On Facebook today I noticed that I have 2 friends who talked about Lytro’s newfangled camera that focuses for you after taking the picture, not before as do all other cameras. One friend – a gadget hound – posted, “Wow. An electronic gadget that is actually interesting” while my grad school friend (my PHOTO grad school friend) literally posted, “Why does this upset me?”
It’s all a matter of perspective. (Get it, perspective…ha!)
First, the camera. It’s a camera that let’s you shoot, willy nilly, no matter on focus. It supposedly captures all the light in the scene, not just the 2D light as perceived by the blah blah blah….it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the result.
My question is with point and shoots these days, who decides on focus anyway? The camera decides and often decides wrongly. So I get the invention. As a Silicon Valley start up, finding an innovation in photography is pretty cool.
Ridiculous, but cool.
If I were a point and shoot person who was regularly disappointed with my photos, I’d certainly give this gadget a try.
But I’m not. I like big, dumb cameras. I like to do the thinking for the camera. I like to decide on the focus and toil over the perfection of the shot BEFORE I take it. Call me a control freak. Then again, I’m a photographer at heart and even (at times!) make a living from it. And yet even I am disappointed with my results sometimes and would like a do-over.
So, allowing even someone like me to change her mind…that’s a good thing, right? Sacrilege, maybe, but cool. It sorta dampens the whole “decisive moment” thing. Or postpones it at the very least.
All arguments for and against aside, this camera won’t be out till the end of the year, no doubt around Christmas. For a chunk of change, I bet. The Lytro is so new, in fact, that there’s not even a picture of it, at least not one that I could find.
So maybe you and I won’t be bothered to argue when it’s best to decide on focus, before or after you take the photograph.
image credits: Lytro