Lytro unveils its digital camera

lytro hands on

Make sure to check out our full Lytro Camera review.

Whispers about Lytro’s super steal plenoptic camera have been ramping up as the device heads into production, and today the company is finally unveiling its game-changing digital camera.

We recently spoke with various Lytro beta testers, who claim the camera is something of a revolution for the digital imaging industry, and now we’re finally getting a look at it.

After a brief recap of Lytro’s short history, and CEO and founder Ren Ng’s time at Stanford working on the technology behind the device, Ng explained what this camera will do for users: It gives them the mind-blowing ability to shoot now and focus later, just for starters. Secondly, viewers can interact with the camera — which we know all too well at this point. You can focus and refocus to your heart’s desire. He also reveals the camera’s images feature “immersive 3D,” something we heard about from the beta testers. He says this is Camera 3.0–the next step in digital photography.

But enthusiasts have been waiting for solid specs and a look at the thing. And here they are:

The specs

  • The camera is called the Lytro, and features an 8x optical zoom and f2.0 aperture
  • It’s an 11 “megaray” device. This means it captures 11 million rays of light.
  • Startup to image capture is basically instant, given that the camera needs no time to focus.
  • Software included is how you view these images. The Lytro uses a micro USB.
  • Available in 8GB (can capture 350 light-field images) and 16GB versions

The design

lytroAs you can see, the camera has rectangular, tube-like design. In short, it’s nothing like any camera you’ve ever seen. It’s small and metal, one end housing the lens and then the other a touchscreen display. AllThingsD’s Drake Martinet, who was at the event, describes it as more like a handicam than anything else.

lytro

The software

We previously heard the software was impressive and something ready for consumers. Now we know that it’s only one of the ways you can refocus images—you can also do so on the camera or on the Internet. The software also allows you to post directly to Facebook, where your friends can zoom and refocus the image right away.

The Lytro will ship in early 2012. The 8GB version will cost $399 and the 16GB $499. 

Take a look at some hi-res pictures of the Lytro camera.

[via AllThingsD liveblog]

[images via Drake Martinet-Twitter]

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