Sometimes it takes time, but every now and then an innovative product hits the market without Apple's hands, the last ones I remember now were the Wii and Kinect (this one with an asterisk, because it was just a reaction to the Wii, but how it is not an abomination like PlayStation Move, I will give you a discount). Well, it happened again with Lytro, the first brightfield camera on the market. Not only does it have a bizarre design, unlike all digital cameras in the world, it does something almost unthinkable: it allows you to change the focus of photographs after they were taken.
The magic behind this is in the way the camera captures light: instead of registering just a set of rays of light, it works with 11 million rays, thanks to the arrangement of its various lenses and special software to process this information. Technically, you can imagine a very large light sensor capturing the images as if it were a compound eye and interpreting each one as a different focus layer.
The result is a photograph that can be refocused at will, in addition to there being no delay in the time of taking it as the camera captures all possible focuses, it wastes no time focusing on anything. Of course, not everything is just flowers, butterflies or top models: each image the size of an Instagram lacks details, not exactly a marvel in terms of print quality and weighs 22MB on average. On the other hand, all images taken by this camera can be refocused or converted to 3D natively.
In the most mundane aspects of the thing, Lytro has a multi-touch display, optical zoom of up to 8x, constant f / 2 aperture in all focuses, battery capable of recording up to 400 images and the ability to record images even in low light conditions. light.
And how much does this game cost? An 8GB model (available in electric blue or graphite), capable of holding 350 photos, costs $ 400, while a 16GB hot red model, with a capacity for 750 images, costs $ 500. For now the cameras are on pre-sale, but will be shipped in 2012.
Now it looks like hell has frozen: when was the last time you saw a gadget hit the market with Mac-only compatibility? Well, Lytro has this peculiarity not to mention that her website is totally Apple-like, except for the detail of requiring Flash on desktops, although it works perfectly on iGadgets. This, I will never understand: why not use HTML5 for everyone?
In particular, I see this camera as a kind of differential evolution of an Instagram of life: it does not serve to register traditional images, but rather to do something different, unique, that draws attention for its peculiarity. The price is tailored to attract early-adopters and hipsters, but still a little too much to become a mass product.
However, the future is promising: the evolution of this technology could make the autofocus become something completely superfluous, in addition to allowing the production of 3D images using a single lens, not to mention that it can give a practical utility to sensors with, I don't know , 500 megapixels, maybe one of them can make a photo of Lytro with the level of details of an iPhone 4 camera.
Incidentally, when they manage to stick one of these to an iPhone, Flickr will never be the same. Again.
(via This is my next)