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Lytro Light Field Camera is a world first – Lets you focus after shooting

A world first in camera technology has made its debut today in San Francisco, USA.

The Lytro Light Field camera features a completely new type of camera technology, and it’s pretty compelling we must say.

This camera is different from the compacts or DSLRs that you’re used to in that it captures fields of light rather than pixels and megapixels. This means that it can take in everything in one picture, allowing the user to choose their point of focus later on, either on the camera itself or on their PC or Mac.

Regular digital cameras also capture fields of light, but they naturally compress everything into one compressed image file. The Lytro keeps everything separate, meaning that you can add a crisp focus point to pretty much anywhere in a picture, whenever you want. You can even move the focus point around until you’re happy, and then save the image.

The advantage this brings is in speed – you can literally just pull out the camera and snap away, not having to waste valuable time finding a focal point and playing around with settings. All your editing can be done later.

Because of this, the camera can take on a completely different form factor too. In fact, the Lytro looks nothing like your average camera at all – we think it looks like a cross between a giant lipstick and a kaleidoscope.

Today is the first time the Lytro’s form factor has been shown off, we previously only knew of the tech behind it. The camera will be available in three different colours – blue, red and grey. The camera measures around 4.4-inches long and weighs just 226g, so is very portable indeed.

On the front is the lens and on the back is a 1.46-inch LCD touchscreen with which you can view and edit your photographs. The camera only features three buttons – power, shutter and a slider for zoom.

The Lytro Light Field camera will be available in two versions, the difference being the flash memory capacity found inside. There’s an 8GB model which will cost $399 and a 16GB model which will cost $499. You can get the 8GB in blue or grey, and the 16GB comes in red.

Because of the sheer amount of data that this camera has to capture to take this type of photo, the image files are much larger than a regular digital photo. For this reason, the number of photographs you’ll be able to store on the flash memory is considerably less than you would think – the 8GB will hold around 350 shots and the 16GB will hold up to 700.

Both cameras will be available to buy early 2012. You can check out how the technology works on the Lytro website, where they have some sample photos on there that you can play around with. Have a go at changing the focal point just by clicking the grey dot on a photo and then in an area of the image.

Lytro Test Images

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

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