for example, this would be cleared up and easy to use. Hopefully they implement some indicators and it will be a very easy UX.
Click the green in this image towards the bottom:
Check out these Lytro photos: