New camera lets you refocus shots after they’re taken

Have you ever taken a photo and felt disappointed later to find out it was out of focus? What if you could refocus the image easily days later, on the fly, however you felt like? Sounds impossible of course. That’s only because we think in a linear direction and can’t imagine anything different.

Now there is new technology that will enable the photographer to refocus shots whenever it is needed. The company is Lytro, and their technology gathers light information in a whole new way. Don Clark in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal tells how it is done:

Lytro’s approach springs from Stanford University research into what are often called light-field cameras, which capture much more information to create an image than conventional digital cameras. While scientists have discussed the underlying concept for a century, most previous experiments have required as many as a hundred cameras and heavy-duty computing power.

In 2006, Lytro CEO Ren Ng wrote a doctoral dissertation at Stanford about ways to dramatically reduce the size and cost of the technology. Lytro isn’t disclosing details before releasing its first cameras later this year, but Mr. Ng says their pricing will be competitive with today’s consumer cameras.

TechSpot has an online demo here. I can only hope that Canon will add this feature as a plugin or update. Heaven knows how much I need it.

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