Media

Lytro unveils its revolutionary light field camera

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With Lytro’s new light field camera, you’ll never have to worry about your photos being out of focus — because it’s the first camera ever to let you focus your pictures after taking them.

The company debuted its new cameras at a press event today, which will start at $399 for the 8-gigabyte version, and $499 for the 16GB version.

Lytro made some bold promises when it debuted in June, saying that it would start a “picture revolution.” The company’s technology captures the entire light field in a picture, allowing you to focus on individual elements after the fact. Lytro’s light field tech also lets you display pictures in 3D. You can get a taste of Lytro’s technology with interactive photos on its website.

As you can see, the Lytro cameras don’t look like any other high-end shooters on the market. They resemble a child’s toy more than anything else. But under their boxy exterior is the biggest shift in camera technology since digital cameras. The Lytro units feature a f/2 aperture and 8X optical zoom, while its Light Field Sensor can capture 11 million light rays. (We’re not quite sure what a “light ray” is in this context, or how big it is, but we’ll update this post as we learn more.) The cameras only have two buttons — power on and shutter — and there’s also a small 1.46-inch touchscreen display on the rear that lets you view photos and instantly change their focus.

Lytro says that the cameras also remove the typical lag with taking a picture on a normal camera, since the don’t have to calculate autofocus settings or deal with shutter lag.

The Lytro cameras are available for pre-order today on the company’s website, and they’re due to ship some time in early 2012.

Photos by VentureBeat’s Heather Kelly, except for the stock photo with a pretty girl holding a Lytro camera, which is courtesy Lytro.