Oct 20, 2011 12:00AM

Lytro Comes Into Focus

A focus-free camera for US$399? Yes please.

So you know how with "point and shoot" cameras, you can't actually just point and shoot? How you have to make people stop what they're doing before you point, and then wait for the camera to focus before you shoot? Well, not with this new piece of technology, which looks less like a camera and more like an Apple monocle or a lipstick with an LCD screen. And the best bit? It's on US$399.

It is actually a camera, though - it's called the Lytro, and it's designed for the Facebook/Tumblr/Instagram generation. The Lytro takes a picture instantly with no need to focus, capturing all the information in its light field so that you can just snap the photo and then play with the focus later. You then get a digital photo that you can adjust in about a million different ways, so you can focus in (or out) on certain areas. You'll be able to sharpen different areas at the same time, and the option to blur bits out means you'll never have to abstain from posting those cool group shots of you and your friends on Facebook because your face sucks.

For all the photos you don't mind so much, you can plug the Lytro in via USB, press a button and share selected pictures on Facebook and other networks. More things we like about it are its simple design (with just two buttons and a slider for zooming), and the fact that its battery life makes it possible to fill up the entire 8GB with pictures on a single charge (take that, Apple!). That's about 350 pictures, so unless you're one of those annoying people who take hundreds of unflattering eating/drinking shots at parties then you can probably just leave it in your bag without having to charge it daily (if you are, then there's a 16GB model available for an extra $100).

And look at what pretty pictures it can make:

Lytro is now taking pre-orders for the camera, which will be available in early 2012.

Words: Hannah Ongley

www.lytro.com

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