Friday, November 18, 2011

Shoot now, Focus later.......?

So I was trolling through the interwebs when I came across an article that made me question what I thought I knew about photography.  The article was about a new product from a relatively new company named Lytro.  They have a camera out right now that, for all intents and purposes, will allow you to take a photo now, and then later during the editing process allow you to adjust where your point of focus is.  You heard me right.  You can actually change the way you focused the image.  From what I can gather from the company's website, and from the few articles I found on the product, the reason that this is a possibility is because this camera uses a technology called "light field" or "plenoptic".  How does this work you say.  Well, this camera is equipped with an 8x optical zoom lens that funnels light to an image sensor that is overlaid with a special array of micro lenses.  They gather an immense amount of data, i.e. how the light is reacting off of all the surfaces in the frame.  It then exports a .lfp (light field picture) file which holds all the data that then can be translated into interactive data by the light field engine inside the camera.  So far the software for this camera and these files is mac only but I am sure that it is only a matter of time before we start seeing it on the pc side as well. The camera looks more like a toy than a cutting edge photography tool.  The real question is when will this technology get put into all the DSLRs that we know and love, and will the advent of this new technology make we photographers ( an already dying breed) even more obsolete?

What do you think of this new technology?  What do you think it will mean for the photography world?  Leave your comments and questions for the forum in the comments section on this post, and as always, Keep Shooting!

Here's Talkin' at ya!


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