I’ve been keeping an eye on the Lytro light-field camera for some time and a recent update makes me want one even more.
A light-field camera doesn’t capture a single plan of light on a film or electronic sensor, instead it uses micro lenses to capture the same scene from multiple slightly different angles. What this means is that it is possible to dynamically refocus a picture from a light-field after it has been taken. The latest software update from Lytro now adds some extra features, but the most interesting one to me is that it allows you to adjust the perspective of the image slightly, giving the effect of moving around the scene. It looks great in the demo images and I would love to get one to try out.
I am sure that there are educational uses (being able to move around a subject, even slightly could be useful in engineering, art, architecture, etc.), but I am so enamoured by this technology that I wanted to post sometihng about it as soon as I saw it in action.
You can try it out at http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/15/lytro-reinvents-the-camera-once-again-now-lets-photos-change-perspective-along-with-focus/ and I recommend giving it a go with the insect image. Remember, this isn’t a trick created by taking multiple shots and manipulating it in software – it is all from the same shot!