New digital camera tech offers focus after the fact

— 11:24 AM on June 22, 2011

We tend not to cover digital cameras here at TR, but I just ran across an interesting piece about a technology from Lytro that lets you set the focus on your images after taking them. Lytro achieves this feat by using a new kind of sensor that captures the color, intensity, and direction of incoming light rays. That last item is important because traditional camera sensors are incapable of discerning the direction of inbound light.

With this additional information and a little help from software, Lytro's "light field processing" tech can produce photos that effectively offer adjustable focus. The company has a number of impressive examples on display, and you can click on the images to choose your focal point. Neat!

Lest you think this technology sits far over the horizon and carries a hefty price premium, Lytro says it will produce "a competitively priced consumer product that fits in your pocket" by the end of the year. Lytro will be making this camera itself, but it's unclear whether the company is open to letting others use its sensor tech.

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