Lytro's Light Field Camera has been on sale for a while in the US, but from this month it will go on sale in the UK.
This unique camera produces shots that the manufacturer calls 'living images', because the focus point can be moved post-capture, turning a soft part of the image sharp before your eyes.
These images may be viewed on the camera, on a smartphone via the free Lytro iOS app or on a computer using either Lytro's website or the supplied software. They can also be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and viewers are able to navigate around the image, giving a sense of movement around a 3D subject.
The Light Field Camera has an 8x zoom lens with a focal length equivalent to 43-340mm, a fixed aperture of f/2 and two shooting modes, Everyday and Creative (the focal length is limited to 43-150mm in Everyday mode). Its operation is largely automatic, but it is possible to opt to set the shutter speed and sensitivity manually or apply a neutral density filter, as well as zoom in or out.
There are just three physical controls on the camera's body, the power button, shutter release and zoom control. Other settings are selected and adjusted via the 1.52-inch touchscreen.
Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables the camera to communicate with a smartphone with the Lytro app to transfer and share images, which are saved in the proprietary LFP format.
Images are stored on the camera's internal memory with two capacities being available, 8GB which is capable of storing around 350 images and 16GB which can hold around 750 images. In addition, Lytro gives camera owners unlimited storage on its website.
What makes the Light Field Camera different from other cameras is that there's a microlens array in front of the '11-Megaray' sensor. This scatters the light before it hits the sensor. The camera's processing engine analyses the angle of the light and is able to calculate how to make the point that it was reflected from sharp in an image, regardless of whether it was sharp before the shot was taken.
Availability and Price
The Lytro camera will be available in the UK from July (it's already available in the US). It will be on sale in Dixon's Travel and Harrods, and online at John Lewis. It is set to retail for £399 for the 8GB version, which is available in three colours: Graphite, Electric Blue, Moxie Pink.
The 16GB version is available in just one colour, Red Hot, and will retail for £469.