the magic camera


Lytro Group

You may have read all about them in the New York Times, Engadget or maybe this is the first time you’ve seen this boxy little thing.

I’m not going to lie. I want one of these Lytro cameras. BADLY. And for absolutely no good reason.

That’s why I know it’s bound to be the “oh my gosh you have everything so why don’t you get one of these” gifts of the 2011 holiday season. Because when you yearn for gadgetry that is so darn cool but isn’t necessarily needed (hello people who are upgrading their iPhone 4’s to 4S’s), it’s bound to cause an illogical ruckus.

So what does this weird little camera do? Well… instead of capturing just the light that you’ve instructed it to capture in that instance, it captures all of the light possible. ALL OF THE LIGHT. And then you can manipulate your pictures later on your computer to choose the composition you want.

Don’t worry about focusing on a subject. You’ll chose how you want the picture to focus later. Just snap the photo and go. And when you upload it online, your viewers can choose how they want to focus the image as well. Just check out the example above, or in the photo gallery. Click on the photo and refocus it how ever you’d like!

Essentially, you have no more shutter and focusing delay. It’s the picture available the exact instant you want it. Weird, huh?

Oh… and the images are inherently 3-D too. So soon you’ll be able to show them on your 3-D TV and wow your friends with really cool slideshows of random family vacations. (this is an upcoming feature…)

And while I realize how revolutionary this is and crazy cool in tech terms, I have absolutely no practical application for it whatsoever in my real life.

I’m thinking that the true gift of Lytro is that it’s the gamechanger… the technology that will catapult digital cameras into being more than just digital replicas of film cameras.

But yeah… I kinda want to still have one and be super cool.

If you’re thinking about getting one, they’re $399 for the 350 picture model or $499 for 750 pictures.