New Lytro Light-Field Camera Allows You Focus After You Shoot

An American company says it has developed a camera that can focus pictures - after they have been taken.

Californian firm Lytro says its camera uses a light field sensor to capture more visual information from a scene than a traditional camera.

By capturing all existing light data emitted from a scene, including the direction of light rays, photos can be manipulated with computer software to change the focus from foreground to background, or to change the image from 2D to 3D.

Bringing the image into focus later also avoids "shutter lag" - the small delay between pushing a shutter button and a picture being taken - caused by mechanical focusing.

Capturing more light information should also permit for clearer photos in dark rooms and other low-light situations, they said.

"To make an analogy with a music-recording studio, taking a conventional photograph is like recording all the musicians playing together, rather than recording every instrument on a separate audio track," company founder Ren Ng wrote in his PhD dissertation on the technology.

Prototypes of the camera are being tested but it is not yet accessible to consumers.
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