Back in June, I was excited about the idea of so-called “light field” photography – a digital raster process that captures not only intensity and color for each pixel, but also the direction of inbound light. The upshot? So-called “light field” cameras actually record a vector field for each image that allows software ray-tracing to produce images of the scene arbitrarily focused at any depth, including infinite.
I’m still excited about that idea, and I thought it was worth mentioning that the first commercial devices produced by the inventor’s start-up are now available for pre-order, with shipping expected in 2012. I am a late adopter, by nature, and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll be plunking down the $400 Lytro is asking for its 8GB model, sight unseen. For me, at least, the focus-later feature doesn’t justify that kind of expense. I hope they make it, though, so I can eventually buy a cheaper model. And I’ll be very curious when the reviews start coming out. [Thanks, Laura!]