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Lytro light-field camera

Lytro-Group Lytro-Lifestyle-Graphite_Moleskine

A radical and mind-bending take on photography.

While compact and digital SLR cameras have been steadily improving over the years, we haven’t really seen the photography market experience anything revolutionary for a decade. Ok, so micro-four thirds technology (which offers DSLR-quality in a compact chassis) and mobile phones with eight-megapixel optics are undeniably impressive, but in our world, we get excited about real game-changers.

Enter the Lytro. It’s a ‘light-field’ camera that has been designed to capture every single element of light in a frame – normal cameras capture the same information but then squash it down into one layer – allowing you to manually adjust the focus at a later date.

A ‘light-field’ camera, designed to capture every single element of light in a frame

It sports a constant f/2 aperture, allowing it to gobble up the maximum amount of light available. Because of this, it doesn’t focus on one particular area, which means no autofocus, allowing you to decide which area of an image is focussed after you’ve taken the photo. We should probably mention at this point that the Lytro is a photo-geek’s paradise and not for those who don’t like to tinker.

It sports a constant f/2 aperature, allowing it to gobble up the maximum amount of light available

In practice, it makes for some truly exceptional shots that offer definition and editing far superior to what you’d normally expect.

As well as there being no autofocus, there’s no shutter lag either. Captured images are therefore exactly what you see, rather than a slightly delayed shot of what’s in front of you. Bundled with the Lytro is a free Mac app, with smart sharing capabilities that let fellow Lytrons (we just made up that word) see your photos and create their own spin on your shots. It’s very 2011 social media.

Oblong-shaped and retro-looking, the Lytro designers have also positioned the shutter button at the camera’s centre of gravity, reducing the risk of skewed shots.

If you’re still not sure what this is all about, head to www.lytro.com/living-pictures and have a play with the Lytro-taken picture gallery yourself.

It’s very impressive.

Price: from £249

www.lytro.com

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