The new Lytro camera is now on sale. Calling this a camera is almost a misnomer, because it is unlike any camera you have ever seen. To be fair, the Lytro “camera” depends on your viewing the images on a computer, on a blog, Facebook, etc. To help folks get the idea that this is a new experience Lytro has named this the “light field camera.”
The chief difference comes down to focusing. Traditional cameras let the photographer decide what to focus on, foreground, background, or the entire image. This camera lets the viewer of the photograph decide what to focus on.
You as the viewer want to see the background more clearly? Click on it and it comes into focus. Want to zoom in and focus on the foreground? With a click you are there. The best way to understand what this camera is all about is by viewing the picture gallery on the Lytro website. Checking this out is equivalent to checking out the Kodak Brownie when it came out. You really need to see this in action, if you haven’t already.
How much does it cost? $399-$499. And it looks unlike any camera you have ever seen. Where are all the buttons, you say? Buttons not needed. No focusing required, no exposure. Nothing. I wonder when the video version will come out…