Lytro

Watch out, this powerful camera could well change the way we shoot pictures
8x optical zoom | light field camera | 8 GB storage | US$ 399
It is touted as the world’s first consumer ‘light field camera’.

It is touted as the world’s first consumer ‘light field camera’.

How many times have you clicked pictures at a party, only to find out later that most of them are blurred? And if you post them on Facebook, you get asked how much you had to drink. The fact is, those images would have been blurred regardless. The culprit is your point-and-shoot camera. More often than not, it does not know what to focus on. You could have carried a DSLR, but you don’t want to look geeky at the party. Plus, a DSLR is overkill if all you want is to post pictures on Facebook.

So, the next time, carry a Lytro. It is touted as the world’s first consumer ‘light field camera’. And this is how it gives you sharp pictures.

It stores all the ‘light field data’ of the scene you are trying to capture, instead of the typical image. You then download this data onto a computer and choose the area you want to keep in focus, or blurred—after the party is over. You can also share the picture as it is for your friends to help decide what to bring in focus.

The camera is super fast, because it does not need an auto-focus motor. You still get an 8x optical zoom. It comes in two versions: the blue and graphite has 8 GB storage and can click 350 pictures. The red-coloured camera has 16 GB storage, costs $499 and stores 750 pictures.

The only issue is that it is only a 2 megapixel device. But because I don’t print too many pictures these days, this camera works for me.

What it lacks in megapixels, it makes up with its f/2 aperture. The wide aperture gives you excellent brightness, even in low light. There is also enough onboard computing power to let you manipulate the images on the camera. Another small hitch: it is in pre-order stage and can only be shipped within the US.

The above review appeared in the Open Magazine, Issue Dated 12-16 Jan, 2012, Volume 04, Issue 02