The Lytro Camera

The big news in the photography industry for the last week or so is the Lytro Camera.  Haven’t heard of it?  It’s a camera that focuses after you’ve taken the picture.  Here’s a link to a Google search for articles on it.  I’ll wait here while you get caught up.

Done reading?  Great.

The Lytro Camera and this shoot-now-focus-later technology could be the next revolution in the photography industry.  Or it might not be.  I think the facial recognition and smile detection software innovations are amazing technologies that are out there in current digital cameras.  Those technologies seemed to have the potential to be a big deal when they came out, but I’m not sure they made such a huge splash after all, though.  Only time will tell with the Lytro technology.

This new focusing technology brings up a few questions.

What does this technology do for professional photographers who have already mastered real-time focusing and aperture techniques to achieve an artistic look to their images?  It seems a bit like fixing something that ain’t broke.  Then again, if this technology could be integrated into modern DSLRs and used if needed, it could be a great backup plan in case focus was missed in the shot.

Second, how much will this technology cost?  Will it be cheap enough to be in affordable consumer grade cameras?  It needs to be relatively inexpensive in order to reach its target market, which I imagine to be more oriented toward the Average Joe camera buyer.

Third question:  how big will the Lytro Camera be?  We’re so used to having superduperteenytiny cameras (and every other kind of device).  Will the focus-later technology require a camera to be on the bigger side, or will we be able to fit this camera in our pocket?

I’m sure there are many other questions about this new technology, and likewise, I’m sure there are many opinions about whether this is an innovation that elevates photography or whether it simply makes it easier to take pictures without knowing anything about photography.  Whatever your opinion, I think we can all agree that from a purely technological standpoint, this technology is amazing.

Open to your thoughts and opinions if you feel like sharing.  Until next time, have a great week!

Josh Lamkin, PWD Editor

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