Camera start-up Lytro promises to revolutionise photography

Lytro is working on 'light field' cameras that capture the color, intensity and direction of individual light rays

With a new kind of camera, Lytro wants to remove the headaches of focus from digital photography.

Lytro, a start-up based in the Silicon Valley, hopes to revolutionise the camera industry by bringing "light field" cameras to the market this year. This type of photography captures the color, intensity and direction of individual light rays, allowing the user to refocus the picture even after it has been taken.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Lytro's founder and chief executive, Ran Ng, likened the technology to a multitrack audio recording, in which each instrument is recorded separately and mixed later.

A blog post on Lytro demonstrates the concept with an interactive photo. Clicking anywhere on the picture changes the point of focus, causing other parts of the scene to blur into the background. A picture gallery shows more examples.

Lytro also claims that its cameras work in low lighting without flash, and can produce 3D photos with a single lens.

"We have something special here," Ng wrote. "Our mission is to change photography forever, making conventional cameras a thing of the past."

It's a lofty goal, especially at a time when smartphones are already jeopardizing conventional digital cameras. But if Lytro's first cameras really are better and more convenient, they may pose a threat to high-end digital cameras and DSLRs. That will depend largely on pricing and portability; we'll see what Lytro comes up with later this year.

Follow Jared on Facebook and Twitter for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsdigital camerasCameras

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?