Well jump into the tech in a sec, but for now you should know that the Lytro camera allows you to capture a photo which can be refocused to almost any plane of field long after the image has been recorded. This is demonstrated on Lytro’s website, where you can click and point, as well as zoom, onto a variety of images. The effect is for lack of a better words jaw dropping. You can also checkout a sample image just below.
So how does it accomplish this amazing feat? The Lytro, unlike conventional cameras, which snap a single plane of light, captures the entire field of light. That is to say it can record “all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space.” Amazing doesn’t even begin to do it justice.
According to Lytro, the very first light fields were first captured in a lab at Standford university. They used a room full of cameras and a supercomputer to boot. Now, 15 years later, the same effect can be acheived using a handheld camera that boasts an 8x optical zoom, and an f/2 aperture lens that is constant across the entire zoom range. And let’s not forget about the Light Field Sensor, the integral part of the camera that records the color, intensity and vector direction of the rays of light. This last bit of info is lost in conventional cameras.
The Lytro camera, which comes in two capacities, can be purchased today for $399 (8GB) or $499 (16GB). The 8GB model allows for up to 350 pictures, while the 16GB model turns math and logic on its head by storing up 750 images.