Producing a clear image with a camera requires choosing a particular focal distance, either manually or with an auto-focusing system: objects nearer or farther away will be blurred. In this new type of camera, that need is eliminated thanks to a complex arrangement of optics, sensors, and processing power that captures the color, intensity, and direction of each incoming ray of light. Software can analyze the resulting “light field,” allowing photographers to focus a shot that’s already been taken and even to create 3-D images of a scene.
Product: Lytro Light Field Camera
Cost: $400 to $500
Availability: Early 2012