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Lytro Is a Focus-Free Camera That Will Change How You Take Pictures Forever

Illustration for article titled Lytro Is a Focus-Free Camera That Will Change How You Take Pictures Forever

The digital camera market is about to be turn upside by a young Stanford Ph.D named Ren Ng. Ng is the brainchild behind the Lytro camera which lets you take pictures without focusing. The technology is mind-bending. Mind-blowing. Wow.

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The Lytro is a light field camera which is much different than your standard digital shooter. It doesn't capture one angle, one lighting effect or one focus plane. It captures everything, all at once, in one photo. The image can then be manipulated to change the focus from an item in the foreground to an item in the background on the fly. The camera is targeted for an end of the year launch and could cost under $500 if Ng can pull it all together.

You can check out a demo of the Lytro technology below. Click on different parts of the image and prepare yourself to be impressed. [Lytro, TechCrunch and Mashable]

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DISCUSSION

BlueVillain
BlueVillain

IANAP... can someone explain the physics behind the concept of "focus" as it relates to digital imaging? I've always thought it was a limitation brought about by the human eye, with the lens being some distance away from the optical nerve. If technology could simply build a better optical nerve that doesn't need a lens wouldn't this whole concept of focus just go away?