Lytro: Light Rays and Living Pictures

By Shem Pennant,

Lytro-

Photography – especially the mid-range point and click market has been in trouble for some time now. People, for the most part, love to take pictures but a quick glance on Facebook or Instagram shows that they don’t always care about the quality. And when the camera bundle with your phone is “good enough” then why shell out for a “real camera”. What can camera manufacturers do in a world where people are willing to take pictures on iPads?

Enter Lytro – a radical new way to take an experience photography. Lytro brings light field technology to consumers and changes perceptions about what cameras can be. For a start Lytro doesn’t look like a camera (although I’m guess to someone under 14 a camera must just look like a phone). To my eye Lytro looks like a rectangular torch – or a mini telescope and the sleek design features just two buttons – power and shutter – which is a far cry from the knobs and dials of cameras of old. This is not to call Lytro simple – the touch screen controls are intuitive and enable all sorts of control over the images you are taking.




Of course Lytro’s headline feature is a light field sensor that collects the colour, intensity and the direction of every light ray flowing into the camera, capturing fundamentally different data from the scene. What this means is that you can refocus one a photo is taken and shift the perspective in a scene. Lytro excels at taking these sorts of image, although it’s not the best camera for taking a wide range shots.



Bringing smartphone innovations to regular cameras, Lytro also comes with Living Filters, giving one click access to 9 interactive filters. And there is also an app that enables anyone with an iOS device to experience “living pictures”.



Availability and Price
The Lytro camera is available in July through UK distributor Softline, in retail stores Dixons Travel, Harrods and online at John Lewis priced at:
• Graphite, Electric Blue, Moxie Pink: 8GB Lytro Camera- £399.00
• Red Hot: 16 GB Lytro Camera- £469.00