Radical new approach to digital image sensors

New camera tech could make focusing a thing of the past

A new technology start-up is aiming to introduce a new digital photography technology that allows for post-picture taking re-focusing.

California-based Lytro is developing a new form of image sensor that’s able to capture not just the intensity but the direction light is moving within a camera which, the firm said, provides a host of benefits over traditional image sensors.

One of the key advantages is that images may be refocused by the photographer afterwards, either by choosing a point in a photograph to focus on or by placing everything in focus. Other advantages include automatic 3D images and the ability to take photos with a low level of light without the need for a flash.

Lytro boss Ren Ng told All Things Digital that rather than licensing the technology out to other manufacturers, Lytro is looking to manufacture their own camera which will be available later this year. Few details were available but it was said to be "competitively priced" and a ‘fit in your pocket’ style point-and-shoot.

The All Things Digital report has a number of still images and a video chat with Lytro boss Ng who gives a demonstration of the impressive capabilities of the new light field sensor.

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