The $399 Lytro camera is a marvel of imaging technology and it will soon be a whole lot easier to buy. Starting in early October, the novel camera is hitting Amazon.com, BestBuy.com and Target.com, along with select CityTarget stores. The camera was previously only available from the company’s website, Lytro.com.
“Since introducing the Lytro camera just six months ago, nearly 400,000 light field pictures have been shared on Lytro.com. We are excited to take this picture revolution one step further by making Lytro available to more photographers in the US and around the world,” said Charles Chi, CEO of Lytro in a released statement today.
The Lytro camera will also be sold through international partnerships with Blode Robot, Qool Labs, and Future Shop. The company provides further rollout details in a blog post.
In our March 2012 review found the Lytro to be a fun, but ultimately, an unfinished product. Since then the company has rolled out several updates including support for Windows. But the product remains as novel as ever.
Unlike a traditional camera, a Lytro camera allows the photographer to adjust the point of focus after the picture is shot (see images below). This allows for unheard of flexibility. But with this comes lower picture quality. At least right now, that is. Eventually the technology should mature and offer its trademark flexibility with high-quality imaging.
In short, Lytro is developing a new type of camera that dramatically changes photography for the first time since the 1800s. Rather than just capturing one plane of light, it captures the entire light field around a picture, all in one shot taken on a single device. A light field includes every beam of light in every direction at every point in time. Experimentation in this field started in the mid-1990s at Stanford with 100 cameras in one room....