updated 10:45 am EDT, Wed June 22, 2011
Lytro light field cam allows post-shot focus
Newcomer Lytro has unveiled a new camera technology that promised to revolutionize how cameras capture shots. Its new sensor captures light fields independent of the direction of the camera and avoids the need to focus the shot at the time it's taken. Instead, photographers would just have to pick the focal point in software, either on the camera or on another device.
The system uses a grid of microlenses between the primary lens and the sensor. All the extra lenses can gauge both the intensity of the light and its direction.
At a minimum, the technology should entirely eliminate the focus delay and allow many more cameras the option of shooting in low light, since they can usually refocus on the right point. The step would also enable 3D without needing two sensors and two lenses to create a stereoscopic effect.
Lytro has been working on the project since at least 2007 and is already close enough that it plans to have a working camera of its own on the market by the end of the year. More details were expected to come later. [via AllThingsD]
Non-interactive examples: shifting the focus from the woman (top) to the man (bottom)