When I first found out about light field photography a couple of years back, I got excited. Imagine never having to worry about focusing when taking your pictures. This could possibly reshape the way photographs are taken, particularly in fast paced situations, just snap away. Snap first, focus later.
Fast forward a few years, and the guys at Stanford think they have matured the technology to the point where it is ready for the mass market and this is where tech start-up Lytro comes in. Lytro’s certainly generating alot of buzz… Is it justified? Definitely. Will it live up to the hype? Hard to say.
What do I think? The concept of never having to worry about getting it right at the point of pressing the shutter button worries me a little. Will it result in sloppier photographers? Already, high frame rates and enormous storage cards have produced a type of photography style that relies alot on luck (and sometimes I’ve been guilty of that as well). Never having to worry about focus (and to a lesser extent, composition) will probably make it worse. Imagine high frame rates and not having to worry about focusing. But that’s assuming this technology makes its way to DSLRs.
Right now, Lytro has not released any concrete product details, so we can only guess. But I’m sure Nikon and Canon have been watching this technology with some degree of interest. It just depends on who is willing to take the plunge first… which might be a while yet seeing as both these companies have yet to introduce a mirrorless interchangeable body like the Sony NEX, Olympus PEN, Panasonic GF and Pentax Q series.